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What Monsanto's fall from grace reveals about the GMO seed industry | Grist

take note of Andrew Pollack's Oct. 4 New York Times story on the recent plight of genetically modified (GM) seed giant Monsanto, long-time Wall Street darling and bête noire of the sustainable food movement.

Pollack summed up Monsanto's woes like this:

As recently as late December, Monsanto was named "company of the year" by Forbes magazine. Last week, the company earned a different accolade from Jim Cramer, the television stock market commentator. "This may be the worst stock of 2010," he proclaimed.     

On Tuesday, Forbes publicly lamented its decision to deem Monsanto "company of the year." The headline was cutting: "Forbes was wrong about Monsanto. Really wrong." How did Monsanto go from the from Wall Street hero to Wall Street doormat?

According to The Times' Pollack, Monsanto's troubles are two-fold: 1) the patent on Roundup, Monsanto's market-dominating herbicide, has run out, exposing the company to competition from cheap Chinese imports; and 2) its target audience -- large-scale commodity farmers in the south and Midwest -- are turning against its core offerings in genetically modified corn, soy, and cotton seed traits.

I agree with Pollack's diagnosis, but I want to add a third and even more fundamental problem to the mix: Monsanto's once-celebrated product pipeline is looking empty.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 13th, 2010 at 04:15:26 PM EST
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