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A Monsanto Exec Takes on the GMO Debate

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.


Monsanto tomato breeder Alan Krivanek checks on tomato plants he's breeding in a Monsanto greenhouse. (Max Whittaker/Prime for The Washington Post/Getty)

*Editor's Note: See a full transcript of this interview here. Activist Vandana Shiva offers a counter argument here.

Here at TheTakeaway.org, no topic has inspired more debate and response than genetically modified organisms or GMOs.

A few weeks back The Takeaway talked to Mark Lynas, an environmentalist who recently converted from GMO detractor to believer. And we heard from so many of you about the benefits and drawbacks of genetically modified food.

This week, we'll bring two more voices into this debate. The first is Dr. Robert Fraley, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of Monsanto-a multinational agriculture corporation long at the center of the GMO debate.

Monsanto breeds, grows and sells genetically modified seeds to farmers across the world. They also hold patents on a number of those seeds-a major problem, from the perspective of anti-GMO activists. But accordingly to Dr. Fraley, those against his company simply do not understand the science.

"You know, in a broad sense, every new technology has its detractors," Dr. Fraley tells Takeaway Host John Hockenberry. "We've seen some folks in the area of human health who don't believe in the science of vaccines and there is a whole internet rumor mill that is not grounded in science or based in scientific fact. And as a result, today we have folks who are getting diseases that should have been eradicated decades ago."