Reviewers are right to acclaim Bart Elmore’s recent book Seed Money, writes Jonathan Matthews
With jury selection soon starting in the latest Roundup cancer trial, Monsanto’s lawyers have been arguing that the company should be “entitled to put forth mitigating evidence supporting its good character”. But if the Court allows the company now owned by Bayer to introduce such testimony, we’d suggest the plaintiffs counter by calling to the stand Bartow J. Elmore.
Elmore teaches environmental and business history at Ohio State University and his deep dive into the history of Monsanto was published towards the end of last year. Given that Seed Money: Monsanto's Past and Our Food Future packs a hefty 80 plus pages of notes, you might fear it’s some turgid academic tome, but it’s anything but. Despite being deeply researched, the book provides a lively and lucid account of the massive toxic impact Monsanto has had on our world, as well as the company’s unsuccessful attempt to escape its toxic legacy by shapeshifting into the world’s largest seed company and a pioneer in genetic engineering in agriculture.
Those flagging up the book’s merits include Edmund Russell, President of the American Society for Environmental History, who says Seed Money is likely to “become the book on Monsanto”, adding, “Anyone interested in biotechnology, or the relationship between corporations and the environment in general, cannot afford to ignore this important book.” Long-time Monsanto watcher Tom Philpott is equally enthusiastic in reviewing what he calls this “wonderful new book” and, like Russell, he sees it as the “definitive historical account”.
Despite such praise, and Bart Elmore discussing the book on the Joe Rogan Experience and elsewhere, Seed Money still hasn’t created as big a buzz as it deserves. That may be because people feel they already know so much about the company, thanks to the innumerable articles about it over the years, never mind more substantial publications like The Monsanto Files, The Monsanto Papers, and The World According to Monsanto (a much watched film among activists, as well as a book). But Elmore hasn’t just turned the gaze of a professional historian onto the company, he has uncovered “a motherlode” of valuable material, in the words of veteran journalist Sam Fromartz. He has also laid out the results of his research with a skill that makes it almost impossible to believe that as a child he was thought to have “severe learning disabilities”.
Radioactive slag piles
Bart Elmore first caught our attention as someone with journalistic flair as well as notable research skills in 2017, when Dissent Magazine published his article, Monsanto’s Superfund Secret. At a time when everyone’s attention was firmly fixed on the toxic impacts of Roundup’s application, Elmore had returned from camping out with a photographer friend near the radioactive slag piles produced by Monsanto’s elemental phosphorus plant in Idaho to shine a bright light on the “disturbing environmental and human health concerns at the beginning, not just at the end, of Roundup’s lifecycle”. It would be another four years before Elmore published the book that placed his riveting account of the pollution-plagued production of the key ingredient in Monsanto’s leading herbicide in its full historical context.
Elmore originally got hooked on the history of Monsanto while researching his previous book – Citizen Coke. Exploring Monsanto’s contracts with Coke (founded 1886) was Elmore’s entrée to Monsanto’s corporate records. And after his first trip into the St Louis archives, he says he came away convinced he’d stumbled on a “gold mine”. As a result, he spent a good part of the next decade further exploring them, as well as looking into the company’s activities in different parts of the US and around the world, most notably in Brazil and Vietnam.
Something Elmore does particularly well in Seed Money is relate the emerging character of the company he’s investigating to the dispositions and backgrounds of some of the key figures in its development. And early on in Seed Money, he flags up how much of Monsanto’s notoriously relentless character may have been shaped by its early years as a scrappy start-up fighting for survival against almost impossible odds. John Queeny, its founder, had to get the firm off the ground incredibly fast in 1901 because there was so little money behind it – mainly because his first attempt to set up a chemical company in East St Louis in the late 19th century had almost immediately gone up in flames, taking all Queeny’s life savings with it.
This lack of capital meant Queeny had to initially moonlight at Monsanto while keeping his day job as a drug salesman, just to survive financially. It also meant he needed to put everything together for his new firm on the fly. Adding to its vulnerability, Queeny’s start-up wasn’t just up against local competition but against the European goliaths that then dominated the US chemicals market, particularly German powerhouses like BASF and Bayer.
Scavenger capitalism and Coca-Cola
This unpropitious start may help account for why the company engaged from the get-go in what Elmore calls “scavenger capitalism”, living off the refuse and cheap by-products generated by other industries. Its caffeine for Coca-Cola, for instance, was initially extracted from tea sweepings discarded by tea producers. And Monsanto extracted the saccharin it made for Coca-Cola from coal tar, a black sticky by-product of turning coal into coke. Later on, it also developed a synthetic caffeine from coal tar. In fact, for many decades the vast majority of Monsanto’s products would be based on the waste products of the fossil fuel industries, with first coal and then oil companies providing Monsanto with the feedstocks it needed, mostly at very low cost.
It was its saccharin contract with Coke that ensured Monsanto’s initial survival. As Elmore told Joe Rogan, “If not for Coke, there would be no Monsanto. In the early 1900s, Monsanto was nothing. They were on the verge of going out of business. One giant contract saved them, and eventually allowed them to grow into the giant they are today.”
Buoyed up by their Coke lifeline, it was war that then catalysed the company’s growth. With the coming of World War 1, the trade lines of the European big boys were disrupted, so all of a sudden there was no competition. This disappearance of European suppliers from the American market also meant that the US government was keen to invest in home grown companies like Monsanto.
Monsanto now raced from a low knowledge base to produce the critical chemical building blocks for its existing products that it had previously relied on European companies to supply. And as it simultaneously sought to produce completely new products from coal tar, it was Monsanto’s low-wage Black and immigrant workers doing its grunt work that bore the harsh consequences of all the crude experimental tinkering now going on at the company.
There was neither the time, or the knowledge, to guard against chemical contamination, which Elmore says was rife at Monsanto, as it rushed to redeem the debts it built up in its quest to diversify and expand. And Elmore gives telling examples of workers left dead and injured by the dirty and dangerous work they did at Monsanto.
This feverish growth allowed Monsanto not just to diversify into different products, but to expand beyond St Louis. In 1920, Monsanto even made its first capital investment abroad, when it bought a chemical firm in Wales that sat adjacent to rich coalfields. But it was under John Queeny’s successor that the firm really started to grow.
John Queeny’s son, Edgar Monsanto Queeny, took over the running of the firm in 1928 and he would stay at its helm until 1960. During those 30 plus years he helped to cement the company’s character while turning it into an industrial giant.
Law of the jungle
According to Elmore, Edgar Queeny was a pen pal of the Ayn Rand associate and American Libertarian Party founder, Rose Wilder Lane. As this might suggest, the younger Queeny was a passionate advocate for unfettered “tooth and claw” capitalism. This would eventually find expression in his anti-New Deal manifesto, The Spirit of Enterprise, published in 1943. In what the New York Times called “a defense by a business man of the faith by which he lives”, Queeny described himself as “a cold, granitic believer in the law of the jungle” and condemned any government involvement in business or monetary policy as an “alien, malignant collectivism”.
The irony of this, of course, is that Monsanto profited hugely at key points in its existence from generous government support, contracts and protection. Xenophobia and racism also pepper Queeny’s writings, even though, as Elmore points out, Black men and immigrants literally built the business that he now ran, including doing his company’s dirtiest and most hazardous work.
Interestingly, the rapid expansion that started under Edgar Queeny didn’t come from in-house product innovation but from chemical industry concentration, as Monsanto began the strategic take-over of other firms. Its acquisitions included the Swann chemical company in 1935, which led to its production of one of its biggest money makers, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). Monsanto went on to dominate global PCB production and was the sole producer of PCBs in the whole of North America.
It’s with PCBs that we see perhaps most clearly what Elmore identifies as a recurring theme in Monsanto’s corporate behaviour – the company acting as gatekeeper, carefully controlling what is disclosed about its products, not just to the wider world but even to its own workforce. This information gatekeeping partly explains, Elmore says, why it took him so long to put together the history he presents in Seed Money: “I’ve had to fight hard to get the records that serve as the foundation of this book”.
Profits before people
Elmore has also said how shocked he was by some of the documents he came across. They showed, for instance, that Monsanto knew PCBs were a “snowballing” global contaminant and that it therefore coached its staff in how to disclose as little as possible about the PCB problem, while contemplating options like selling “the hell out of them as long as we can”. “That was one of those jarring moments,” Elmore told an interviewer, “seeing a toxic culture where profits were being put before people and human health”.
Of course, Elmore is far from the first to identify Monsanto’s gatekeeping. In her 2014 book on the environmental injustice that afflicted Anniston, Alabama – Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town – Ellen Griffith Spears writes, “An immense distance, physical and social, separated decision makers who deemed pollution a price worth paying and the people who paid the highest price. But to truly calculate the cost of pollution requires knowledge of its scope and risks… so long as the consequences of pollution remained concealed in corporate archives and behind boardroom doors, no one outside of Monsanto could assess the hazards and benefits of PCB production.”
Hiding dangers of products
But with the wider historic scope of his book, Elmore is able to show Monsanto’s habit of keeping products they knew to be harmful on the market for as long as possible, by hiding their dangers from regulators and the public, recurring over and over again – not least with the agricultural chemicals that Monsanto started producing in the 1940s and ‘50s. These included the insecticide Santoban (its brand of DDT – a big product for Monsanto) and the herbicide 2,4,5-T, both of which were promoted for a long time as wonder products.
Elmore provides a particularly powerful account of the suffering of the workers involved in 2,4,5-T production in Nitro, West Virginia, where problems with 2,4,5-T’s toxicity started showing up as early as the late 1940s. He has a striking example of a worker having his face peeled off layer by layer with a solvent to try and deal with his terrible chloracne, a process that continued until he was told that if they took any more layers off they might start exposing his nerve endings.
As with PCBs, Monsanto became the gatekeeper that regulatory agencies relied on during debates over 2,4,5-T’s safety, with the company selectively providing public officials with information that would assuage their concerns throughout the 1950s. As a result, dioxin-contaminated 2,4,5-T went on being profitably produced by Monsanto until 1969, in the process becoming one of the key ingredients in Agent Orange. This, as Elmore points out, directly led to hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians and US troops unnecessarily being exposed to dioxin’s dangers.
And Elmore shows how even in the longer term, Monsanto has shown a remarkable talent for not being held accountable for its actions. Nowhere is that clearer than with 2,4,5-T, where Elmore details how the Nitro workers, whose health was so clearly damaged by its production, were not able to get justice from the courts due to the effectiveness of Monsanto’s gatekeeping. Even with the more successful Vietnam veterans’ lawsuit against the makers of Agent Orange, Monsanto – the herbicide’s biggest producer by volume – still “escaped major financial liability, securing a generous [to Monsanto] settlement… that allowed it to avoid billions of dollars in health expenses” that were left to the federal government's Department of Veterans Affairs to pick up. That legal settlement, as Elmore notes, ended so well for Monsanto that its attorneys toasted it in champagne in the judge’s chambers. And in Vietnam itself, Monsanto avoided paying a single cent for Agent Orange remediation – with the bill for what work has been done being picked up once again by the US taxpayer, via USAID.
All this despite the fact that Monsanto was the company that had produced not just the most Agent Orange but a dirtier – more contaminated by dioxin – version than that of any of the other producers, including Dow Chemical, who wrote to Monsanto in 1965 warning that dioxin was “the most toxic compound” they had ever experienced. Yet Monsanto went on supplying its dioxin-laden herbicide to the US military for another four years, ensuring massive further contamination in Vietnam, much of which persists to this day.
Phosphate’s billion-dollar baby
By the late 1960s, Monsanto faced a crisis where not just profitable company products like PCBs, 2,4,5-T and Agent Orange were under threat, but its booming phosphate-based detergent business was also facing attack for polluting waterways with algae blooms. But instead of abandoning its expensive investments in phosphate mining and processing, Monsanto sought to redirect the elemental phosphate it was producing in Idaho into entirely new phosphate-based products.
This was the context in which a company chemist hit the jackpot with his replacement for Monsanto’s increasingly beleaguered 2,4,5-T. Glyphosate hit the market in 1974, as the active ingredient in Roundup, which became the world’s first billion-dollar herbicide, helping to transform the fortunes of a company that was increasingly struggling to outpace its toxic past. By the end of the 20th century, Roundup was making half of the company’s revenue, having received a massive boost from the launch of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready seeds in 1996.
Genetic engineering seen as escape from oil dependency
Monsanto got into genetic engineering, Elmore says, while searching for an escape route not just from its toxic legacy, but also from its concerns about its deep dependence on the oil and gas industries. The company’s confidence in its existing scavenger capitalism had been badly dented by the oil crisis of the 1970s. It made Monsanto executives fear they could no longer rely on getting the cheap hydrocarbons the company required for about 80% of its products. The emerging field of biotechnology, as the head of Monsanto’s new biotech programme assured a 1982 Monsanto shareholders meeting, promised new product lines “less dependent on raw material costs” and with a “strong proprietary character”. Manipulating genes, Elmore says, had by now come to be seen as potentially “the big profit generator” for Monsanto in the decades to come.
With Monsanto’s last commercially relevant United States patent on glyphosate due to expire in 2000, the race was on to genetically engineer glyphosate tolerance into farm seeds. This proved a frustratingly elusive task until the company’s chemical engineers suggested that the Louisiana plant where Monsanto turned elemental phosphorus into glyphosate might be the place to look. This was because the environment around the plant was so heavily contaminated that any microorganisms that managed to survive there were likely to have genes conferring glyphosate tolerance.
Monsanto “mining its own pollution”
There is an obvious symbolism here. Monsanto was driven to discover glyphosate – its biggest money-maker – in a hunt to redirect its elemental phosphorus away from a product line seen as highly polluting. And the key to Monsanto’s most profitable genetically engineered product line – Roundup Ready seeds – came, Elmore says, from “mining its own pollution”.
But while in this sense, both Roundup and Roundup Ready seeds were innovations scavenged from its chemical past, Monsanto was now promoting itself as a forward-looking life sciences company, focused mainly on agriculture, that was successfully pivoting away from that past. And according to Elmore, Monsanto found the perfect front man for projecting this supposed transformation in Robert B. Shapiro, who became the company’s President in 1993 and CEO in 1995, just in time to launch the Roundup Ready revolution.
“The Microsofting of Monsanto”
Bob Shapiro, as he liked to be known, had become part of Monsanto in 1985 when Monsanto took over the pharmaceutical firm Searle, where Shapiro had served first as Vice President and General Counsel, under Searle president and CEO Donald Rumsfeld, and then as President of Searle’s NutraSweet Group. Elmore says that although “the man from Searle was initially viewed as an outsider, he embodied the Silicon Valley vibe the firm wanted to project” in the dot-com boom of the 1990s.
Shapiro being a lawyer was also seen as an advantage, given all Monsanto‘s potential liabilities. And in the years to come, Shapiro would prove his legal cunning by hiving off the old core of Monsanto‘s chemicals business into a new company called Solutia, as a way of divesting Monsanto of potentially massive environmental clean-up costs and other liabilities for its past actions – liabilities that within just six years forced Solutia to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Given the financial weight of all the toxic liabilities and debts that Shapiro had saddled it with, some aggrieved shareholders saw Solutia as always doomed to fail.
According to Elmore, when it came to rebranding Monsanto, Shapiro spoke the techie language investors wanted to hear. In his first report to shareholders in 1995, Shapiro “proclaimed that Monsanto was henceforth in the business of selling genetic software. The company was drastically reducing its chemical portfolio and making key investments that would allow the company to become a high-tech information trading firm… Through an aggressive acquisition plan the firm intended to take over seed businesses and biotechnology firms in the years ahead. This was the Microsofting of Monsanto.”
To help achieve this corporate metamorphosis, Shapiro worked in tandem with “fiery” Rob Fraley, a “merciless” negotiator whom a close colleague described as “the most driven man I’ve ever known”. Together, this determined duo helped turn Monsanto into the world’s largest seed company, while also tying farmers into technology use agreements that strictly prohibited them from reusing the company’s genetically engineered seeds.
The rest is history. And a quarter of a century after the launch of the Roundup Ready revolution, Elmore says that as a historian, he is in a position to assess what history tells us about Shapiro’s visionary messaging.
Fast forward into the chemical past
According to Shapiro, Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops were going to deliver both abundance and sustainability. It seemed too good to be true, says Elmore, and so it proved. Monsanto predicted that using Roundup Ready soybeans would cut herbicide use by one third, but over the 25 years that they have now been cultivated herbicide use on Roundup Ready crops has instead exploded. Driving much of this has been the weed resistance that emerged in the 2000s. Farmers had little idea of what was coming, Elmore says, because Monsanto denied weed resistance was possible with Roundup and for years ruthlessly went after weed scientists when they said they had evidence of it.
As farmers struggled to suppress weeds, they not only used more and more Roundup, but there was also a major resurgence in the use of older, and more obviously toxic, chemicals. And these chemicals soon became part of Monsanto’s strategy. In fact, far from delivering the bright future uncoupled from Monsanto’s toxic legacy that Shapiro had promised, the company deliberately drove agriculture further into the chemical past by engineering seeds resistant to old school herbicides like dicamba and 2,4-D, in response to the explosion in weed resistance. This, of course, further increased the use of herbicides Roundup had been intended to replace.
And there was something else. One of these older herbicides, dicamba, was particularly prone to vaporize in warm weather. Monsanto claimed to have a new formula that fixed the problem, but after it hit the market it also turned out to be problem-prone. This meant that Monsanto’s new dicamba-tolerant seeds, which could be treated with dicamba right through the growing season, brought with them a welter of new problems as the herbicide drifted onto non dicamba-tolerant crops, not to mention trees and other vegetation, causing extensive damage – agricultural, social and ecological, which Monsanto did its best to deny, or even to profit from, as Elmore shows.
Visionaries and criminals
Monsanto had been taken over by Bayer by the time lawsuits for dicamba damage, like the verdicts against Monsanto in the Roundup cancer cases, came to a head. And, in fact, the price of the failure to deliver on its promises wasn’t ever really paid at any stage by Monsanto itself, which earned enormous sums out of its genetically engineered seeds, the accompanying chemicals, and the problems they created. Elmore, though, presents Shapiro – someone he interviewed for the book – as a completely sincere visionary who genuinely believed he and Monsanto were leading us all into an eco-friendly future thanks to the panacea of GM crops.
Elmore emphasises, over against Shapiro’s Big Pharma background as a Rumsfeld lieutenant, an idealism that he says can be seen in a young Bob Shapiro strumming his guitar in the ‘60s alongside Joan Baez in support of civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. However, it’s hard to marry this idealistic image with Shapiro’s complete failure, when he had the chance, to take a single step to ameliorate the terrible harm the company he headed had inflicted on Vietnam – an impact Elmore explored in detail while researching the book, including travelling to downtown Ho Chi Minh City to visit a “house of horrors” – a museum showing the devastating human impacts allegedly caused by Agent Orange.
If one is left wondering whether it wasn’t just Shapiro’s vision of Monsanto’s biotech revolution that was too good to be true but the image Shapiro projects of himself as a visionary business leader, then something not mentioned in Seed Money are the years Shapiro subsequently served on the board of Theranos. That’s the company created by Elizabeth Holmes – another “visionary” with the Silicon Valley vibe who pitched a revolutionary biotech product. Holmes, of course, ended up being convicted of criminally defrauding her company’s investors and potentially faces up to 80 years in jail and a million dollar fine.
Monetizing the problem it created
For Monsanto’s investors, the failure of their biotech revolution was no problem because Monsanto made money out of the difficulty Roundup Ready technology increasingly had suppressing weeds, by rolling out even more expensive seeds stacked with resistance to more herbicides that they also profited from. In other words, Monsanto managed to monetize the problem it was creating by selling ever more expensive new variants of the same failed solution.
And Shapiro personally ended up rich, as Elmore notes. In fact, he did so well out of launching the Roundup Revolution that after he left the company in 2001 – it having been taken over by Pharmacia by that point, the St Louis Business Journal ran an article headlined: Shapiro leads execs in perks of retirement. Those perks included a million dollar a year pension, Elmore tells us, and severance pay worth $14 million. Elmore contrasts this with the pitifully small payouts received by many of the mostly poor and Black victims of the company’s PCBs in Anniston, Alabama.
Hugh Grant – Roundup salesman
If Elmore’s portrait of Shapiro leaves questions hanging, his portrait of Monsanto’s final President and CEO (2003-2018), Hugh Grant, is entirely convincing. Elmore shows how Grant’s steep career trajectory within the company was fuelled by Roundup from the very start.
Grant’s first job with the company in 1981, aged just 23, was selling Roundup to barley farmers in his native Scotland. Elmore says Grant proved such a talented Roundup salesman that a series of rapid promotions brought him still in his thirties to Monsanto’s St Louis headquarters as the company’s lead strategist for the Roundup brand, where he successfully ensured that Roundup continued to be a massive earner for Monsanto, despite glyphosate going off-patent in 2000.
In other words, says Elmore, “Grant was a Roundup man, someone who owed his entire career and professional success to one powerful chemical, even though in his public pronouncements he tried to distance himself from this chemical legacy.” And whatever anyone, including Grant himself, said about Monsanto no longer being a chemical company, “the appointment of the firm’s lead Roundup salesman to the highest office of the ‘new’ Monsanto should have made clear that the firm’s chemical past was very much tethered to its biotech future”.
Non-GMO breeding, not GM, drives yield gains
The various problems the Roundup Revolution caused, Elmore argues, might have been worth it if, in exchange for all the “bullying, corporate control, resistant weeds, return to old herbicides, and the dicamba-drift problem”, genetically engineered crops “had radically enhanced food production. This, after all, was Monsanto’s declared mission. ‘Worrying about starving future generations won’t feed them,’ a company advertisement exclaimed in 1998: ‘Food biotechnology will.’” But Elmore says, “The reality was these seeds never produced the bounty Monsanto or Shapiro had promised.”
Elmore backs up that conclusion with the findings of a series of key studies and reports showing that the yields of “food biotechnology” have been no better than for non-GMO crops, and that in fact it is non-GMO breeding that has been driving agriculture’s steady yield gains. He similarly notes that when it comes to the enticing sounding prospect of drought-resistant crops, the biggest advances have again come from traditional plant breeding not genetic engineering.
In other words, all the problems have been for nothing, which brings us to what Elmore told Joe Rogan was “the driving question of the book: … how did a company that had the most toxic products the world has ever seen come to help design our food system? ...To that question, I think the answer is pretty clear. They were never really held accountable, you know. Not by the EPA, not by the USDA, not by…”
At that point Joe Rogan interrupts him with another question, but if he hadn’t, Elmore would clearly have kept adding to the list of federal agencies that have failed to protect farmers, the public and the environment from this toxic titan – the FDA and the Department of Justice being among those that immediately spring to mind. And, of course, it’s not just in Monsanto’s homeland that this failure has taken place.
Need for speed
The last part of Seed Money takes a look at Monsanto’s promotion of the Roundup Ready revolution outside the US. In expanding abroad, Elmore says, “the firm had to act fast. After all, the technologies it was selling in overseas markets were the same ones under fire back home.” So the question was: could the company get growers to buy into its seeds before the intrinsic problems became apparent? In this context, Elmore focuses in particular on two countries that might not have seemed ideal targets for Monsanto’s marketing, Vietnam – still suffering the ravages of Agent Orange – and Brazil, where the Lula government didn’t seem remotely minded to rush into GM crop cultivation. Elmore’s account of what happened next provides one of the best chapters in the book and includes lots of incisive detail, much of it gleaned from his visits to the two countries, including some highly revealing comments from interviews.
Seed Money’s conclusion focuses on the consequences for Bayer of its takeover of Monsanto. Elmore centres this final chapter around the Bayer shareholders’ meeting in 2020 at which the company’s CEO and five other leading figures sought to explain to investors why they should regard Bayer’s future as bright despite so many of Monsanto’s toxic liabilities spectacularly coming home to roost post-acquisition, and the consequent devastation of Bayer’s share price, not to mention damage to its brand.
In one way, suggests Elmore, the acquisition could be seen as the ultimate failure for Monsanto’s founder, John Queeny, and his desperate quest to free his firm from the “death grip” of German goliaths like Bayer. But, on the other hand, the German aspirin maker may have swallowed a poison pill.
Bayer, Elmore suggests, given its anxiety to reassure shell-shocked investors that there are still big profits to be made from the system Monsanto created, will continue to push farmers to “see old chemicals as the future of agriculture.” The only question, he says, is “whether farmers will continue to buy what Bayer is selling” or whether they “can escape rising costs associated with GE technology. The door for an alternative food future has not closed.”
This summary of what Elmore's book has to offer cannot remotely do justice to the wealth of nuance and well-evidenced detail to be found in Seed Money, but we hope it may at least whet the appetite of anyone who hasn’t yet read it. And if that includes any plaintiffs’ attorneys, they will quickly discover why the business historian who spent a decade forensically researching it would make the ideal expert witness as to Monsanto’s “good character”.