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Interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal about David Friedberg, an entrepreneur and former Google executive who now works overseeing Monsanto's "precision agriculture" services that it sells to farmers.

"The lifelong vegetarian has also emerged as an unlikely champion of Monsanto at a time when the company - and the business of genetically engineering crops that it pioneered - face intensifying attacks," the Journal writes, noting that his "Silicon Valley pedigree helps him advocate for Monsanto in a region that helped to cultivate the organic food movement and to launch California's 2012 ballot initiative to require GMO food labeling - an effort that failed, but generated the 'March Against Monsanto' crusade. Genetically modified seeds, in Mr. Friedberg's view, enable farmers to grow larger crops with less resources and represent a way to help sustain the growing world population."

Brett Begemann, Monsanto's president, tells the Journal that Friedberg's hiring reflects a sense that the company was "absent from the conversation For years we had viewed ourselves as a company that helps farmers increase their productivity, and food companies were the ones that took the product to the consumer."

You can read the entire story here.
KC's View:
I guess I have a little problem with the statement made by Monsanto's Begemann, that the company has "nothing to hide," suggesting that the problem is all optics, not a genuine difference of opinion about a legitimate issue.

And I know I have a problem with Friedberg's comment that some of the resistance to Monsanto's business comes from critics who "want to live in a natural world where we're all living in treehouses in the rainforest and picking coconuts out of the tree. Maybe it would be possible if we had 100,000 people living on earth, but that's not the reality that we're living in today."

There can be a rationale for the use of GMOs. There certainly is a rationale for people who say they'd rather avoid them. What there is no rationale for, OMHO, is spending millions of dollars to defeat any and all efforts to require labeling … unless, of course, you have something to hide.