Basing their decision on evaluations of hundreds of thousands of women and minorities, Fortune Magazine has named Monsanto one of the ‘25 best places to work’ based on diversity. But can a workplace be all that great when its main objective is to genetically manipulate nature and leave the planet a genotoxic, pesticide-riddled, soil-ruined mess.
Sure, maybe it is great if a woman or minority to work at Monsanto and climb the corporate ladder to obtain a position of leadership, but at what true cost? Women currently only fill 25% of the jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers, but it is no big achievement if women fill more of these positions simply to allow the corporate machine to dictate how ‘life’ happens on this planet.
The real point here is that while it’s great to see this kind of equality, working at a company like Monsanto is a questionable job for anyone.
What’s more, it doesn’t seem like Monsanto’s intentions for this minority employee acceptance is pure.
As Josh Sager insightfully points out:
“During Obama’s four years as president, the federal government had several opportunities to pass legislation and executive initiatives which affect Monsanto. Of these federal initiatives, the 2010 African hunger plan and the 2012 Farm Bill present the most important examples of the Obama administration’s friendly attitude towards Monsanto.
In 2010, the Obama administration pushed a humanitarian initiative focused upon increasing the food supply of poor areas of Africa—while the ideals of this program are admirable, the execution presents an incredible opportunity to agro-business conglomerates like Monsanto. In order to solve the ‘hunger problem’ in Africa, the Obama administration has partnered with large industrial farming and GMO operations, under the aegis that these organizations can produce large amounts of food quickly.”
I would be remiss, if I didn’t point out that ‘minorities,’ (meaning non-affluent, non-white males around the globe) have been force-fed genetically modified food even when they have vehemently opposed them. African nations were even marking aid packages ‘return to sender’ due to their GM nature.
Zambis popularized the phrase, “Better Dead than GM Fed” (harsh, I know). If this doesn’t encapsulate the feeling toward Monsanto’s crops for those who want to champion their business practices, then nothing will convince a Monsanto-supporter otherwise. Zambia, for those who are unaware, is by-and large, near starving.
So while I wouldn’t put it past thousands of American women and minorities to vote for Monsanto as a ‘good company’ while they are getting a paycheck from them, it begs the question – who would want to work for one of the most hated companies on the planet?
Are they simply afraid? In denial? Out of touch how GMOs are causing harm?
Considering that one Monsanto employee has “admitted” an entire department exists at the company to discredit scientists who publish findings against them, might not the internal pressure be incredibly high to tow-the-company line?
There are very few biotech whistleblowers. Dr. Terry Vrain, who was a former biotech scientist who later decided GMOs posed a significant risk to human health, and told the world about it, remains a minority. Vrain does give some insight, though, in this remark made in an interview:
“As a scientist working for the government, I didn’t question the status quo or dogma. I just did my work and was the person designated from the institute to reassure the public, so I was very busy. When I retired, my wife and I began an organic farm where I started to discover new things about soil biology never taught in graduate school. Not being on the payroll anymore, I had the freedom to read different sources and look at genetic engineering from new perspectives. That is how I first became aware of the possibility that GMOs were not all rosy and perfect.”
I hope that logic like Vrain’s seeps into those who currently work for Monsanto. It doesn’t matter if this biotech company hires for diversity given the role they play.