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How Mitt Romney and Bain Helped Grow Monsanto Into a Biotech Giant

If Romney is elected, this bête noire of environmentalists will have a very old friend in a very high place.

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Combined with Graham’s analysis, this would make Bain, and consequently Romney, the doctors whose surgery eons ago is responsible for the Monsanto we know today, a financial giant whose biotechnology products are enormously controversial all over the world.

When The Nation questioned Monsanto spokeswoman Kelli Powers about the role played by Bain and Romney at the company, she said that “Monsanto is a different company than the one” of the Bain period. That’s partially because of the Solutia spinoff and partially because the “Old Monsanto” briefly went through two acquisitions around 2000, only to recreate itself in 2002. But the “New Monsanto” has many of the same product lines, facilities and executives as the old one, and much of the same problems. Geneva-based Covalence  ranked the company dead last of 581 multinationals in its 2010 reputation and ethics index, which is distributed by Reuters and Bloomberg. Powers said a search of its archives found “no reference to Bain anywhere.”

Research assistance was provided by Danielle Bernstein, Loretta Chin, Alina Mogilyanskaya, Joseph O'Sullivan, Nadia Prupis, Stephanie Rogan and Elizabeth Terry.

Wayne Barrett is a Nation Institute Fellow who has been covering the presidential election for the Daily Beast and Mother Jones. He was a senor editor and investigative reporter at the Village Voice for nearly four decades, and has written several books, including Rudy! An Investigative Biography of Rudy Giuliani.

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