Is this the beginning of the end for Monsanto? After reporting that the company is letting go of thousands of their workforce, the company is projecting not only weak sales of their GM corn, but also of one of their biggest, and now most controversial sellers – Roundup.
“Sales of corn seeds and traits, Monsanto’s key products, fell 5 percent to $598 million in the quarter. And sales at the company’s agricultural productivity unit, which includes Roundup herbicide, dropped 12 percent to $1.1 billion.”
Monsanto relies on its chemical herbicide sales for its shareholders, but since the World Health Organization’s IARC, and the state of California have announced that glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is probably carcinogenic, bans are cropping up all over the world. Even without formal bans, Swiss and German retail outlets are ditching Roundup due to customer concerns about the chemicals and their health.
The French minister has also asked retailers to stop selling Roundup. Lowe’s and Home Depot as well as other retailers in Europe have stopped selling Roundup, yet it is still sold in the US. Monsanto obviously can’t rely on American sales alone of its formerly best-selling chemical concoction to stay financially solvent.
Even when Monsanto was claiming that it was reducing the use of various herbicides to grow its GM seeds a few years back, Roundup sales were skyrocketing – but that doesn’t seem to be the case now.
Monsanto enjoyed some of its highest stock prices in 2008, but 2015 and 2016 aren’t looking as hot for Monsanto. Though I admit that Monsanto is still making TONS of money even with sales drops, a 12 percent decrease in sales in less than a quarter is terrible news for most companies. Monsanto will feel this pain as it becomes better known that its products are hazardous to the environment, the pollinators, our pets, and us. Maybe we can watch the biotech machine sputter out just as quickly as it rose to fame.