The news hit off offices of the activist group Monsanto Oppresses People Everywhere (MOPE). “What are we supposed to do now?” asked Zen Kitchford, executive director of the organization that, for the past decade, has waged a public relations smear campaign against the St. Louis corporation. Last week, sources close to the merger talks between Monsanto and Bayer reported that it was likely the Monsanto name would be dropped from the new corporation.
“It is not fair; they did this just to get back at us,” bleated Mary Merino with the group Ladies Monsanto and Bayer (LAMB). “I will be honest, we never saw this one coming. We are really at a loss as what to do now.” Dismay and outrage were common across the activist community over the possible disappearance of what has been public enemy number one for environmental activist groups.
At stake is the loss of a powerful and extremely lucrative fundraising tool. Groups, like the National Alliance for Glyphosate Suspension (NAGS), have raised millions of dollars with a campaign to ban Roundup from the market. “It is easy to get people to give money to stop a big, evil corporation that makes poisonous chemicals sprayed on our food. It will be a lot harder to get people to hate a company best known for making aspirin,” a NAG spokesman said.
“It has been just one bad thing after another,” lamented Jeremiah Cohan with the group Just Oppose Biotechnology Everywhere (JOBE). “The EU has been approving GMO traits, China bought Syngenta, we lost the GMO labeling fight in Congress, and now we might loose Monsanto.”
In addition to the possible loss of the Monsanto name, activist groups lost a key leader last week. Co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore announced he is now a supporter of biotechnology. When asked about genetically modified crops, he called them “one of the most important scientific advancements society has made.” Moore expressed concern over Greenpeace attempts to block genetically modified crops. Referring to Golden Rice, he called the efforts by Greenpeace a “crime against humanity.”
Monsanto has become a focal point for opposition to biotechnology on a global scale. Thus, international reaction to the possible loss of their favorite scapegoat was unanimous. The Australian group Down Under Monsanto Bashers (DUMB) tweeted that the development was extremely regrettable and pulled down their web page.
The Biotech Eco Resource Service (BITCHERS) announced they were suspending plans to launch a worldwide Facebook campaign that accused Monsanto of secretly controlling the world’s seed supply. Rumors were circulating, but remained unconfirmed, that some activist groups had offered to support the Bayer/Monsanto merger if Bayer officials would agree to keep the Monsanto name. Reportedly this would save the activist community millions of dollars by not having to reprint brochures and stationery.
At press time, MOPE members were reportedly holding a candlelight vigil outside the Monsanto offices.
By Gary Truitt
*Most of the organizations listed above are fictional, Greenpeace is, however, an actual organizations and the news about it is factual.