The best place to get facts? Talk to canola farmers in Saskatchewan who have tried to go organic. They can't. That is the reality of Monsanto.
Monsanto's history is a little vague. I've never really into it, but they are generally described as secretive. They give a lot of money to politicians (www.opensecrets.org (external - login to view)
), they sue a lot of farmers (Western Producer), they lobby governments quite heavily (WP again, various news sources).
Canada just decided not to let their wheat into the country this spring/summer because of their practices and the impact GM crops have on our trade. The Farmer's Union, the CWB, the organic farmers and Greenpeace all got together and said, "No!"
A lot of the behind the scenes pressure for the attacks on our Wheat Board is rumoured to be sponsored by Monsanto and Dupont. Both those companies (involved in genetically modified cotton) are big sponsors of anti-drug programs that keep industrial hemp out of the US too.
Google "Genetically modified crops". There's a ton of information on this stuff out there. Monsanto isn't the only company like this, but they are the most pervasive in Canada.
Does Bob work for Monsanto? No, and I never said he did. I said they pay his expenses when he travels to give speeches to ag students. He admitted that freely when a fellow named ARK (he's an organic farmer in Northern Ontario) and I kept pushing.
Monsanto is involved in research projects at the University of Bob too. I couldn't find any direct funding ties, but Monsanto people kept popping up in advisory postions and on boards. That kind of involvement usually comes with funding of one sort or another. I'm not sure what's happened with that since the wheat deal went away, but if you look up Bob's department, I'm sure you'll find the same documents I did.
I haven't had a close look at any of this lately. I wrote a thing on GM crops close to a year ago when I did some pretty deep digging, and the GM crop thing kept popping up when I was looking into aid for developing nations a few months ago. The stuff i know about Bob and the University of Bob is from when I sent the query in for the column.
Other than that I've been following the Schmeiser story (and donating money to his defense) since I first heard about it, and follow ag issues kind of casually since I know so many farmers.