ST. LOUIS -- In 1970, John Franz discovered that a chemical, later named glyphosate, had the amazing ability to block the growth of vegetation. Because of his discovery, glyphosate soon became the active ingredient in Roundup herbicides.

This discovery will be formally recognized on May 5, when Franz is inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame(R) in Akron, Ohio. He joins other leaders of the agricultural industry, including Eli Whitney, John Deere, and George Washington Carver, who were previously inducted to the Hall of Fame, which honors the women and men responsible for the great technological advances that make human, social and economic progress possible.

"We at Monsanto thank Dr. Franz for his discovery, and congratulate him on this historic occasion," said Robert T. Fraley, chief technology officer and executive vice president for Monsanto. "Dr. Franz started Monsanto down a path that led us to be the agricultural company we are today.

"His discovery of glyphosate was pivotal in the history of agriculture, enabling the development of conservation tillage systems which lower grower production costs and reduce soil erosion," Fraley said. "Subsequent advances in biotechnology and development of Roundup Ready(R) crops have extended glyphosate's use for controlling weeds in crops across the globe."

Monsanto's glyphosate products are registered in more than 130 countries and are approved for weed control in more than 100 crops.

"I'm very honored to be recognized by the Hall of Fame, mostly because it's a recognition of the entire team of scientists who worked on and supported the development of Roundup herbicides," said Franz. "Thinking back on it, we never imagined glyphosate would become part of a product that is now a household name."

Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality.

SOURCE: Monsanto Company via PR Newswire.