Monsanto has dominated the bioengineered-seed business for more than a decade. In recent years the company has focused on growing business in emerging markets like Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American countries. The company's corn, soybean, cotton and other seeds have genetically engineered traits that repel bugs, increase yield and make them resistant to weed-killer. The company says these benefit farmers enough that they come out ahead, even though the seeds cost more than conventional seeds. Monsanto's critics argue that the company has tried to use patent law to control the supply of seeds for soybeans, corn, cotton, canola and other agricultural staples. Monsanto has a policy that prohibits farmers from saving or reusing the seeds once a crop is grown.
For Investors, new options have recently become available for the Aug. 9 expiration. "Aerial spraying will be prohibited in areas defined by the municipalities, or in the two-kilometer (1.2 mile) boundaries between urban and rural areas," Gustavo Arrieta, minister of agricultural affairs in Buenos Aires province, told Reuters. The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization has urged developing countries to withdraw "highly hazardous" pesticides, saying they pose a serious risk to human health and the environment and are often not properly stored and distributed.
Monsanto Company has a market cap of $54.1 billion and is part of the basic materials sector. Shares are up 6.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Monsanto Company a buy, one analyst rates it a sell, and four rate it a hold.