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Monsanto confronts devilish public image problem with public outreach efforts

| | December 2, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Monsanto and other large agricultural companies are attempting to turn their public image around with greater transparency and increased dialogue with consumers. They are increasing their public relations efforts with videos describing their contributions to the job market, while internally reorganizing their public relations staff. The Council for Biotechnology, in concert with many large agricultural companies, launched GMO Answers, a website aiming to combat inaccurate claims about GMOs by answering questions posed by consumers. Camille Ryan, a research associate in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, who serves as one of the experts responding to questions on the site, says that opponents of biotechnology have so far been successful in their efforts by using social media. The biotech industry needs to take a similar approach to “put a human face on their outreach methods.”

Gregory Conko, executive director and senior fellow of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, agrees. “Some scientists are shouting from the rooftop,” extolling the safety and benefits of GMOs, “but they can’t afford a megaphone.” The biotech and food companies, Conko says, “need to create a megaphone for scientists to shout through.”

Read the full, original story here: Monsanto confronts devilish public image problem

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