Michael Frank, the Vice President of Monsanto a company that uses a controversial Genetically Modified seed to grow their products, sat down at the Planet Forward Summit for an interview with founder and host of the conference Frank Sesno. The two went back and forth while many in the crowd felt that some of the important questions remained unanswered.
Responding to a questions regarding the “super weed,” a weed that would become resistant to pesticides, Michael Frank felt some pushback from a student in the crowd. The student felt that his question had been dodged by Frank and he sought an answer. Frank responded by saying that he “cannot answer all the questions” due to a time restraint.
Televisions at the summit showing the Planet Forward twitter feed were sent into a buzz throughout the segment. Many people across the country feel that genetically modifying the makeup of seed, as Monsanto does, is unethical. The company has been known to sue farmers for having traces of the Monsanto seed on their land, forcing many local farms to close down.
Interviewing at a conference where many of the people would be against you prior to speaking was a move to change the minds of the crowd. Michael Frank brought up points that it has not been through scientific testing that GMO crops have a negative impact on the health of consumers. Immediately a tweet panned onto the screen from someone in the crowd stating that this was due to the fact that Monsanto commissions their own testing means on the products.
Monsanto will continue to face pushback for the practices that the company uses, even if it is found to be safe. Many consumers feel that genetically modifying a product is unnatural and wrong, putting local farms in jeopardy. As we continue to expand our population, research into GMO and non-GMO options to feed our planet will continue.