GMO crop pioneer Robb Fraley to leave Monsanto after Bayer takeover

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Credit: Robert Holly/Big-AgWatch.org

It’s the end of an era at Monsanto Co. after executives including the seed giant’s scientific leader Robb Fraley announced plans to depart after the company’s takeover by Germany’s Bayer AG.

Fraley will depart “shortly after closing” on the Bayer deal, following a transition period, Monsanto said Monday [May 8] in a statement. He has been at Monsanto for more than three decades and helped to invent genetically modified seeds, the company’s controversial technology that has come to define modern agriculture. The $66 billion takeover by Germany’s Bayer is expected to close during the current quarter.

Fraley has been the public face and champion of the science of GMOs. He joined the company as a 27-year-old, a Ph.D. in microbiology and biochemistry in hand, and worked on a team that found a way to insert foreign genes into plants. The result was Roundup Ready seeds, which could tolerate glyphosate, an herbicide that Monsanto manufactures under the brand Roundup.

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The technology has transformed farming around the world. At the same time, it has inspired passionate protests among activists. Skepticism about such techniques remain despite a scientific consensus that supports the safety of eating genetically modified foods. Non-GMO labels on food have become commonplace in grocery stores.

Read full, original post: Face of GMOs at Monsanto to Step Down as Bayer Takeover Closes

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