Founded in 1901, Monsanto Company is an American multinational agrochemical corporation. It manufactures and sells a variety of agricultural products. Agricultural chemicals, seeds, and herbicides are its primary products.
Monsanto Company was originally founded as Monsanto Chemical Works in St. Louis, Missouri. Its products included saccharin, vanillin, and caffeine. The company was later renamed Monsanto Company. The company expanded into agriculture during World War I. The company continued to grow and produce $1 million in sales in 1915.
The company’s headquarters moved to suburban Creve Coeur, Missouri, in 1957. It was there that Monsanto expanded into seeds and biotechnology products. In the early 1970s, the company’s sales more than doubled. The company’s net income rose by more than $500 million from 1972 to 1983. The company also acquired a variety of seed companies.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Monsanto faced growing opposition to the company’s use of genetically altered crops. The company also faced government concerns over hazardous wastes and fuel costs. During this time, Monsanto also faced challenges in its public relations office.
In 1971, the company underwent a major reorganization. The new management refocused the company on biotechnology products. The company acquired the research and development laboratory of the Dayton, Ohio firm of Thomas and Hochwalt. The lab provided a foundation for Monsanto’s chemical technology.
Monsanto became the leader in the production of genetically modified crop seeds. It also introduced bovine somatotropin, a chemical that increased milk production in cows. The company sold the hormone to Mexico and Brazil.