At Monsanto, everything we do is rooted in science. We believe developments in science have been behind every step in human progress. (Penicillin, anyone?)
We also believe that science is our best bet in meeting the huge challenges the world faces today, such as mitigating climate change and nourishing a growing global population.
But progress is being undermined by increasing public rejection of both the scientific method and many of the opportunities that science offers. Frankly, we find it hard to grasp how so many people have come to see scientific progress as such a bad thing.
The scientific process is in our DNA. As a true scientist, Robert Fraley, our Chief Technology Officer, says uncertainty should not stand in the way of progress: “I don’t think scientists have all the answers, nor do I think they’re always right. But I do think it’s good to listen to what science has to say.”
We are increasingly worried that scientific developments and innovation in agriculture are being threatened by dogmatic opinions. We welcome our ideas being challenged, but sensible engagement is a two-way street. (Demonstrating outside empty offices in an annual March against Monsanto isn’t about dialogue, it’s just about making a lot of noise).
We take your concerns seriously. We understand that some people are not convinced by the science, that many Europeans remain fearful of GMOs. This is why more than 99.5% of the seeds we sell in Europe are non-GM.
However, we’d also like to dispel those concerns that are just based on myths. Most of them would make us scared, too, if they were true. They’re not. There isn’t room to cover them all here, but you might want to watch this video or check out our Myths & Facts leaflet.
Food security and food safety are two of the biggest challenges facing global society. Without action there is a very significant risk that a balanced diet may remain inaccessible for many of the expected 9.6 billion people on the planet in 2050. We are determined to continue the work of the “Father of the Green Revolution” and Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug, who is credited with having saved a billion lives through improvements in agricultural techniques and development of high-yielding cereal crops.
That is why we have thousands of scientists working hard to reach our goal of improving farming and the lives of farmers all over the world. We want them to be able to produce more food while needing less of the planet’s scarce land and water, using less energy and generating less waste.
Borlaug was adamant that “the first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind” and regularly denounced as immoral those who stand in the way of progress while never having to worry about feeding themselves. We tend to agree.
We are happy to talk with anyone who wants to hear our views on our common challenges and how we work, together with many partners, to help find sustainable farming solutions. If you have questions, please reach out to us on Twitter @MonsantoEurope, or leave us a question or comment here on our blog.