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Although he doesn’t spend weekends puttering in the garden, David Snively does occasionally zap the weeds in his yard with Roundup. Given that he’s worked at Monsanto Company, the St. Louis � based maker of the herbicide, for 23 years, you would think that he’d get a discount. But no. “I go to the store and pay full price,” says Snively, 52. Maybe now he’ll get a better deal. On July 19 Monsanto announced Snively’s promotion to senior vice president, secretary, and general counsel. He succeeds Charles Burson, 61, who is retiring after five years with the company. Burson will stay on as Monsanto’s special assistant and counsel to the CEO until December 31. Snively began his career at Barnes & Thornburg, where he worked from 1979 to 1983. Monsanto, a client of the firm, recruited the then 31-year-old as a litigation attorney. “I was young,” Snively jokes. “I had a lot more hair.” Despite his retreating hairline, Snively impressed the higher-ups, ultimately being made deputy GC in 2001. He helped lead the in-house team as the company redefined itself from a manufacturer of agricultural chemicals to a global biotech business. But not everybody welcomes Monsanto’s new products. Greece and several European nations continue to ban genetically modified organisms. Snively and his legal team try to convince the naysayers. “We eventually want to change the laws so we can sell in those countries,” he says. “Most of Europe does support biotechnology. We concentrate in those new and emerging areas.” The 67-lawyer in-house Monsanto team also deals a lot with patent disputes, Snively says. In February, Monsanto settled with the University of California, San Francisco, for $100 million and additional royalty fees in exchange for the exclusive license to a bovine growth hormone. Snively expects patent cases to keep springing up like weeds. “We are in the forefront in this area,” he says. “A lot of people will challenge us.”

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