The World According to Monsanto

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The World According to Monsanto
French: Le monde selon Monsanto
Directed by Marie-Monique Robin
Produced by Marie-Monique Robin
Written by Marie-Monique Robin
Music by Olivier Auriol
  • Étienne Carton de Grammont
  • Bernard Cazedepats
  • Arnaud Mansir
  • Guillaume Martin
  • Frédéric Vassort
Edited by Françoise Boulègue
Distributed by
Release dates
Running time
108 minutes
  • France
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • English
  • Spanish
  • French

The World According to Monsanto is a 2008 film directed by Marie-Monique Robin. Originally released in French as Le monde selon Monsanto, the film is based on Robin's three-year-long investigation into the corporate practices around the world of the United States multinational corporation, Monsanto. The World According to Monsanto is also the title of a book written by Robin.[1]


The film reports many controversies surrounding the use and promotion of genetically modified seeds, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), Agent Orange, and bovine growth hormone. Cases in the United States (including Anniston, Alabama), Canada, India, Mexico, Paraguay, the United Kingdom (Scotland) and France, are explored, claiming that the Monsanto corporation's collusion with governments, pressure tactics, suppression and manipulation of scientific data, and extra-legal practices aided the company's attempts at dominating global agriculture. Scientists, representatives of the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, civil society representatives, victims of the company’s activities, lawyers, and politicians are interviewed.[2]

In March 2008, French journalist Marie-Monique Robin released the results of her three years of worldwide research into Monsanto. A book was published by La Découverte, a French editor, and a video documentary, Le Monde selon Monsanto (The World According to Monsanto), was released on DVD and shown on Arte, the Franco-German culture TV channel.[3][4]

Robin travels to India, Mexico, Argentina, and Paraguay to see how Monsanto's genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have affected local farmers using it for their crops. The film claims that GMO use has increased suicide rates of farmers in India.


Film participants include David Baker, Ken Cook, Prof. David Carpenter, Dan Glickman, James Maryanski, Jeffrey Smith, Michael Hansen, Jeremy Rifkin, Michael Taylor, Dr. Samuel Epstein, Shiv Chopra, Prof. Arpad Pusztai, Peter Melchett, Vandana Shiva, Prof. Ignacio Chapela, Prof. Stanley Ewen, Segundino, Elena Alvares Buyll, Aldo González Morales, Jonathan Matthews, Roberto Franco, Prof. Robert Bellé, Richard Burroughs, Pete Hardin, Ray Mowling, Lisa Watson, Margaret Haydon, Steven Druker, William Sanjour, Gerson Smoger, Prof. Ian Pryme, Troy Roush, David Runyon, Kiran Sakhari, Abdul Gayum, Kishor Tiwari, Tarak Kate, and Jorge Galeano.


The book has been reviewed by Les Inrockuptibles, L'Express, AFP, Bakchich, L'Humanité, Télérama, Le Point, Politis, La Marseillaise among others.[5] A review compares the book's impact to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in raising awareness of the issues of Monsanto.[6] La Recherche criticised the lack of a thorough examination of biotechnology in the book, but praised it as captivating and saying that it had a thriller style.[7]

The Toronto Star described the film as taking a "scattershot approach", criticised its use of boring footage showing the creator Googling for information, and notes that even though the documentary is available in English and available to the American public, Monsanto will probably not be constrained by them.[8] The Globe and Mail described the film as "a well researched but stylistically flawed film", and criticised the use of footage showing Robin Googling.[9] Le Monde described the film as an edifying documentary, and praised the diversity in testimonies presented in the film.[10] A later review feels that the film was one-sided until the phone conversation where Monsanto declined to appear was shown.[11] The film was projected in the National Assembly before a debate on GMOs by the initiative of the Greens party and was described by Le Figaro as "a long and meticulous indictment against GMOs" ("s'agit d'un long et minutieux réquisitoire contre les OGM").[12] Rue89 described the film as "paced like a thriller on public health", and compared it to the film Erin Brockovich but without the satisfying conclusion of that film.[13] La Presse describes the film as being not in the vein of Michael Moore's documentaries, but instead relying on the facts to make its point.[14] In its showing on March 11, 2008, it had 1 569 000 viewers.[15]

Marcel Kuntz, director of research at CNRS, denounced the film in an article published on the website of the French Association for Scientific Information (AFIS) describing it as "replete with pseudoscientific claims" ("truffé d'allégations pseudo-scientifiques").[16] A review in Libération states that the film almagamates the issues of GMO and Monsanto, and, citing the review by Marcel Kuntz, states that the film lacks scientific rigor.[17]

The author of the book and film, Marie-Monique Robin, won the Rachel Carson Prize for her work on this project.[18]


  1. ^ "The World According to Monsanto". Spinifex Press. Retrieved July 15, 2011. 
  2. ^ The World According to Monsanto National Film Board of Canada
  3. ^ Le monde selon Monsanto from Arte TV
  4. ^ The World according to Monsanto from Google Video Archived October 11, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Le monde selon Monsanto - Marie-Monique ROBIN - Éditions La Découverte" (in French). Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  6. ^ Eric Duchemin, « Marie-Monique Robin, Le monde selon Monsanto », VertigO - la revue électronique en sciences de l'environnement [En ligne], Lectures, mis en ligne le 07 juillet 2008, consulté le 16 août 2015. URL :
  7. ^ "Le Monde selon Monsanto | La Recherche" (in French). Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  8. ^ "The World According to Monsanto: A toxic tour | Toronto Star". 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Le Monde selon Monsanto - Documentaire de Marie-Dominique Robin" (in French). Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  11. ^ "Le Monde Selon Monsanto" (in French). Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  12. ^ "OGM : le débat au Parlement s'annonce houleux" (in French). 1 April 2008. Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  13. ^ "OGM : quand Monsanto sème la terreur - Rue89 - L'Obs" (in French). 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  14. ^ "Le Monde selon Monsanto" (in French). Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Le monde selon Monsanto - Un film de Marie-Monique Robin (2007) - Afis - Association française pour l'information scientifique" (in French). Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  17. ^ ""Le Monde selon Monsanto" : oui, mais. - Libération" (in French). 2008-03-21. Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  18. ^ "Rachel Carson prisen". Retrieved 2015-08-16. 

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