ST. LOUIS: Monsanto has established an external biotech advisory
council in a continuing effort to fulfill the five features of its
The council is designed to comply with Monsanto's promise to "commit to
an ongoing dialogue with all interested parties to understand the issues
and concerns related to this technology."
Monsanto, which produces herbicides and seed products, has long been a
controversial target for environmentalists and food safety
Activists, particularly in Europe, have dubbed Monsanto food products
"Frankenfoods," and are concerned about the long-term effects of
genetically modified products on the environment and the human body.
The charter council comprises five members, including Dr. Jeffrey Sachs,
director of the center for international development at Harvard
University and Dr. Lynn Goldman, a principal investigator for the
Children's Health component of the Pew Environmental Health
The new council will be international and new members are still being
recruited. "The role here is more in terms of listening," said Monsanto
spokesman Loren Wassell. "We have an interest in hearing what they say
and we want to get a better insight into the issues and what people
The Monsanto pledge, announced in December 2000, also includes promises
to increase transparency, to respect cultural, religious and ethical
concerns, to share knowledge with developing countries, and to deliver
environmental and commercial benefits to farmers.