Monsanto is engaged in the agribusiness industry and a global leader in biotechnology. The agricultural products company is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and employed about 20,500 regular employees as of August 2017. Monsanto’s product portfolio contains agricultural seeds and genomics, traits and technologies, and crop protection solutions. The seeds segment includes seeds which are herbicide-, insect- or drought-tolerant. The company provides either genetically modified crops (GM crops) or in countries where the modification of plants is not adopted, Monsanto sells conventional, non-GM plants. Monsanto’s most prominent example of genetically engineered crops is ‘Roundup Ready’ soybeans and corn.
Monsanto’s specialization in genetically engineered crops was long - and still is - a topic with intense debate and has sparked a lot of controversy over the years. Thus, the planting of GM crops is allowed in the United States and Canada, but several specific crops were banned in other countries such as Germany and France. Opponents of the implementation of genetically modified crops fear that altering the genetic genome may bring unknown consequences and that it has been not researched well enough.