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May 14th, 2018 / Devex.com

Smack at the center of the debate over genetically modified organisms and their role in developing countries are large corporations. Bayer, BASF, Dow AgroScience, DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto, and Syngenta all sell GMO seed and associated products, including herbicides, as well as a range of non-GMO seed and products supporting agricultural production. They lobby and advise governments on GMO regulation, and they work with farmers on GMO cropping.

With the impending $63 billion merger between Bayer and Monsanto, approved by the European Union, Australia, and in advanced approval stages in the United States, the financial power these corporations wield is in the public eye.

For decades, these corporations and their role in the development and use of GMOs have faced criticism, with campaigns attacking them for their impact on public health and the environment. But they have continued to grow and expand — as has their presence in developing countries.

In our five-part series on GMOs in global food security, Devex has been investigating the role of GMOs in developing countries through the lens of governments, donors, scientists, and campaigners.

In our final article, we speak with the multinationals themselves and ask about their work in developing countries and their motives — with Bayer, Monsanto, and Syngenta acknowledging that profit is a key, but insisting that social responsibility and the ability to improve nutrition, food security, and income is just as important. Read more