Published on November 4th, 2008 | by Adam Shake
G.M.O. Seed Company Monsanto Invests in Biofuels
Monsanto, one of the worlds largest Genetically Modified Organism (G.M.O.) agribusiness seed companies, is slated to acquire Aly Participacoes Ltda., which operates the Brazilian sugarcane breeding and technology companies, CanaVialis S.A. and Alellyx S.A.
Incidentally, as sugar cane expands in southern Brazil, soy production is heading northward, encroaching on the Amazon and causing mass deforestation.”
“Global demands for raw sugar and biofuels are beginning to rise at a faster pace than the current production levels in sugarcane, a crop that is essential to meeting these demands,” said Carl Casale, executive vice president of global strategy and operations for Monsanto. “Similar to our work with technology collaborators, we expect the additions of CanaVialis and Alellyx will allow us to combine our breeding expertise with key large-acre crops with their breeding expertise in sugarcane.”
“Our goal with this approach is to increase yields in sugarcane while reducing the amount of resources needed for this crop’s cultivation, just as we’re doing now for corn, soybeans and cotton. We view this as a significant opportunity over the longer term to supplement our ongoing commitment to corn as an ethanol feedstock, diversify our crop technology portfolio and provide innovations to such a vital crop as sugarcane.”
The global demand for sugar has intensified in recent years. The International Sugar Organization estimated earlier this year that the world will consume 3.9 million tons more sugar than it will produce in 2008-2009. This news comes one day after reports indicate that U.S. Diabetes rates nearly doubled in the last 10 years.
Both the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) see sugar consumption increasing faster than production over the next decade.
So what is Monsanto’s core business model? Monsanto sells seeds to farmers. But these aren’t just any seeds. The Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is a multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as “Roundup“. Monsanto is also by far the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed, holding 70%–100% market share for various crops.
What this means is that genetically Engineered seeds self destruct after planting. Farmers in third world countries must then continue to depend of Foreign companies like Monsanto for their seeds. Yes that right, Monsanto owns the patents to the food or fuel that the world eats or drives on.
While I am all for alternative fuels, I am not a big fan of food for fuel or fuel acres. Especially when those crops are going to lead to deforestation, forced relocation of food acres, widespread use of contaminants and poisons, genetically modified and patented seeds or one company who has controlling interest in how much fuel it decides to hold or put on the market next year.
Source: Biofuel Review