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Monsanto is changing the way people eat — Using traditional breeding to make better fruits and vegetables

| | April 12, 2017

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Monsanto is no one-trick GMO pony. Founded in 1901, the agricultural biotech company has fueled innovations in herbicides, pesticides, and ever-controversial genetically modified crops (GMOs).

But it may come as a surprise, even to people who are familiar with the $49 billion global giant, that Monsanto is also the world’s largest supplier of vegetable seeds.

Most corn and soybeans grown in the US contain the company’s patented seed traits. These days, Monsanto’s bread-and-butter GMO business is supplemented by its work on non-GMO vegetables, which cleared $801 million in net sales in the company’s 2016 fiscal year.

On a sprawling campus in Woodland, California, Monsanto chips away at making a juicier melon, a more shelf-stable onion, a tomato that doesn’t go limp in shipment, and other foods made using traditional breeding techniques augmented by high-tech tools.

Though its vegetable division isn’t as profitable as its two key GMO crops (pesticide-resistant corn and soybeans), the company invested $100 million into vegetable research and development in 2016….

Globally, Monsanto breeds 18 crops, including tomatoes, melons, onions, carrots, broccoli, and lettuce, and has over 2,000 varieties across its vegetable portfolio.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Inside the little-known Monsanto campus where scientists are changing the way you eat

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