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While Monsanto and ArborGen like to insist they have no formal connection to each other, the entity that would become ArborGen was announced on April 6, 1999 with a press release titled “Fletcher Challenge Forests, International Paper, Monsanto Company and Westvaco Corporation Announce Forestry Biotechnology Joint Venture” “The four companies will contribute $60 million (US) in total over five years to the joint venture.”

GE tree scientist and proponent Steve Strauss, in his book “The Bioengineered Forest: Challenges for Science and Society,” states the following:

“The creation of ArborGen in 1999, initially a $60 million joint venture by Monsanto, Westvaco, International Paper, and Fletcher Challenge, reflects the corporate instinct to minimize the risk of this new field through collaboration and very modest investment. Monsanto’s later withdrawal was consistent with its withdrawal from anything not associated with its core agricultural business.”

You can find the 1999 press release here:

Arborgen original PR 1999