Monsanto was engaged in the agribusiness industry and a global leader in biotechnology. The agricultural products company was headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and employed about 20,500 regular employees as of August 2017. Monsanto’s product portfolio contained agricultural seeds and genomics, traits and technologies, and crop protection solutions. The seeds segment included herbicide-, insect- and drought-tolerant seeds. The company provided genetically modified crops (GM crops), or in countries where the modification of plants is not adopted, Monsanto sold conventional, non-GM plants. Monsanto’s most prominent example of genetically engineered crops was ‘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.