The story of how I came to be touring Monsanto starts back in late April and a blog post where I questioned the current tenor of the GMO debate. It caught the attention of Janice Person, a Social Media Director for Monsanto, who commented, “if you ever want to see what we do at Monsanto, I would love to arrange a visit.” As luck would have it, I passed through St. Louis on the first of August, and Janice was true to her word, arranging for a personal guided tour of their research facility.
It’s probably fair to say that both Janice and I experienced some trepidation as the date approached. Having completed Ontario’s Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program with existing and future employees of Monsanto, I didn’t see Monsanto as the devil incarnate, but I certainly wasn’t above criticizing them, and I do have a history of butting heads with certain of their employees. On the other hand, Janice and I had interacted over Twitter with civility, and in the weeks leading up to the visit, it seemed I was mostly raising ire from the radical anti-GMO side for refusing to buy into their fear-mongering.
I’d say that I arrived open-minded but skeptical. I expected that we’d be coming from radically different perspectives, and I was prepared to listen to theirs (how else could I expect anyone to listen to mine?). I was also prepared for the “hard sell” — lots of promotional propaganda. What I ended up getting was quite different, and four months later, I’m still digesting it.
…To hear the rest of the story, check out my guest post on RealAgriculture.com!