Brunching with Janice (right)
Leaving soon for Maui but had to do one last post…
Awhile back I received an email from Janice Person, the Monsanto social media gal whom many of you know. She was coming to Portland in late June and wanted to know if we could meet up for lunch. She admitted that it might be surprising for me to receive such an email from a Monsanto employee but would I consider meeting her? She also said that she would totally understand if I was not comfortable.
At the time I received her email, I was coming around about GMOs, realizing that they were not dangerous like all the activist literature had said they were, but my feelings about Big Ag, Monsanto and the like, those views were more complicated to sort through. Nonetheless I agreed to meet with her.
This weekend it happened. We were scheduled to meet Saturday night shortly after her flight arrived. I was ready to sit down and have a beer with a Monsanto employee. Woo hoo! As luck would have it, her flight was delayed until the wee small hours, so we didn’t meet until Sunday brunch. No, I didn’t order a beer but I did right by Portland and ordered coffee and Janice and I sat down to lunch and got acquainted. She is as nice as they come.
Full disclosure: Monsanto bought my lunch via Janice, which I appreciate. That doesn’t, however, make me a Monsanto shill. I would need a heck of a lot more than lunch to be a shill!
She is the first person I have actually met face to face since I started on my new journey of following science. I realize now that a community has begun to form around this endeavor. Janice informed me of a very irreverent facebook group that’s sole purpose is to poke fun at anti-GMO activists and so I went there, joined, and was welcomed – um, rather irreverently, but welcomed nonetheless.
To add to the fun and as fate would have it, on Monday I taped an interview via Skype with Rick at Green State TV, or GSTV, an internet media outlet focused on agriculture and the environment sponsored by another major biotech company, Syngenta. When the video becomes available, I will post it.
If you would have asked me in, say, January, if I’d be eating brunch with a Monsanto employee on Sunday and doing an interview with a Syngenta employee on Monday I would have said you were out of your mind!