08 September 1999
Monsanto sells off algins unit

MONSANTO, the US life sciences company giant, has sold its algins business to New Jersey-based International Speciality Products for an undisclosed sum.

Alginates are extracted from brown seaweeds and are useful for their stabilizing, suspending and gelling properties in food, pharmaceutical and industrial applications.

The disposal for an undisclosed price is one of a number of attempts by Monsanto to reduce its debts, according to the Financial Times.

Meanwhile, the company continues to court poor publicity over its handling of genetically modified (GM) crops.

The Guardian reports that Monsanto responded lamely to damaging US research showing that monarch butterflies died if fed on pollen from GM cotton.

Monsanto maintains in its response that the butterflies could choose to avoid feeding on the pollen and eat other parts of the cotton plant instead.

Two of the companys recent acquisition targets, seed producers and distributors Delta and Pine, also attract the scorn of the same newspaper.

Paraguay has warned the two companies about 30,000 sacks of expired cotton seeds which have been treated with pesticides and organophosphates.

  • Financial Times 08/09/99 page 27 (News Digest)
  • The Guardian 08/09/99 page 5 (Society)