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Monsanto buys big data weather company to boost yields and profit

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Other companies aside from Monsanto are also joining the ranks of growers with hi-tech toys. Rival DuPont Pioneer, for example, also has an online hub giving famers instant access to soil, weather and other information -- called Field 360. It launched this summer.

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And the marriage to big data could be a timely one for Monsanto, as the company has just passed its historically weakest quarter, and done so with a larger loss than forecast. In the three quarters preceding August, the company lost $249 million -- exactly 20 million more than the same time last year.

While being an industry leader, Monsanto has been the subject of a great number of lawsuits from farmers and social discontent revolving around its development of genetically-modified seeds, as well as policies that take away from farmers' pockets.

Jeffrey M. Smith, a GMO researcher from the Institute for Responsible Technology in an interview with RT accused the company of trying to take full control of the world's seed supply to bolster profits, while hiding the effects of GMO on the ecosystem and human health.

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"The world's experts at feeding the world and eradicating poverty actually have the report, called "I-Stat" sponsored by the UN and the World Health Organization -- and it concludes that GMOs in their current form have nothing to offer in feeding the world or eradicating poverty. There has been a promise to get people to try and promote the technology, accept the technology, but it doesn't in fact even increase average yield, it reduces yield on average, according to independent science," Smith explained.

In March of this year, the US House of Representatives quietly passed a last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 - including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks.

However, food safety advocates rejoiced a week ago after the controversial provision was removed from the Senate version of the bill.


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