Research Paper Sample on Ethical Considerations with Respect to Monsanto’s Business Practices

Ethical Considerations with Respect to Monsanto’s Business Practices

In the video on Monsanto’s proliferation on transgenic products, a number of ethical considerations come into play. First and foremost, egoism comes into play. Monsanto Corporation is one of the largest transnational companies in the world hence it is motivated by maximizing profits and minimizing the costs of doing business. Monsanto is motivated by globalization, that is, it wants to expand the reach of its transgenic seeds to all countries of the world and control the global food supply chain. Egoism can be defined as “the doctrine according to which the correct moral action is the one that meets the self-interest of individuals” (Campos, 2014). Monsanto is one of the most profitable organizations in the world and has attractive stock prices that attract a lot of investors due to a handsome return on shareholder’s wealth.

            Monsanto’s business practises moreover, operate within the realms of utilitarianism. According to Crane &Matten (2010), utilitarianism states that “an action is morally right if it results in the greatest amount of good or happiness for the greatest amount of people affected by the action”. According to Monsanto, more land should be put under cultivation of soybeans to cater for the world markets rather a few villagers. Monsanto is out to provide animal feed which is in high demand particularly in Europe. Furthermore, Soy beans are in high demand for the production of ethanol. From this, Monsanto overlooks the communities which are being displaced heavy spraying of dangerous pesticides which affects the environment, human beings and animals leading to fatal conditions and sometimes death.

            Virtue ethics come into play, the character of Monsanto is in question. The basic principle in virtue ethics is that “actions reflective or productive of good or bad character, embodied in developed and lasting traits or habits” (Sadler, 2010). Monsanto appears to be playing dirty tricks to air commercials that put transgenic products in light of being less harmful to the environment. On the contrary, the transgenic products are far more harmful to the environment and their surroundings (human beings, animals, water and so on). Monsanto reputation also comes into play as it is accused of smuggling contraband transgenic seeds into Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay that has eventually led to authorization and legalization of those products.


Campos, A. C. (2014). Retrieved from 15th May 2015,

Crane, A., &Matten, D. (2010). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and

sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Mulgan, T. (2014). Understanding utilitarianism. Routledge.

Sadler, G. B. (2011). Five Ethical Theories: Bare Bones for Business Educators. Retrieved

from 15th May 2015,