16 April 2003
from OrganicConsumers Website
The agrochemical giant Monsanto has received the lowest possible environmental and strategic management rating of a triple-C from Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, a global environmental and social investment research firm.
Innovest’s report, “Monsanto and Genetic Engineering - Risks to Investors,” commissioned by Greenpeace, was released at a briefing at the Harvard Club in New York City this morning.
Monsanto suffered $1.7 billion in losses in 2002 and has failed to open new markets for its controversial genetic engineered (GE) products. Yet Monsanto continues to pursue its unsound business strategy of betting on a speedy and widespread global acceptance of GE foods.
Next in the Monsanto pipeline is GE wheat, which is being boycotted in key markets by farmers and food industry even before its approval.
In its assessment of Monsanto’s key markets, Innovest underscores the lack of regulatory approval and stiff consumer opposition that continue to block the company’s GE crops.
GE products constitute one of the most widely rejected product groups ever, and major food importers such as China, Japan and Korea have recently followed the restrictive European approach. In the US, upwards of 90% of consumers now demand GE food to be labeled and many would reject GE food if given the choice.
Referring to the example of the StarLink corn contamination scandal in 2000, in which the company Aventis lost $1 billion, Innovest estimated Monsanto’s potential financial fallout from a “StarLink scenario” to be $3.83 liability per share.