Nominated for lobbying for RoundupReady (RR) soy to be considered a "climate-friendly" crop that is eligible for carbon credits and subsidies under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); and for pushing for meaningless 'responsible' label for RoundupReady soy, which could be used to certify 'sustainable' agrofuels.
Monsanto is the world's largest seed company, which has controversially been promoting genetically modified (GM) crops for over a decade. According to Monsanto, GM crops are not just the solution to world hunger, they can also help tackle climate change.
Biotech companies are pushing for public subsidies for their "climate-friendly" crops. They also want to profit from the international carbon trade by pushing for these "climate-friendly" crops to be eligible for carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
The RoundTable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) of which Monsanto is a member, is helping to promote the company's cause by allowing GM soy to be labelled as "responsible". This may mean that RTRS certified GM soy will in the near future be considered as a "sustainable" source of agrofuel; or be eligible for carbon credits through CDM projects.
Monsanto claims its RoundupReady crops help tackle climate change because they can be grown without ploughing the soil, known as 'no tillage' or 'conservation tillage' agriculture. Ploughing soil releases carbon dioxide (CO2) Instead RoundupReady crops rely on large quantities of herbicides to control weeds. Monsanto argues that this means it should be eligible for carbon credits because it is locking CO2 in the soil.
But RoundupReady soy, which is grown on over 40 million hectares across South America, has severe social and environmental impacts, with increased pesticide use leading to damage to human health and the environment. These vast monocultures of soy have replaced valuable forest – resulting in huge CO2 emissions – and have displaced rural and indigenous communities.
Monsanto also co-founded the Alliance for Abundant Food and Energy, a lobby group set up to counter criticisms that agrofuels take land from food production, pushing up the price of food.
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