Did Monsanto buy Blackwater?

Each week, we will answer a question from our readers regarding our operations and community outreach in the State of Hawaii. Submit your question by visiting the contact page. Thanks for reading. Mahalo!

Q: Did Monsanto buy Blackwater?

Monsanto has never owned Blackwater nor any part of Blackwater. Nor do we hire them or their affiliates, nor do we own or hire them under any other name (like Xe or Academi).

We believe this rumor was started on September 16, 2010, when an article titled “Blackwater’s Black Ops” by Jeremy Scahill was posted by The Nation, a weekly journal covering political and social topics. The article included commentary and quotes relating to a firm called Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), their connection to the private security firm Blackwater, and services that TIS provided to Monsanto.

Like a lot of companies, Monsanto tries to stay aware of threats to our employees or our business by keeping an eye on publicly available information such as websites and news reports. The safety of our people is our utmost priority and we value the communities in which we operate. On occasion, we’ve hired outside companies to help us with this. Between 2008 and 2010, we hired TIS to help us monitor publicly available information.

All information provided by TIS was developed by monitoring local media reports and other publicly available information. The subject matter ranged from information regarding terrorist incidents in Asia or kidnappings in Central America to scanning internet blogs and websites. Prior to retaining TIS, Monsanto specifically enquired about and was informed that TIS was a completely separate entity from Blackwater.

The Nation article seems to be where the idea got started, however, the article doesn’t say or imply that Monsanto ever owned Blackwater or any part of Blackwater. It’s still available online and you can also check out this recent (2013) tweet from Jeremy Scahill, who was the author of the original story in The Nation.