A statement by Theresia Gillie, a farmer from Hallock who's the president-elect of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association, during a question and answer period for a Minnesota AgExpo panel on ag mergers made us pause with wonder while reading about it in Mikkel Pates' Ag-At-Large blog:
In a question-and-answer period, Gillie asked the company executives to consider the consumer when naming their pesticide products. She said the “tough” sounding terminology (examples, Roundup, Warrior) for herbicides are understood by farmers who must be pursuaded [sic] to purchase them.
Gillie said the “consumer doesn’t always understand.” She said maybe it’s silly, but perhaps the products should be named so the public knows they are good things — “a warm, fuzzy thing that is going to be good for you, good for your family and give it that kind of perception.”
“It’s a hard road to cross, but we do have to figure out that the rest of the economy and the rest of the consumers are listening in on our conversation,” she says. It may sound “silly,” she told them, but half-joked that products should be named like “puppy dogs.”
Because it's not the super-weeds, cancer fears or such that causes consumers to worry about of Round-up. And it's not concern about insecticides like Warrior affecting pollinators that makes consumers nervous (soybean aphids in Brown, Redwood and Renville counties, on the other hand, have grown tolerant of pyrethroid insecticides).
Or that story out Friday in the Los Angeles Times, California gets closer to requiring cancer warning label on Roundup weed killer, that create doubts in Americans by reporting:
. . . the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a Lyon, France-based branch of the U.N. World Health Organization, classified the chemical as a “probable human carcinogen.”
Shortly afterward, the most populated U.S. state took its first step in 2015 to require the warning labels.
St. Louis-based Monsanto contends that California is delegating its authority to an unelected foreign body with no accountability to U.S. or state officials in violation of the California Constitution.
Attorneys for California consider the International Agency for Research on Cancer the “gold standard” for identifying carcinogens, and they rely on its findings along with several states, the federal government and other countries, court papers say.
Nope, consumers are stupid and frightened by anything other than cat memes and baby names, and that's the source of the problem. Let's brand Round-up with the name "Snowball," call pyrethroids "Slipperpaws" and label neonics "Fluffy," and consumers with flock back to the fruits of production agriculture with due speed.
Gillie made her suggestion to panel members John Smith, vice president for Bayer CropScience LP; Scott Partridge, vice president of global strategy for Monsanto; and Phil Kunkel, an agribusiness lawyer, according to Pates' post, Ag Woman Leader: Ag Mergers Good; Product Names Need Work.
These gentlemen think the Monsanto-Bayer merger is great and deep thinker Gillie agreed. We're holding out for Brawndo. It has what plants crave.
Photo: Snowball, the herbicide formerly known as Round-up (main ingredient, glyphosate).