In late July 2019, a group of migrant farmworkers from south Texas was working in a cornfield in DeWitt County, Ill., when suddenly a crop duster flew overhead, spraying them with pesticides. Panicked, the crew, which included teenagers and a pregnant woman, ran off the field with clothes doused in pesticides. Their eyes and throats burned and some had trouble breathing.
ByLaird Townsend/For The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
A two-year investigation by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found repeated allegations of labor violations over the past decade against Monsanto, its counterpart in GMO corn production, DuPont Pioneer, other seed companies, and the companies’ contractors.
A review of federal documents, lawsuits and Monsanto records – and interviews with advocates and experts – shows repeated allegations of broken recruiting promises, minimum-wage violations, improperly withheld pay and substandard living conditions in seed-corn production of Monsanto and Pioneer.
ByJohnathan Hettinger/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
Since the 2012 drought, the number of irrigation pivots in Champaign County has more than doubled. Brad Uken, the manager of the Champaign County Farm Bureau, said that one of the driving factors behind the recent growth in irrigation has been seed corn companies moving toward growers that have installed pivots to help reduce the risk of losing their crops in a drought.
ByEliván Martínez Mercado | Center for Investigative Journalism |
Millionaire enterprises including Monsanto, Pioneer Hi Bred and nine other multinational producers of transgenic and hybrid seeds benefited from over $519.7 million in Puerto Rican public funds throughout the last 10 fiscal years