Mapping Monsanto Research

Monsanto Research | Organizations Anti-Monsanto | Geo-map of Anti-Monsanto Organizations

Monsanto Research Over the Years

The map below is a graph of the number of Monsanto Publications by year and field. A Web of Science search for articles with the organization Monsanto listed was conducted. Over 7000 articles were found. The mapping software Reseau-Lu was used to analyze this data and generate the map.

Interpretation of the Map

1972 - 1985

Before 1985, research conducted by the Monsanto company was mainly in the area of Multidisciplinary Chemistry (the burgandy bar on the bottom). There was also a steady amount of Chemical Engineering research from 1973 to 1985, with a slight dip in 1977. Polymer science research started in 1973 and peaks in 1984. This time period seems to be distinctly pre-Roundup Ready, and it is likely that Monsanto was focused on other research interests before the biotechnology/genetic engineering boom that would occur in the late 1980s.

1986 - 2000

The most research conducted by Monsanto occurs between the years of 1986 - 2000. 1986 is the first year in a series of extensive biochemistry and molecular biology research. Multidisciplinary chemistry remained primarily consistent with levels from the previous time period. Also on the rise was research into cell biology and the plant sciences. A substantial increase in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and plant science research suggests that Monsanto was heavily researching new genetically engineered plants during this time period. The first Roundup Ready crops were developed in 1996, so it is reasonable to hypothesize that much of the research during the ten years prior went into the development of this biotechnology.

2001 - 2009

After 2000, attention shifts toward plant sciences, agriculture and agronomy. In 2004 in particular there is a huge spike in agriculture, dairy and animal science. More research was conducted in 2004 in this area than in the subsequent years combined. A slightly less noticable increase also occured in the area of food science and technology. There is little focus on chemistry and biochemistry during this time period, an interesting contrast to the previous two periods, which were heavily dominated by the two. It appears that Monsanto has shifted their research focus from the development of Roundup Ready products to the analysis of their effectiveness, and what changes are needed to better improve their genetically engineered crops. This shift also seems inline with Monsanto's new PR campaign. You can read more about this here (link to monsanto players page).

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Anti-Monsanto Websites

Cluster Map

This cluster map was generated using Issue Crawler. This software takes a small group of seeds (no more than 5 or so) and "crawls" through each site to find hyperlinks to other websites. This generates a clustering of websites when a particular site is referenced by more than one seed. The map below started with the seeds,,,, You can click the name of the website to be taken there, or you can click the bubble itself to see some statistics about the node.

Interpretation of Cluster Map

This cluster map is dominated by websites with the domain .org. At the center of the map we have This is the website of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA). You can read much more about the OCA on the players page. Greenpeace and the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) are also listed on the map, and can be read about on the players page. There are a few different .gov websites. Of those discussed on the players page, only the EPA (link) and FDA (link) are present. I find it interesting that there is no link to APHIS (link) because APHIS is primarily responsible for safety approval of Roundup Ready crops. Not many of the .org websites refer to the .gov sites at all, actually. The UCS site refers to both the FDA and EPA website, but only one other website refers to the EPA. Four websites point to the FDA. Most of the .org websites point to eachother or A cluster of .com addresses, involving responsible technology and farmers growing non-genetically modified farmers also exists over to the right. A few websites point to the library of congress and the Senate, potentially on issues of legislation relating to genetically modified foods. Overall, third party, non-government organizations dominate the map.

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Geo Map

This geo map was also generated using Issue Crawler. In this case the host location of the server is overlayed on a map of the Earth.

Interpretation of the Map

Almost all of the servers are located in the United States, with a few in Europe. Does the rest of the world not have an issue with Monsanto? Or are they just not equipped to protest? Within the United States, there is a cluster in the Northeast, and also on the West Coast. There are a few servers sprinkled throughout the rest of the United States as well. UCS, for example, has its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Given that the North East and West Coast tend to be home to activists in many areas, it comes as no surprise that there is a high concentration of anti-Monsanto activity here.

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