By Mark Buckingham
On June 8, the BBC program, Panorama, aired a show on GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, titled, “GM Food: Cultivating Fear.” The 30-minute program took an in-depth look at the various points of view on GMOs. The show was balanced, providing commentary on both sides of the topic from farmers, scientists and non-governmental organizations.
We applaud the efforts of Panorama to provide both points of view. As a Monsanto employee, I’m excited for the new way our company is approaching how we communicate: we are committed to being a part of the conversation and to entertain other points of view. There is no one solution to solving the challenges of feeding a growing population while using our resources more sustainably. Conversation about the solutions moves us forward.
We know there are opponents to GMOs. We are just as passionate about the opportunities GMOs can provide for farmers who desire tools to help them manage disease, weather and pests better. Each “side” aims to provide talking points and battle for air time on programs like Panorama.
But there shouldn’t be any “sides” when it comes to helping farmers find ways to have better harvests and provide food for people. And that’s where I hope we can all work together: we need to stop being critical of farmers’ production methods—conventional or organic—and we need to work toward making sure farmers have the best tools to grow their crops sustainably.
Regardless of the production practice, it’s time to pull up a chair to the table and have productive conversations about how all of us can help farmers produce food in a more sustainable way.