Who are we shilling for?

Is Genetic Engineering safe?  What about Roundup?  What does Organic really mean?  Am I shilling for big Ag business?  Well look no further for the answer.  At LEARN GMO, I’ve been working hard to help the public get a better understanding of these topics, and like any good answers, mine tend to raise even more questions.

One of the questions my answers tend to raise, (especially among hard-core GE deniers), is which Big Ag company is paying for me to say these things?  Genetic Engineering is a complicated topic, and trying to wrap your head around it requires a great willingness to encounter nuanced information, and embrace that nuance.  When I share my findings and GE gets cast in a new light, an easy way to write off that new information is to assume it’s faulty, or assume I’m taking kickbacks from companies that provide this technology.  This gets to be frustrating for a few reasons, because I don’t even control the ads that google puts on this post.

This project has not been easy to finance and most of the pressure I’m feeling financially is because I’ve had to be VERY careful about who I’m taking money from.  I have purposefully avoided funding the project by any means that would even appear to bias me.  Monsanto has not funded this project, nor has Bayer, Dupont, etc.  Name a Bio-Technology company, and you’ll be naming a company I am not associated with, and have never taken a dime from.

Here is the deal: I think Genetic Engineering is a topic worth learning more about, but that doesn’t mean I have a rose-coloured view of corporations.  I’m 28 years old, and like most people my age, I see plenty of problems resulting from the rules that govern what a corporation is, what kind of power it has, and how that affects us all.  I am not Pro-Corporation, and this is where the nuance appears.  I don’t think a positive view of Genetic Engineering is predicated on a positive view of Corporations, and I don’t need you to believe Monsanto is a good thing in order to see that Genetic Engineering is worth discussing, that is not why I am doing this project.

In the end, I’ll never tell you to change your perceptions of Monsanto.  What I will do, is ask you to try and separate your feelings about Genetic Engineering from your feelings about Big Business.  Just because one airline punches passengers, doesn’t mean airplanes should be banned.  Just because Volkswagen lied about their emissions, it doesn’t mean automobiles are evil.  Just because you think Monsanto sucks, doesn’t mean Genetic Engineering is unsafe.  A technology and the companies that profit from that technology are separate ideas.

I am not shilling for anyone.  Rather, I am sitting here wondering how we’re going to cover costs moving forward, and wishing I could answer that question.

-Nick Saik