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Publisher's Summary

An authoritative and eye-opening history that examines how Monsanto came to have outsized influence over our food system.

Monsanto, a St. Louis chemical firm that became the world’s largest maker of genetically engineered seeds, merged with German pharma-biotech giant Bayer in 2018 - but its Roundup Ready® seeds, introduced 25 years ago, are still reshaping the farms that feed us.

When researchers found trace amounts of the firm’s blockbuster herbicide in breakfast cereal bowls, Monsanto faced public outcry. Award-winning historian Bartow J. Elmore shows how the Roundup story is just one of the troubling threads of Monsanto’s past, many told here and woven together for the first time.

A company employee sitting on potentially explosive information who weighs risking everything to tell his story. A town whose residents are urged to avoid their basements because Monsanto’s radioactive waste laces their homes’ foundations. Factory workers who peel off layers of their skin before accepting cash bonuses to continue dirty jobs. An executive wrestling with the ethics of selling a profitable product he knew was toxic.

Incorporating global fieldwork, interviews with company employees, and untapped corporate and government records, Elmore traces Monsanto’s astounding evolution from a scrappy chemical start-up to a global agribusiness powerhouse. Monsanto used seed money derived from toxic products - including PCBs and Agent Orange - to build an agricultural empire, promising endless bounty through its genetically engineered technology.

Skyrocketing sales of Monsanto’s new Roundup Ready system stunned even those in the seed trade, who marveled at the influx of cash and lavish incentives into their sleepy sector. But as new data emerges about the Roundup system, and as Bayer faces a tide of lawsuits over Monsanto products past and present, Elmore’s urgent history shows how our food future is still very much tethered to the company’s chemical past.

©2021 Bartow J. Elmore (P)2021 Random House Audio

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Very interesting and well detailed

I enjoyed this book, finding its many stories and detailed extremely interesting. The author balanced well technical explanations with anecdotes, without missing out on the occasional humor. Great listen!

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had to return because sound file was corrupted

This started great, I loved the writing and the narration, it was well on its way to a 5/5. But then, it stopped playing. I deleted it from the library and then downloaded again, with the same effect. Audible - please take note.

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Good and depressing information

This book chronicles the birth, rise, and fall of Monsanto. The only industry who has possibly killed more people than Monsanto is the petroleum industry when they added lead to our fuels. And excellent source of information.

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Fantastic book

Well researched and very good presentation.
It’s a shame what has taken place in our food production. Monopolies have taken over every aspect of our lives. We’ve all known in the back of our head that our food chain is broken. Still, nothing is done about it. Hopefully more people can successfully sue and beat these (criminal) organizations into bankruptcy. A feat that will be nearly impossible while politicians are bought off.

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  • 01-15-22

A True WTF Story!

I like to think I’m well educated on the history of chemical companies and how they have poisoned lands all over the globe, but Mr Elmore’s writing left me hanging on every word like a crime novel that is too true for fiction. His detailed timeline of the history of Monsanto took me deeper than I had ever been and left me shaking my head, thinking- What the f#*% are we doing? Five stars, ten out of ten, two enthusiastic thumbs up, a gold medal, a blue ribbon, a standing ovation and a big hell yeah!

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Great book

He doesn't bash but just states the facts crazy story! Makes you think about all the lies big pharma are telling us now.

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Mind boggling

It was one of the best read I had so far for this year, history of Monsanto is one great rollercoaster 😳

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Very through and easy to follow

Heard about this on the JRE. Bartow did a great job describing the issues and path that created them in an easy to follow and interesting way.
Great job sir!
Thanks

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-22-22

Everyone needs to know this story!

Incredible research and in depth knowledge that everyone needs to know! I never realised how wide spread the problem of monsanto ruining out soils has gone!
I was not a fan of the narrator, however the story is extremly intreging.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-25-22

Life changing

This gripping account of a corporate giant’s horrific attempts to play cat and mouse to stale mate make you see the world in a whole new light, learning of the absolute disaster that big industry wreaks on our species and all others, yet understanding the weight of the battle that a few can fight back.
The whole world should read this book and reevaluate our relationships with the synthesised world!
Thank you Bartow for your committed research!

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  • Jake Williams
  • 02-17-22

Fair assessment

This book looked purely at the facts and business practices of Monsanto without getting derailed by conspiracy theories. I would recommend

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-12-21

Fascinating read

It'll make you angry at times, but it does a great job of separating myth from fact. Everyone should read this.

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  • ProchemOz
  • 01-09-22

Joe Rogan got me here. Not disappointed!

Fantastic book and well researched and written. Was fascinated by its history and how insidious this company has become into society. Highly recommend!