Controversial Monsanto Chief Exec Hugh Grant in Glasgow this week
Press release, Common Action Scotland
Glasgow, 4 November 2008
Controversial Monsanto Chief Exec Hugh Grant is expected to be in Glasgow this week in his role as an advisor to the Scottish Enterprise Agency. However civil society group Common Action Scotland are demanding that Scottish Enterprise bosses dismiss the Monsanto CEO from its advisory board and are challenging Mr Grant to attend a public meeting to answer for the damage caused by his company and its business practices.
Lindsay Keenan spokesperson for Common Action Scotland said today: "It is not appropriate to have the Chief Executive of Monsanto as an advisor to Scottish Enterprise. Hugh Grant represents a company that has lied and cheated and that has caused cancers, birth-defects and deaths in order to save a dollar. Today Monsanto products contribute directly to inflated prices of food on the global market and to world hunger. Hugh Grant and Monsanto are an international disgrace not a role model for Scottish Enterprises. We have asked Jack Perry the head of Scottish Enterprise and Jim Mather MSP, the Scottish Enterprise Minister to immediately dismiss Hugh Grant from his advisory role".
Mr Grant is due in Glasgow this week for a meeting of the Scottish Enterprise International Advisory Board.
Despite a Freedom of Information request Scottish Enterprise have refused to confirm exactly which day the meeting will take place but did confirm it is expected to be in Glasgow in the first week of November. Mr Grant's office confirmed that he is expected to attend.
Hugh Grant was born in Larkhall Glasgow and graduated from Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities. Since 2003 he has been the Chairman, President and CEO of the US based chemicals and genetic engineering company Monsanto. Based in St Louis, US, he travels the world representing Monsanto and visits Glasgow twice a year for these meetings.
Keenan continued, "Mr Grant's company, Monsanto, has in the past been responsible for producing some of the world's most toxic chemicals including PCBs and Agent Orange. Amongst other serious crimes it has previously been caught falsifying scientific reports and bribing government officials. Today Monsanto is the world's largest chemical company and is responsible for more than 90% of the genetically modified seeds sold in the world. Monsanto products and Monsanto's way of doing business destroy soil health, destroy food security and contribute substantially to world hunger and environmental damage".
Hugh Grant uses his role with Scottish Enterprise as part of his CV, presumably because it opens doors for him and helps to give Monsanto what it most craves, the public acceptance that despite its great wealth and power it is otherwise denied. Mr Grant's position with Scottish Enterprise gives the impression that Monsanto is supported in Scotland when in fact the evidence of public, farmer, food industry, political and scientific opinion over the last ten years makes it absolutely clear that there is no place for Monsanto or its products in Scotland (or indeed in Europe).
Keenan continued, "Hugh Grant is the smooth talking face of a very ugly corporation. His smooth talking style and his Glasgow/Edinburgh/transatlantic brogue has charmed the US stock markets and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic. Mr Grant has helped pushed up profits for Monsanto and for himself but at what price to real people's lives and to the environment?
"Common Action Scotland has tried on a number of occasions to get Mr Grant to agree to attend a public meeting in Glasgow/Scotland. However he shows no signs of being willing to be held publicly accountable. We note that if he is not willing to attend a public discussion despite the global importance of his company to the health and food security of so many people, then this should provide further evidence of his unsuitability to be an advisor to a Scottish tax payer funded public body. What does Hugh Grant/Monsanto have to hide?"
There is an overwhelming body of evidence available to support the case that Monsanto and its CEO are not good role models for Scottish business. Amongst a wealth of other publicly available factual information the recently released documentary called the World According To Monsanto by director Marie Monique Robin sums up the reality behind Monsanto.
The crimes Monsanto has committed, the lives it has damaged, the lies its spokespeople and executives have told and the massive influence that it has are laid out clearly. And it is perhaps the first documentary that really gets behind the approval process for GM foods in the US and reveals the manipulating hand of Monsanto at all levels. A copy can be obtained from French filmmakers ARTE www.arteboutique.com
It can also be found in 10 parts on Utube at
We would recommend that Jack Perry and Jim Mather view this documentary to get some understanding of Monsanto. We further recommend that it be screened at the Scottish Parliament and on Scottish TV so that we all may judge. Monsanto refused to be interviewed for the documentary but the director Marie Monique Robin has indicated to Common Action Scotland that she would be willing to attend a public meeting in Scotland to discuss her findings with Mr Grant, if he is willing.
For more information please contact:
Lindsay Keenan (Director)
Common Action Scotland
1 Cunninghame Road, Kilbarchan, Scotland, PA10 2EE
Office: 0141 577 0057
Mobile: 0750 392 0125
EXTRACT: Hugh Grant and Monsanto are an international disgrace not a role model for Scottish Enterprise.