In early 2011, someone published a Monsanto Food Company List to boycott and it continued to circulate right up into last year. The most recent two publishers took the time to type it out… all 68 names in alphabetical order.

The thing is – that list is outdated and contains errors. It’s mostly a list of brands with some companies mixed in. Firstly, brands change hands in the food industry. Secondly, Monsanto doesn’t produce any food or beverages.  But ConAgra does, and this major food producer is a Monsanto subsidiary (according to Corporate Watch in 2005). Finding no news of a merger or sell off makes it pretty safe to assume the connection remains unchanged. Companies with shareholders don’t make major moves without investor chatter.

Some of those supposed “Monsanto food company” brands on that list are owned by ConAgra, but many are missing.

Here’s the full list of their retail brands:
  • Act II
  • Alexia
  • Andy Capp
  • Banquet
  • Bertolli
  • Bigs
  • Blake’s
  • Blue Bonnet
  • Chef Boyardee
  • Crunch ‘n Munch
  • David Seeds
  • Dennison’s
  • Duke’s
  • Egg Beaters (retail)
  • Fiddle Faddle
  • Fleischmann’s
  • Frontera
  • Gulden’s
  • H.K. Anderson
  • Healthy Choice
  • Hebrew National
  • Hunt’s
  • Jiffy Pop
  • Kangaroo
  • Kid Cuisine
  • La Choy
  • Libby’s
  • Manwich
  • Marie Callender’s
  • Odom’s Tennessee Pride
  • Orville Redenbacher
  • P.F. Chang’s Home Menu
  • PAM
  • Parkay
  • Penrose
  • Peter Pan
  • Poppycock
  • Ranch Style Beans
  • Reddi-Wip
  • RO*TEL
  • Rosarita
  • Slim Jim
  • Snack Pack
  • Swiss Miss
  • Van Camp’s
  • Wesson
  • Wolf Brand Chili

However, just not buying anything made by ConAgra is not a total solution, nor is trying to avoid eating anything from a Monsanto food company. There’s a lot more genetically modified seed and farm chemicals used to produce raw food ingredients than those from Monsanto.

If it contains grain, grain extracts or corn syrup, or consumed grains to become food, and is not certified organic, purchasing any brand is supporting a Monsanto food company, a Dow DuPont food company, a Syngenta Chem China food company… and so on. These Big Ag giant’s influence stretches from farmers to grower marketing groups to food manufacturers to consumers.

What you are seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies, it’s really a consolidation of the entire food chain.” — Robert Farley, Monsanto CTO and Executive VP, quoted in Farm Journal, October 1996.

Worse still, the complicit major multinational and national food companies have been snatching up organic brands that people have come to trust. The bigger an organic brand grows, the more likely it is going to be swallowed by a mega corp whose sales growth is stagnating due to a major shift in consumer demands. So, by purchasing safe food brands acquired to protect shrinking corporate revenue growth, you’re still inadvertently supporting companies that defend, promote, or sell GMO foods. And then there’s handing the pro-GMO crowd profit in unseen ways, like buying any brand owned by Hains Celestial – because this food conglomerate is owned by Pepsico and rumor has it that Monsanto profits from the popularity of these organic brands as a stockholder.

The only way to truly avoid supporting this scenario is to grow your own food, and buy only from small, local producers.  If it’s a publicly-held food company, you don’t want to buy it.

More Info and Sources:

Image courtesy of lyzadanger CC BY-SA 2.0.

Agent Green

Contributing Writer at Garden Culture Magazine
On a mission to get to the bottom of things, Agent Green digs far and wide in the pursuit of truth.