Submitted by Diane Farsetta on
"One large and important producer of genetically modified (GM) crops - Monsanto - has engineered public opinion to reduce critical scrutiny," writes a group of South African, Mexican and American academic researchers. Monsanto has followed "a tried-and-true set of PR tactics designed to tie GM crops to the question of hunger, to silence debate on the topic, and to challenge critics as technophobic. This PR strategy removes debate that is vital for public and environmental health." In portraying GM crops as a "solution" to hunger worldwide and promoting company defenders from developing countries, Monsanto has positioned itself "as a development partner, as a benevolent philanthropist who has technology to 'share.'" This PR strategy is "seductive," the researchers explain, in that it suggests easy answers to complex problems. It also "attempts to depoliticize; the public relations machinery, through active co-optation, becomes an 'anti-politics machine.'"