Criticized by Activists, Professor Gives Grant From Monsanto to Food Pantry

A University of Florida professor who accepted a $25,000 grant from the agriculture giant Monsanto will give the money to a campus food pantry after he was criticized by activists who oppose the use of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The Gainesville Sun reports that Kevin Folta, chairman of the university’s horticultural-sciences department, tried to give the money back but Monsanto wouldn’t take it. Calling the pressure he’s felt from anti-GMO activists “terrorism,” Mr. Folta said he didn’t want them to have an excuse to say he was beholden to Monsanto. Mr. Folta received the unrestricted grant to fund a biotech-communications project.

Kevin Folta, the University of Florida plant professor whose emails were targeted by an anti-GMO activist group, wishes he could give back the $25,000 grant he received from Monsanto. But he said the biotech and seed company has no mechanism for accepting the money, so the grant will be put to other uses — feeding University of Florida’s food-insecure students and staff.

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