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Reblogged:Slick PR or Slippery Concession?

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The long-anticipated news of the Bayer-Monsanto merger has me concerned that innovation may suffer -- but for not for the reasons Jaana Woiceshyn ably debunks at How to Be Profitable and Moral. Rather, my concerns stem from the same hope she expresses in her closing paragraph:

One can only hope that Bayer will continue to take the moral high ground and vigorously defend its right to produce and trade both agrochemicals and GMO seeds.
While my background in academic science might make me a poor interpreter of corporate-speak, Bayer's plans to drop the venerable Monsanto name, coupled with the following statement, give me pause:
corn-field.jpg
Image via Pixabay.
"We aim to deepen our dialogue with society. We will listen to our critics and work together where we find common ground. Agriculture is too important to allow ideological differences to bring progress to a standstill," Bayer Chief Executive Werner Baumann said in the statement.
Alone, dropping the Monsanto name -- although I wouldn't do it -- is understandable: Like Haliburton once was, it's a name leftists use to evoke all their stereotypes and misunderstandings about capitalism and progress. But dropping the name sounds weak to me, and it won't do Bayer any good if its enemies sense weakness come time to stand up for its intellectual property rights, or its freedom to market genetically-modified seeds. Baumann's conciliatory words, directed towards an audience ignorant of (or indifferent to) the great good genetically-modified organisms represent, do not instill confidence in me, a grateful consumer of same.

Here's hoping that any dialogue Bayer has with society includes those of us among the general public who realize that capitalism is a win-win game.

-- CAV

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