Monsanto secret research: exposed!

Feature story - 1 April, 2004
The following document, leaked by a concerned Monsanto employee, was passed to Greenpeace earlier today, from company headquarters in St. Louis. Greenpeace found the content so explosively incriminating that we immediately decided to place it in the public domain. Even as you read this, Greenpeace activists are scaling chain-link fences across the USA to hang banners on Monsanto installations, while our Marine Unit has launched an expedition up the Mississippi river. And through the night, our press department has been looking up synonyms for "outraged." We strongly condemn this development and are deeply disappointed.

Monsanto: Engineering consent. With the help of Monsanto automatic compliance products, even the most stubborn dissent can be silenced.

To: H. Grant, Chairman and CEO, Monsanto Corp.
CC: Board of Directors, Monsanto Corp.
Fm: Palmer Eldritch, Vice President for Research, Monsanto Corp.
Re: Great news!
Date: April 1st, 2004


Dear colleagues,

As most of you know, Monsanto has spent several years working on a Blue Skies R&D project to identify the genetic basis for human resistance to authority. This has been highly speculative work, and I know many of you have been impatient to see measurable return from this investment.

Well, good news. I've just heard that the science boys up at the Michigan research center have finally hit pay dirt! They've isolated a gene they are calling "DISSENT."

The white coats at Mason had been testing a new Skepticism Inhibitor on rats. The earlier versions of the Skepticism Inhibitor, you'll remember, were applied to UK government officials in order to speed the approval of GE crop planting, with ultimately successful but unacceptably slow results.

Our team noticed that the sole significant reaction to the inhibitors was occurring in a narrow band on Chromosome 19q69, which is common to rodents and primates. After applying direct radioactive, chemical and hormonal therapies to this area, they presented the rats with a choice of natural and highly synthetisized foods, and found that the critters lapped up every morsel - including stuff they had been conditioned to avoid! Better still, when the rats were not required to *choose* a food, their stress levels dropped by 23 percent. In light of this, we've begun plans to launch some quiet 'field testing' on human subjects. (Please, before you raise the obvious ethical issue here, let me assure you that none of this testing will be done on American citizens.)

Obviously, these findings have huge implications for Monsanto. Armed with products based on silencing of the DISSENT gene, we finally have the chance to become the top purveyor of 'automatic compliance' products worldwide.

But I believe the potential for this discovery can reach much further. I'm certain that government contracts would represent a vast additional profit silo. Standing governments can ensure predictable election results by keeping their populations on a steady diet of Monsanto compliance products, and lock in policies which would ordinarily require billion-dollar marketing campaigns to achieve. The boys in Finance have been running some cost-benefit scenarios in order to estimate product value, and some of the numbers are just astounding. On top of that, there's major synergy potential for Monsanto in making supply contracts conditional on implementing regulation roll-backs and favorable trade agreements.

By next year, I reckon, we can look forward to Monsanto's complete ownership of the global food production and consumption cycle. It's no secret that we've upped our market position since we matched our herbicides and pesticides to GE seeds. Dominating the profit potential for growing food hasn't been hard. But when it comes to dominating the consumption profit, there's still a problem in Old Europe, where matching willing consumers to our products has been foiled by an excess of freedom of choice.

Some of the Luddite doomsayers are bound to start making noise about 'ethics', but after we implement the new Gullibility Intensifier, we should be scoring some reduced market resistance in the UK, Germany, and those other little countries over there. Whoever that lefty radical was who talked about "engineering consent" -- he didn't know how right he was!

I know you share my excitement about this. Over the past years we've wasted tremendous time and resources buying science, advertising, and politicians to try and convince a skeptical public, against all evidence, that Genetically Engineered products are healthy, safe for the environment and unthreatening to the food supply. We've all had to divert massive amounts of our precious time to arguing that the public needn't worry about humanity's centuries-old reliance on naturally diverse food sources being reduced to single crops owned by a single corporation. We've had a lot of work trying to convince people that golden rice is going to save children from blindness despite the fact they'd practically have to eat their weight in it every day to see any health benefit. In Old Europe and elsewhere, I have to frankly say I've been unsure we'd win that battle for the hearts and minds of a foolishly traditionalist and sometimes anti-American consumer base.

Well, those days are over. We no longer have to convince the public to trust us. We can force them to.

April Fools! The above article is a parody. It has been published on April 1st, a day celebrating practical jokes in Europe, North America, and several other parts of the world. Those of you familiar with Monsanto's marketing strategies could be forgiven for taking this seriously, and in fact the subject itself is no laughing matter. To find out more about how Monsanto is really threatening your right to choose, click here.