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Monsanto Boycott List Explained

The “Do Not Buy – Monsanto Owned Companies” list as seen here  has been circling social media websites, blogs, and news articles like wild fire, due to the dismissal of a year-long federal class-action lawsuit against the corporation.Although Monsanto does not necessarily own these companies; as suggested by this list’s title, the genetically modified (GM) seeds Monsanto produces are supposedly sold to farmers who grow the ingredients for these companies to use.

Monsanto is well-known for developing an herbicide glyphosate (aka Roundup).  Monsanto created GM seeds specifically to withstand Roundup, making a farmer’s crop production more successful.  Roundup is now the most widely-used herbicide in the United States.

Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready crops include soy, maize (corn), sorghum, canola, alfalfa, and cotton.  These crops are used in numerous foods and materials we use every day, which are sprayed down with the Roundup mixture. 

While the United States Environmental Protection Agency‎ (EPA) considers glyphosate on its own to be relatively low in toxicity, and lacking carcinogenic effects,1 a study has shown that Roundup formulations and metabolic products can cause the death of human embryonic, placental, and umbilical cells in vitro, even at low concentrations.2 This is especially concerning to us at Sprout as our goal is to protect our youngest customers, especially those in the womb, from any chemical that might be harmful to their development. The more you choose to buy organic food for yourself and your family (especially when pregnant), the less likely you are to expose your offspring to this chemical.

The runoff from the herbicide into neighboring farmland, streams, and populated areas is also a huge concern, as we could be exposing ourselves to this potential poison without even making a choice to do so.  The people who spray these crops are even more exposed.  Thus another great reason to live organically is to support local and ethical farming. Even if this does not actually represent companies owned by Monsanto, avoiding foods on this list will send a strong message that consumers favor ethically and organically grown products over those grown with genetically modified seeds and sprayed with pesticides like Round Up. 

To read more about Sprout's suggestions for healthy eating, see our healthy baby guide here.

Footnotes:

  1. http://www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/REDs/factsheets/0178fact.pdf
  2. Benachour, Nora; Gilles-Eric Séralini (December 23, 2008). "Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and Placental Cells". Chemical Research in Toxicology 22 (1): 97. doi:10.1021/tx800218n. PMID 19105591.
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