Well, not just now, but about two months ago, the new Monsanto blog put up its first post, Monsanto according to Monsanto. Taking a jab with the title at a recent documentary The World According to Monsanto, they explain why the big bad biotech giant has started a blog:
Unfortunately there’s no shortage of people, particularly on the internet, who have taken it upon themselves to speak about Monsanto – what the company is, what it does, and why. Many of these folks have their own agendas. If anyone should speak to Monsanto’s vision of the world, it’s those of us who come to work here every day and collectively make this company what it is. This is the main reason for this blog.
(Funny note: the filmmaker that made The World According to Monsanto didn’t interview anyone from Monsanto at all.)
Following up with a few posts about Seed Cleaners, Jeffrey Smith, the false dichotomy of Organic vs Biotech, they even also took the time to defend the practice of blogging. On my own site, I have defended blogging as journalism fervently.
On Monsanto according to Monsanto, so far there have only been posts from their ‘Public Affairs’ employees, however, it is stated on the blog that any Monsanto employee can write a post and submit it to the blog. Some have suggested, though that this is merely an attempt at PR. Are they taking the concept of blogging seriously? So far it looks like that’s a yes. Their comment moderation policy states:
We encourage readers to comment and engage in respectful conversation about the content posted here.
All comments are moderated and reviewed regularly. Only non-threatening and non-profane comments will be posted.
Please refrain from posting full articles and publications from other sites, as it could be a violation of copyright or intellectual property laws. Comments containing full articles will not be approved, comments containing links welcome.
And if you’ll take a look at the comments on each of these posts, there is plenty of discussion going on. It will be good to see misconceptions dashed apart by them, but I’ll keep an eye out in case the opposite occurs, too.
Lately, I have become aware that people with a stake in the discussion of genetic engineering have woken up to the blogosphere, and are taking it seriously. There is precious little good information about genetic engineering on blogs, and it looks like many people are realizing this all at once. Welcome to the blogosphere, Monsanto.