Monsato Ethics Paper
Business and Management
Submitted By clauss0119
Monsanto Attempts to Balance Stakeholder Interests
Course: MAN 3065 Group#: 1
Date Submitted: Oct. 2, 2014 Member: Evelyn Arfaro
Reference#: 810149 Member: Claudia Calmet
Term: 2014-15 Member: Claudia Castro
Days: T & Th Member: Loanny Martinez
Time: 7:05 pm – 8:20 pm Member: Jeanette Ramos
Prof: Hoa N. Burrows, CPA, MBA
Monsanto is one of the largest seed company in the United States and was found by John F. Queeny in 1901 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Monsanto company has created a variety of products to include the artificial sweetener saccharine used by Coca-Cola. Due to past major legal obstacles (Orange Agent) they shifted their efforts from the chemical realm to an organization focused on biotechnology. Their past history has generated a consensus on the possibility of how biotechnology might affect the environment and peoples’ health (Ferrell 302). In order to look at stakeholder’s interest we must look at whether Monsanto maintain an ethical culture that effectively responds to various stakeholders; we must compare the benefits of growing GM seeds for crops with the potential negative consequences of using them; and how should Monsanto manage the potential harm to plant and animal life from using products such as Roundup. Who are Monsanto Stakeholders?
Monsanto Stakeholders are their employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, communities and investors. These are the people that have an interest in the business success or how they get there. Of course the company is in business to profit, but in the process it needs to make sure it is doing everything in its power to satisfy the needs of our society and environment, in other words, sustainable development. History tells us that this company has been through a lot of financial devastation mostly due to its lack of environmental and social responsibility, and we also would like to say, ignorance. In the past, we all believed that nature will always find its way to go back to normal, now a days we know that is not correct. If we don’t take care of our planet, we can expect more drastic climate changes, fresh water reduction, illnesses, and so on(Ferrell 303).
Monsanto have learned that our culture has changed and they have adapted to be more ethically and socially responsible for the survival of their business and the satisfaction of stakeholders. Their new strategic direction was a more ethical culture, breaking away from chemicals that harmed life to a new focus in agriculture, with the potential benefits to help life. More specific biotechnology, creating genetically modified seeds, called Roundup Ready Crops. These seeds helped crops to be resistant to their herbicide Roundup, which is used by farmer to kill weed. Monsanto created the perfect formula to increase profitability, keeping investor and shareholders happy. These genetically modified seeds help farmers to produce more healthy crops, increasing the food supply in an era were increasing population made the demand for food grow in giant steps and were uncertainty awaits for the future generations if the grow in population continues(Ferrell 304). With the Monsanto focused on the genetically modified (GM) seeds and GM foods the company recovered financially and socially, and is now prospering worldwide providing high yield foods and jobs to nearly 20,000 people in 160 countries. Though some groups of stakeholders, such as consumer advocacy groups and some in the science community remained unchanged and cause public scares and have destroyed crops. Many of the scares were unsubstantiated and the product was misused to appear harmful but in an industry with new scientific technology fear of the unknown is present and to be expected especially the fear of unknown long term effects, even though the FDA has declared biotech crops safe (Ferrell 305).
Compare the benefits of growing GM seeds for crops with the potential negative consequences of using them.
Before we can understand the benefits or negative consequences of growing GM seeds for crops we must understand what GM seeds are. GM seeds are genetically modified seeds that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. Due to this change in the DNA scientist can make these seeds have new kinds of traits like certain benefits (Ferrell 306). Genetically modified seeds can be modified to have certain benefits like higher crop yields, they can be insect resistant, they can also be modified to survive droughts, ward off weeds and kill invasive insects. However the most beneficial part of using GM seeds to crop for farmers is to increase the quantity and availability of crops, which means that they can produce a lot more crops that they could ever manage to produce with regular seeds. As a result of the increase in production they will be an increase in revenue for the farmers. A major benefit that genetically modified seeds produce that many people do not realize is that they can be used as a solution to end world hunger. GM seeds can be modified to survive anywhere, so even in the poorest of countries they can produce crops which intern can help to feed the people of these starving countries that otherwise could not have the opportunity to produce crops like corn, cotton, soybeans and canola. GM seeds have a lot of benefits and can help in many different ways to help our world (Ferrell 307). Nevertheless there are also negative consequences to using GM seeds the following are just a few. For starters, many people believe that the use of GM seeds can destroy biodiversity in the surrounding environment. This can cause a ripple effect on the environment where it can even have the power to end some species of insects that usually feed of such crops that come from regular seeds. Another negative effect GM seeds can have is on humans and their health. It is said that as a result of using GM seeds one might have an increased risk of contracting cancer and many other serious health endangering viruses or disease. A negative consequence that affects the farmer is that although GM seeds can produce more crops and more revenue they are extremely overpriced compared to regular. Such an expensive purchase price can cut down the revenue extremely down for the farmers. Although there are many negative consequences there are even more positive benefits to using GM seeds and that is why we believe that they should continue to use genetically modified seeds to help produce more crops (Ferrell 307).
How should Monsanto manage the potential harm to plant and life from using products as round up?
Life is a precious thing, we as humans have the overall power of all things we construct and eradicate in this world but only because we were given that power it doesn’t mean we should use it for harm. Monsanto’s company has created a monopoly of its own, camouflaging it with beautiful gift wrapping paper. It has forgone any type of ethical behavior and has created the beginning of horrible ripple effect in humanity and nature itself. They call it “preventing loss and increasing yields” (page 384, Business Ethics) but in fact it’s actually like a ticking bomb that no one hears but once they realize, it will be too late. Despite what the shareholders believe, in my eyes it will never be right to act like a “God” and change the course of nature and life. If an animal such as a rat that has been consuming GM food has an increasing chance of dying that is 2-3 time larger than a rat which has not consumed GM food then, what makes people think that every other living creature will not be affected as well?. Monsanto is creating a plague of GM seed that will eventually take over the world’s vegetation with years of pollination; this will modify all plants and food we eat. Not only crops but also every single animal that is fed GM food as well. That is why we believe that Monsanto should reinstate its priorities and use its technology and innovations to other fields of study, like figuring out how to eliminate cancer or things of that nature and be able to earn its millions helping instead of killing. Nonetheless, we’re ultimately sure that Monsanto being the green-eyed demon they are will never change to a more environmental friendly company (Ferrell 308). In conclusion, in order for Monsanto to be considered one of the world’s most successful companies they must live by their pledge and ensure three important issues are addressed. First they must enforce a code of conduct to maintain an ethical culture. Then, Monsanto must compare the benefits of growing GM seeds for crops with the potential negative consequences of using them. Lastly, they must report the negative assumptions, health issues, and the environmental effects of biotechnology concerns elaborated by critics.
Ferrell, O. C., John Fraedrich, and Linda Ferrell. "Case 1: Monsanto Attempts to Balance Stakeholder Interests." Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases. 8th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2014. Print..