1.Human Rights Manager, Monsanto Company
2.Potecting whose rights?

Human Rights Manager, Monsanto Company

Job Description

Monsanto Company is committed to corporate social responsibility, led by its Pledge, Code of Business Conduct and stand for human rights. The specific commitment to human rights is expressed through the Company's recently developed Human Rights policy. The Human Rights Manager will coordinate the tactical effort to implement, monitor and report on the policy for the advancement of human rights within Monsanto's sphere of influence. The manager will serve as the primary liaison with both internal and external teams working to implement and ensure compliance with the policy; create and enforce operating guidelines to effectively apply and assess the policy; and design and conduct training and education sessions


*Bachelor's degree required, advanced degree desired

*Critical thinking skills that facilitate analysis of the interaction between company policy, business issues and operations, and external positions/standards is essential

*Excellent oral and written communication skills. Presentation experience

*Demonstrated success at engaging and partnering with different sectors (i.e. corporate, non-governmental, government)

*Inclusive work style with a commitment and ability to operate in a multicultural environment.

*Highly organized with strong project management skills as well as technical and administrative problem solving skills

*Relevant experience preferred (i.e. corporate social responsibility, labor practices, law, human rights).

*Excellent internal and external relationship-building skills

- Attention to detail and follow-up

- Ability to read, analyze and assess complex and, at times, lengthy documents

- Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information

Key Responsibilities

Development and execution of strategy and plan for management system to implement company human rights policy including, as illustration and not limitation of the responsibilities:

*Leadership of accountability team in setting of goals and actions;

*Draft guidelines in support of plan and requisite communication and training materials;

*Monitor, assess and report on company efforts;

*Design and coordination of remediation plans, as necessary; and

*Recommend adjustments, alterations and improvements to plan.

Engagement with internal and external teams and business partners working to implement company human rights policy.

*Active role with the Public Policy Team on general issues of public policy and corporate and social responsibility.

*This role will require international travel.

The above information has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by this role. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.

To view a more complete and detailed job description of this exciting position, please visit our website at and respond online. The direct link for this role is We offer very competitive salaries and an extensive benefits package. Monsanto values diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Monsanto Company

2.Potecting whose rights?

"Monsanto Company is committed to corporate social responsibility, led by its Pledge, Code of Business Conduct and stand for human rights." (item 1 above)


In early 2004 Monsanto was named Best Multinational Company in the first International Business Awards competition, whose aim is to raise the public "profile of exemplary companies". In making the award specific reference was made to the Monsanto Pledge that Monsanto says guides all its business activities.

"Integrity is the foundation for all that we do," Monsanto boasts on its website. And "integrity", the company says, includes "honesty, decency, consistency and courage". These are all part of the Monsanto Pledge.


In January 2005 it was announced that Monsanto is to pay $1.5m in penalties to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

According to a criminal complaint by the Department of Justice under US anti-bribery laws, the company paid $50,000 to an unnamed senior Indonesian environmental official in 2002, in an unsuccessful bid to amend or repeal the requirement for an environmental impact statement for new crop varieties.

The bribe in question was just the tip of the iceberg and the trail of corruption leads back to the U.S..


A senior Monsanto official based in the US ordered the bribing of the environmental official. According to the Security and Exchange Commission, "When it became clear that the lobbying efforts were having no effect on the Senior Environment Official, the Senior Monsanto Manager told the Consulting Firm Employee to 'incentivize' the official with a cash payment of $50,000." The Monsanto manager then concocted a scheme "involving false invoices" to hide the bribe.

According to the Financial Times, "The company also admitted that it had paid over $700,000 in bribes to various officials in Indonesia between 1997 and 2002, financed through improper accounting of its pesticide sales in Indonesia."

The bribes were financed, at least in part, through unauthorized, improperly documented and inflated sales of Monsanto's pesticide products in Indonesia, the company admitted.

The Financial Times notes, "The attempt to circumvent environmental controls on genetically-modified crops in a developing country is a significant embarrassment for Monsanto, which is engaged in an ongoing campaign to win public support in the European Union for its genetically modified crops."


Over a five year period, it seems, Monsanto gave bribes to "at least 140" current or former Indonesian government officials and their family members.

The recipients are said to have included a senior official in the environment ministry, a senior official in the agriculture ministry, and an official in the National Planning and Development Board (Bappenas).

The largest single set of bribes was for the purchase of land and the design and construction of a house in the name of a wife of a senior Ministry of Agriculture official, which cost Monsanto $373,990.


It's interesting, in the context of the corruption scandal, to revisit the extraordinary way in which Monsanto's GM seed was first brought into Indonesia in March 2001. It happened with the Indonesian military riding shotgun for Monsanto.

According to the Jakarta Post, "A total of 40 tons of genetically modified Bollgard cotton seed arrived at the Makassar airport from South Africa amid strong protests from environmentalists... A number of activists, waving banners... tried to intercept the convoy of trucks carrying the cotton seeds, which contain Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), and block them from leaving the airport...

"The authorities had apparently concealed the seed's arrival from the press... but at approximately 1pm on Thursday The Jakarta Post noticed a Russian Ilyusin transport plane ... unloading the seed in the airport's military area. The wide-bodied plane ... was tightly guarded, and reporters and photographers were barred from approaching the plane. Members of the Indonesian Air Force guarding the area said that reporters must back off for security reasons."


The farmers who grew Monsanto's GM seed did far less well out of it than the Indonesian officials who took Monsanto's bribes.

Monsanto's entry into the region in 2001, through its Indonesian subsidiary PT Monagro Kimia, was marked by a concerted campaign of promotion of its Bt cotton among farmers. The company claimed that Bt cotton was environmentally friendly, used less pesticide, and would ensure an abundant harvest and increase farmers' welfare.

In the first year of planting, there were reported failures of Bt cotton - the crop succumbed to drought and hundreds of hectares were attacked by pests. The drought had led to a pest population explosion on Bt cotton, but not on other cotton varieties.

As a result, instead of reducing pesticide use, farmers had to use larger amounts of pesticides to control the pests. Furthermore, the Bt cotton - engineered to be resistant to a pest that is not a major problem in the area - was susceptible to other more serious pests.

Moreover, it did not produce the yields Monsanto had boasted about. The poor yields trapped farmers in a debt cycle; some 70% of the 4 438 farmers growing Bt cotton were unable to repay their credit after the first year of planting.

One of the Indonesian farmers who grew Monsanto's GM cotton commented, "The company didn't give the farmer any choice, they never intended to improve our well being, they just put us in a debt circle, took away our independence and made us their slave forever."
More at


In the light of evidence that Monsanto tried to illegally circumvent environmental controls in Indonesia, Monsanto's president and chief executive, Hugh Grant, has been called on to quit the International Advisory Board set up by Scottish Enterprise, which helps Scottish companies develop their businesses abroad.

Jonathan Matthews of GM Watch told the Sunday Herald, "This man is steeped in a company culture that allowed this to happen." He added, "What has emerged about corrupt practices in Indonesia may just be the tip of the iceberg."

Following on from the Sunday Herald's report, Robin Harper, a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), drew to the attention of Scotland's First Minister the fact that Monsanto's President bore a direct responsibility for what had gone wrong in Indonesia:

"During 1997-1998, Mr Grant was managing director of Monsanto's Asia Pacific division and was promoted to having global responsibility for agriculture. He was not on holiday with Monsanto; he had overall responsibility during most of that period of corrupt practice."

Harper objected to "the fact that the CEO of a corporation convicted of systematic bribery in its international dealings is on a government sponsored advisory committee". He called for action, "Ministers must intervene now and demand the resignation of Hugh Grant from SE... Hugh Grant has got to go."

Given that the bribes scandal got underway while Grant had overall charge of business operations in Indonesia, there are clearly questions about his suitability to be in charge of a company which claims, "Integrity is the foundation for all that we do."

How can Monsanto ever hope to meet that pledge while it is run by a man known to have already failed to deliver honest business dealings in the area of company operations for which he had specific responsibility?


In summer 2005 Harrington Investments Inc. (HII) filed a shareowner resolution with Monsanto asking its board to create an ethics oversight committee of independent directors to monitor compliance with laws as well as the Monsanto Pledge and Code of Business Conduct, in view of the company's violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

"Bribery is illegal, and Monsanto's violation of federal law and the company's own voluntary code of conduct prove that management cannot be trusted to protect shareholders," said John Harrington, CEO of HII, a Napa, California-based socially responsible investment (SRI) firm. "Monsanto's management has once again shown its disregard for its fiduciary duties and for U.S. law."

After several attempts to contact Monsanto for comment, - the largest personal finance site dedicated to socially responsible investing - spoke briefly with Monsanto Public Affairs Director Chris Horner. The phone call abruptly ended before Mr. Horner answered any questions and he did not respond to follow-up phone calls and email.


This is not the first time that Monsanto's Pledge to integrity, transparency, honesty, candour and decency has been brought into question.

In late 2002 an article in The Guardian revealed that Andura Smetacek - the principal "anonymous" e-mail attacker behind a campaign of character asssination against a Berkeley scientist over his research on GM contamination of Mexican maize - had operated off an Internet Protocol address belonging to the Monsanto Corporation. Smetacek had posted around 50 such attacks on scientific and other critics of Monsanto - all of them during the period of the Pledge.

If covert poison pen attacks hardly smack of integrity, courage, respect, candor, or honesty, they can at least be put down to consistency! For Andura Smetacek was no lone assassin but part of a corporate communications strategy operating from Saint Louis to Johannesburg, from Manila to New Delhi. In short, despite the Monsanto Pledge the company's corporate communicators were engaged in a relentless dirty tricks campaign, often in association with Monsanto's PR firm The Bivings Group .

More at