Q: You put Monsanto next to Norman Borlaug as lifesavers. It sounds like a provocation.
A: Yes, we are aware of that. One of the objects of our Pinkerian exercise is to bring people out of their sectarian bubbles, and we believe that hostility to Monsanto is part of the generalised anti-capitalist bubble.
Q: But why think of Monsanto as lifesavers? It’s not something that naturally comes to mind.
A: There is no doubt that increases in food production in the last half-century have saved millions of lives. One side of this is the Green Revolution symbolised by Norman Borlaug, but then followed up by companies such as Monsanto which have developed genetically modified crops. The end of famines as a regular plague of humanity is an incredible achievement that can be partly attributed to the likes of Monsanto. But the other aspect of the “Great Escape from famine” (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bV9clmT9syw) is things like effective herbicides, where Monsanto was in the lead for a long time.
Q: And here things get really controversial, because Monsanto is universally hated for their reported toxic ways.
A: I have no easy answer to that. Obviously, Roundup, like many other good things in life, is toxic when used in excessive quantities. To quote Wikipedia, “Independent scientific reviews and regulatory agencies have regularly concluded that glyphosate-based herbicides do not lead to a significant risk for human or environmental health when the product label is properly followed.” As a member of the rational community, I have no other choice than to believe it, because as with most things scientific I have no resources to check it myself and if I started to think that there are no independent scientists and that all regulatory agencies have sold out to capitalists, then any claim is as good as any other. I can be reasonably certain that vaccines, nuclear plants, 5G, chemtrails, mobile phones, microwave ovens and other things touted to be dangerous by anti-capitalists are safe, so there is no reason not to include Monsanto on that list.
Q: Are you not afraid that people might be turned off from your music by such provocations?
A: Yes, we are, but on the other hand writing on what we are passionate about and what we believe might save the world from populism is much easier and rewarding than writing about the usual stuff of popular music.