Guest Lecturer: Dave Mayonado

When you think of the Monsanto, an American multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, what is the first thing you think of? Many people think of the documentary Food Inc. where Monsanto is portrayed as thugs of the agricultural industry. The problem is this is where people stopped doing their research. Most people don’t consider Monsanto’s point of view. This is why I think having Dave Mayonado as a guest lecturer was so important! We got to hear Monsanto’s side straight from the company. Mr. Mayonado gave a history about Monsanto and how they became the agricultural giant they are today. He then went on to talk about Genetically Modified Organisms and new techniques like RNAi technology which allows gene silencing. Gene silencing presents the possibility of turning off specific genes, which might have many practical agricultural applications. The most exciting part about this new technology is how it can be presented to consumers. This technology doesn’t involve inserting new genes into a different plant which is a scary thought for consumers. Throughout his presentation Mr. Mayonado made it a point that GM crops are the most thoroughly studied foods in the world and that their safety has been consistently demonstrated. Seeing both sides for every argument is always important so you can form your own opinion on the matter. I felt as though this lecture was one of the most beneficial because it allowed us as students to grasp more information and so as we go out into the world we can educate others.

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