Monsanto news
1.Why Monsanto's business model suits an era of deprivation and loss of civil rights
2.Online research shines light on letter-writer
3.Iowa awards $7.5 million in incentives to Monsanto for plant
4.Congressmen, lawyers pressure US for Agent Orange compensation
1.Why Monsanto's business model suits an era of deprivation and loss of civil rights

Max Keiser, a former stock broker who co-hosts the radio show, 'The truth about markets', has been tracking "the performance of stocks that would go up in an economic environment of deprivation and loss of civil rights" and notes that Monsanto's performance is particularly notable with its shares skyrocketing over the past 12 months.

Keiser writes, "To get a better insight into Monsanto's business model, I screened a few companies per their price-to-earnings ratio (the current price of the stock expressed as a multiple of how much the company has earned over the past year) for comparison.

First I looked at another agricultural company, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM:NYSE) is selling at 16 x's earnings, not very exciting but that's to be expected for what is basically a commodity company.

By comparison, I looked at the P/E of Apple Computer (AAPL:NASDAQ), a high growth company with proprietary technology. It trades for 35 times earnings. This is what I would expect, as the public buys millions of high margin iPods and iPhones.

So where does Monsanto's P/E fit in? Monsanto has recently traded at 40 x's earnings."

Keiser says Monsanto's business model is particularly suited to the era of economic deprivation and reduced civil rights because it is crusading to convert the globe's naturally occurring, sexually active crops that reproduce for free into one's where farmers are forced to buy "seeds every year at higher prices thanks to what amounts to a price fixing scheme by Monsanto".
2.Online research shines light on letter-writer
Kennebec Journal, 18 may 2008

Thank you for printing the article from David Martosko of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Consumer Freedom.
Had you not published his letter, I would not have had the opportunity to do some online research about the center. I learned that it is a public relations front group "supported by over 100 companies and thousands of individual consumers," per its Web site,

Among those companies is Monsanto, the corporate creator of RoundUp, genetically modified corn, canola, soybeans, and cotton, and recombinant bovine growth hormone, among other products.

According to various consumer watchdog activist Web sites, Monsanto donated $200,000 to the center in 2001 to get some pro-rBGH spin into the media, when lawsuits regarding artificial hormones in milk were going on. According to a 2006 news article, Martosko is a lobbyist for the nonprofit center.

Is it fair to infer that the brewing controversy between Maine's organic farmers and farmers growing genetically modified crops is attracting the input of Monsanto's public relations firms? Since Martosko has written letters to papers in other states reflecting many other viewpoints of the center, it is reasonable to assume that his interests are not his alone.

It can be tempting to believe the word of such a person as Martosko, whose prose seems to drip with slick sensibility.

However, his letter hides a sinister motive, one which is not in the interest of Maine consumers and farmers who wish to keep choice in their purchasing power.

Daria Walton
South Gardiner
3.Iowa awards $7.5 million in incentives to Monsanto for plant
Associated Press, May 16 2008

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has awarded $7.5 million in incentives to Monsanto for a new seed corn plant in Independence.

The St. Louis-based company plans to invest more than $90 million in the plant. It will employ about 50 people and offer 700 seasonal jobs.

The plant is slated to open in 2010.

The state also awarded $2.5 million in tax credits to Monsanto to create 25 jobs at a molecular breeding center in Ankeny.

Information from: The Gazette,
4.Congressmen, lawyers pressure US for Agent Orange compensation
Thanh Nien Daily, May 18 2008

American congressmen, war veterans, lawyers and scientists continued pressuring the US government to compensate the victims of Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide used by the US army in Vietnam, at a hearing Thursday.

However, a representative of the US Administration at the hearing before a subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington D.C. rejected any "legal liability for damages" related to Agent Orange, citing a lack of scientific evidence.

Agent Orange contained the chemical dioxin, which can cause reproductive problems, birth defects, cancer and other diseases.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified dioxin as a Group 1 carcinogen, a classification that includes arsenic, asbestos and gamma radiation.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Ho Chi Minh City Medical University in Vietnam, recounted her experiences delivering children to mothers exposed to Agent Orange since the late 1960s.

"When I was an intern, I delivered a severely deformed baby with no brain and no limbs," she said.

"Since then, every day or two, I have witnessed such birth defects and mothers' sufferings."

Scot Marciel, the State Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, testified that the US government would provide at least US$3 million for "environmental remediation and health activities" at "hot spots" in Vietnam.

He said the US government continues to "stress that discussion of the effects of Agent Orange needs to be based on credible scientific research that meets international standards."

But Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment under the US House of Representatives, said there were at least a million victims, meaning the US was spending only $3 on each.

He criticized the Bush administration for continuing to deny US liability for Vietnamese victims.

The congressman said that the US had a high moral duty on the issue and cannot pretend there weren't any toxic chemicals sprayed on the jungles of Vietnam.

Faleomavaega said the dioxin at affected sites needed to be contained to prevent the contamination of surrounding areas.

He said it was time to stop pointing fingers and come up with a solution to the problem.

The US must compensate both war veterans and civilians, said Faleomavaega.

In his speech about liability for AO/dioxin victims, lawyer Jeanne Mirer, general secretary of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, said that the US violated international law when it used toxic chemicals in Vietnam.

Rich Weiman, a representative from the Vietnam Veterans of America, said only America has the financial capability to conduct a comprehensive scientific study on the effects of the toxic chemicals.

Catharin Dalpino, visiting professor of Asian studies at Georgetown University, called for further US cooperation on issues related to Agent Orange.

Named for the color of the barrel in which it was stored, Agent Orange was one of many broad-leaf defoliants used in Vietnam to destroy enemy ground cover.

It is estimated that more than 20 million gallons of the chemicals, also known as "rainbow herbicides," were used between 1962 and 1971; approximately half of the herbicides were Agent Orange.

In 1984, seven chemical companies, including Dow and Monsanto, agreed to a $180 million settlement with US veterans who claimed that Agent Orange caused health problems.

No Vietnamese has ever received compensation.

Source: Agencies