Whatever the company’s motives, the overwhelming preponderance of scientists agree that in coming decades the world will grow warmer and more crowded.
Feeding its swelling population will get more difficult, especially as billions rise into the middle class and develop a taste for resource-intensive foods like meat and fresh produce.
Monsanto contends that its massive labs and global network of test plots, its DNA sequencers, plant breeders, software coders, and tireless intellectual-property lawyers are some of the best tools for dealing with those challenges.
The argument over Monsanto is an argument, in part, over whether the same companies that gave us today’s food system can also give us tomorrow’s.
Today, Robert Fraley is Monsanto’s chief technology officer and, along with Grant, the company’s public face. He tweets and blogs and maintains a steady schedule of speaking engagements. He’s Monsanto’s voice on state labeling laws: “It would just create unnecessary cost and confusion. … We are absolutely supportive of voluntary labeling.”