Neil Young fires back as Monsanto slams new album

Neil Young.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

After delivering some bad news to presidential candidate Donald Trump to stop rockin’ to his “Rockin' In The Free World” song, it looks like Neil Young has also upset some of his fans over at Monsanto.

In a statement to Billboard, multinational corporation Monsanto is letting it be known that its feelings have been hurt by the rock legend.

The 69-year-old Canadian musician is releasing a new album entitled the Monsanto Years, targeting the chemical giant’s use of genetically modified seeds and pesticides.

“Many of us at Monsanto have been and are fans of Neil Young,” the company said. “Unfortunately, for some of us, his current album may fail to reflect our strong beliefs in what we do every day to help make agriculture more sustainable.

“We recognise there is a lot of misinformation about who we are and what we do — and unfortunately several of those myths seem to be captured in these lyrics.”

In the album's title track, Young sings: “The farmer knows he’s got to grow what he can sell, Monsanto, Monsanto/So he signs a deal for GMOs that makes life hell with Monsanto, Monsanto/Every year he buys the patented seeds/Poison-ready they’re what the corporation needs, Monsanto.”

Young’s album also takes aim at other large corporations, such as Starbucks, Chevron and Walmart. These companies have also released statements to Billboard.

Starbucks told the publication that it “has not taken a position on the issue of GMO [genetically modified organism] labelling”, adding: “As a company with stores and a product presence in every state, we prefer a national solution.”

Walmart, in response to Young’s song about the retailer’s notoriously low wages, hit back saying: “As you might have seen recently, Walmart raised its lowest starting wage to $9 an hour. We’re proud of the opportunity we provide people to build a career and have a chance at a better life.”

Chevron, on the other hand, acknowledged Billboard’s media inquiry but flat out said it was not going to take part in an interview.

Young has already issued a response to the statements. In a long message to his fans, the “Rockin’ in the Free World” singer once again spoke out against Trump (who “likes Neil very much") for playing the song during his presidential candidacy announcement this week, and also how corporate interests have “hijacked” democracy.

He wrote, “When I speak out on corporations hurting the common man or the environment or other species, I expect a well-financed disinformation campaign to be aimed my way.

“Such is the case with the reaction to my new album The Monsanto Years, which covers many of these issues.”

Neil Young performs his song 'The Monsanto Years' at an anti-GMO event.

[Abridged from EcoWatch.]

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