Patrick M. Coady

I will be taking a look at various websites which pick apart Monsanto's public relations strategies.
Here is an annotated bibliography of the sources I am relating to the 21st Century Propaganda Project, as guided by Professor Hobbs:

1. The Pharmageddon Riddle

Specter, M. (2000). The pharmageddon riddle. The New Yorker, Retrieved from

2. Monsanto's Public Relations Boomerang

Zimmerman, A. (1999). Monsanto's public relations boomerang. Synthesis/Regeneration, 18. Retrieved from

This article takes a very strong stance against Monsanto, exposing their public relations agenda. It chronicles many sources, such as; New York Times, Wall Street Journal (Europe), Center for Ethics and Toxics, Campaign for Food Safety, etc. This particular article, written by Andy Zimmerman, most certainly has an opinionated view of Monsanto Corporation, as is evidenced in the style and passion he used to convey the point he wanted to make - inclusive of the proper information and citations, of course. The Winter 1999 edition opens, saying "Ninety-eight was a hell of a year for Monsanto.. the company that environmental activists love to hate rolled out a worldwide blitz designed to put a happy face on agricultural biotechnology." The had seemingly gave themselves a facelift - "Food-Health-Hope," their new slogan reads, re-pronouncing their own business as a "life sciences company." It further explains how the conglomerate has merged with many smaller, well-known chemical companies and brand-names in order to cover up the bad reputation they have earned in the recent years. Why would they gain a bad reputation, you might ask? Zimmerman lists several public-relations horror stories, which include "the book Against the Grain... had production halted when the publisher received threatening letters from Monsanto, and many other stories which seem to show how this company resorts often to strong-arm public-relations stunts. The author then goes on to explain how the conglomerate relies on PR reps such as Jimmy Carter (nuclear engineering, agribusiness executive, and politician) to relay the company 'message' and has called critics of biotechnology, "extremists." Again and Again it seems Monsanto tries to exploit those in areas of lesser financial stability, inclusive of; the mentioned 24 African delegates who were outraged of the business' idea. They "strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our country-sides being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology which is neither safe, environmentally friendly nor economically beneficial to us." Monsanto also gives large payouts to non-profit organizations all over the country, in order to gain some support of the respective public. Apparently, a personal interview with the writer of the aforementioned article and a Monsanto spokesperson yielded a conversation in which the author asked if she would go to her executives, asking for a debate between the company and the opponents of biotechnology - she said "they'd shit bricks." So, in light of everything in this article, and the reputable source file which it is derived from, i would say that i take the side of the author. Monsanto's larger-than-life persona as a domineering agricultural giant is substantiated buy their overly-confident, cocky attitudes.

Some Other Reputable Sources:

1. Monsanto's Public-Relations Nightmare

Orelli, B. (2008). Monsanto's public-relations nightmare. Retrieved from

2. Genetic Engineering in Agriculture and Corporate Engineering in Public Debate

Rajeev, P., Torres, R.J., & Rosset, P. (2005). Genetic engineering in agriculture and corporate engineering in public debate. The International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, 11(4), Retrieved from

By Comparing and Contrasting these four sources, i hope to find the trends that Monsanto employs in their public relation strategy, and why it has worked so well (or perhaps, not so well) for them. They are either doing something right, or disguising their ultimate propaganda from those who scrutinize their plans, because lets face it, they've been in business since 1901!