It's official: Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) has been deemed the "most evil corporation" of 2013 in a new poll that has the biotech giant beating out rivals like McDonald's and the Federal Reserve by a wide margin.
The company, which has weathered a seemingly endless litany of bad publicity over the past year, got a whopping 51 percent of the vote in the nonscientific poll by the website NaturalNews, which asked participants to identify what they believed was the "most evil corporation" in the world this year.
The Federal Reserve -- which is a unique public/private entity, not really a corporation but also not a government agency -- came in second place in the survey, garnering 20 percent of the vote.
Here's the vote breakdown:
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Federal Reserve 20%
It's a collection of corporate behemoths, a number of which have been widely hated for years. But Monsanto, headquartered in Creve Coeur, Mo., has them all beat.
The survey, which saw 16,000 readers cast their votes for the worst of the worst in the corporate world, represents a group of self-selected participants, many of whom are already militantly opposed to companies like Monsanto that are producing genetically modified organisms and other controversial endeavors.
But it is striking to note the singular, if not surprising, extent to which Monsanto is held to account for its GMO activities, as many other companies like DuPont, Syngeta AG and the Dow Chemical Company also create and sell genetically modified and genetically engineered products, some of which end up in the food supply.
The difference is that Monsanto has become the hated public face of the GMO industry. Ever since the 2008 documentary "Food Inc." chose to focus on Monsanto as the central antagonist in a war on food, there has been little love for Monsanto from educated eaters, health-conscious citizens, environmentalists and food advocates.
As NaturalNews editor Mike Adams wrote, Monsanto's high showing in the poll, released Monday, is largely a reflection of its bad image among the populace.
"The answer, I suspect, is that Monsanto behaves like an evil corporation that pretends to be angelic," Adams wrote. "The Monsanto website is an orgy of touchy-feely corporate spin that tries to position the company as the savior of life on planet Earth."
The past few months have been particularly traumatic for the brand. March brought the massive backlash over the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act," a measure written in cooperation with Monsanto lobbyists and slipped into a continuing resolution passed by Congress in order to keep the government funded that limits the options of federal regulators if new health concerns about GMOs come to light.
Then came an amendment to the 2013 Farm Bill that many food advocates and other observers believe was inserted last month for the express purpose of blocking states' abilities to pass their own GMO-labeling laws. Monsanto vehemently opposes GMO labeling and has spent millions of dollars to stop such bills from being passed in states including California, where the company lobbied successfully to defeat such a proposal.
In what may have been the biggest public shame in the company's recent history, in late May as many as 2 million people around the world took to the streets in the "March Against Monsanto," in an attempt to discredit the company and draw attention to some of its most controversial practices.
That brings us to Monday, when Monsanto was named the "most evil corporation" in the world in a NaturalNews poll. It's no wonder the company earned that dubious distinction given the year it's had so far.