Monsanto CEO trashes company’s opponents over ‘elitism’

The chairman and CEO of Monsanto Co. condemned opponents of his major biotech corporation by accusing them of ‘reverse elitism’ being spread through social media.

Just days before a major international demonstration to protest
Monsanto is scheduled to occur around the globe, CEO Hugh Grant
told Bloomberg this week that critics of his company are fueling
anti-GMO sentiment by capitalizing on an increased public interest
in how their food is produced and pushing that agenda through
social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Anti-Monsanto advocates – like the ones planning to protest in
36 countries later this month – say they are opposed to, among
other items, the company’s habit of heralding genetically altered
crops as a solution to third-world poverty by putting profits above
possible health risks. Lab-made crops that are resistant to certain
chemicals and conditions are the bread and butter of Monsanto, but
critics are worried that the company isn’t weighing the full impact
of what spreading GMO crops could do to the environment and
agriculture sector. Additionally, Monsanto’s legal habits of
driving small-time farmers bankrupt over alleged patent
infringement has not made them many friends within America’s
traditional agriculture sector.

Just last week, the US Department of Agriculture set up a
serious roadblock in Monsanto’s way by ordering further assessments
on a number of GMO crops they want to market that can sustain high
concentrations of chemicals used as herbicides that can be toxic in
large doses. Speaking to Bloomberg this week, Grant said the USDA’s
decision won’t be much of a setback, in his opinion, and added that
campaigns to belittle his company are often unfounded or the result
of misunderstood disinformation.

Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State
University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural
Resources, told Bloomberg, “Most of the people that become
motivated to engage the political issues have become convinced that
going down the road of genetically engineered foods is not the way
to meet the needs of a food insecure population.”

According to Grant, those critics aren’t giving his company’s
take on the situation the light of day.

I’d feel a whole lot better if it was marinated a little on
where is that extra chicken going to come from or who is going to
grow the new bushel
,” Grant said. Instead, he said Monsanto
opponents are ruining the opportunity to feed the world using
technological advances.

There is this strange kind of reverse elitism: If I’m going
to do this, then everything else shouldn’t exist
,” Grant told
Bloomberg at Monsanto’s St. Louis headquarters this week. “There
is space in the supermarket shelf for all of us
.”

And the sad piece of this is, it ends up either or,”
Grant said. “So you get conventional agriculture or broad scale
or however you define it, and organic. I think we’re going to look
back on this period and say, ‘How on earth did that ever become the
fight that it became
.’”

Monsanto protests on six contents are scheduled to take place on
May 25 as part of an international day of demonstration. Meanwhile,
Monsanto has ended up embroiled in yet another controversy, this
time after State Department cables released by WikiLeaks showed
that the government lobbied foreign nations on behalf of the GMO
kings. Monsanto’s influence over the US government has been
questioned previously after ties were publicly disclosed between
the company and a number of Washington institutions, including the
White House and the Supreme Court of the United States.

This article originally appeared on : RT