In the creeping corners of organic vegetable stands and the shadows of specialty stores lurks a very disturbing creature. Willowy in form with daunting pale skin, it sniffs and picks through an assortment of produce, eyeing each one like a hawk.
“Monsanto,” someone murmurs.
Just a whisper of the company’s name is enough to send the sallow, beady-eyed creatures to the darkest corners of the organic produce section. “Monsatan,” they hiss back, clinging to a GMO-free bag of lentils in efforts to ward off evil.
Sound melodramatic? Take a stroll through social media sites the crop technology company has a presence on and your faith in humanity will quickly be diminished.
Death threats, personal attacks, vulgar language, rants, uncited statistics, and mutant-horror stories grace the comment section of each post – and they’re all irrational. Together these trolls hide behind their computer screens and social media handles in swarms. Thousands more band together in national marches. They “March Against Monsanto” in the hallucination of their versions of health, environment, sustainability and safety – leading a crusade of hate and harassment on an entire company.
“HELL NO, GMO’s,” they wail and scream at the top of their exasperated lungs while clenching posters plastered with diminishing messages and propaganda against the company.
This rage they spew is directed at a company they benefit from when relying on having enough food to put on their table, because even in a perfect world, organic farming could never fully support the growing population.
Still, it isn’t surprising the agricultural company landed third from the bottom of America’s top 60 most visible companies – barely above BP and Bank of America. Ironically, their hipster antithesis marketer, Whole Foods, is sitting high at eighth from the top.
Harris Poll, which utilized The Reputation Quotient Research Instrument by The Nielsen Company, measured:
- Social Responsibly – Supports good causes, environmental responsibility, community responsibility
- Emotional Appeal – Feel good about, admire and respect, trust
- Vision and Leadership – Market opportunities, excellent leadership, clear vision for the future
- Financial Performance – Outperforms competitors, record of profitability, low risk investment, growth prospects
- Workplace Environment Products and Service – Rewards employees fairly, good place to work, good employees
If you want to get technical, that sits Monsanto in the third most hated hot seat.
And for what?
For working towards a goal of doubling crop yields throughout the world from 2008-2030. Hitting 9 to 25 percent yield increases in key soybean production areas like Brazil, Canada and the U.S, and upping corn production 33 to even 96 percent in countries like Brazil, Canada and Russia.
To everyone tired of hearing the same lecture on agriculture having to feed 9 billion people by 2050 on limited water and land resources, you’re in luck – soon the lecture is going to increase and intensify in numbers of mouths to feed. And it won’t be yours and your neighbor’s backyard gardens getting the job done. It will be companies like Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Pioneer are working, and yes, earning a profit, to help farmers grow enough food for the world population. Utilizing sophisticated technology to create crops that are resistant to destructive insects and other pests, reducing the amount of spray used significantly, while maximizing the yield – just as they do today.
Instead of shunning, fighting and propelling hate towards them, shouldn’t we be applauding a company that has contributed greatly to solving the world’s most pressing issue of hunger?
And while every company has its flaws, it’s time, as a nation, to stop biting the hand that feeds us. It’s time to support all – from the farmer down the road and your neighbor who has a container garden to Monsanto and every other individual and company – who are working to put food on your table and mine.