Biotech Industry Organization Renames Itself

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) is renaming itself the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.


BIO is the principal trade association for the biotechnology industry.

Monsanto is also considering renaming itself.

Documents released by Syngenta on June 8 include a letter from Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant to Syngenta, suggesting as a part of a Monsanto-Syngenta corporate merger that, “We would also propose a new name for the combined company to reflect its unique global nature.”

“These name changes are a sign of PR despair,” said Gary Ruskin, co-director of the consumer group U.S. Right to Know. “Monsanto’s name is radioactive, and the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s name isn’t much better.”

“Monsanto and the some parts of the biotech industry face consumer distrust and a political backlash,” Ruskin said. “That backlash is for environmental and health reasons, and it is foolish to think that name changes will bail out their bad PR.”

In a 2014 Harris Poll gauging the reputations of major corporations, Monsanto’s “reputation quotient” ranked 58 out of 60 companies. In other words, it was the third most hated company measured.

BIO has been a key industry advocate for genetically engineered foods, and against mandatory labeling of them.

According to a 2013 New York Times poll, 93% of Americans support labeling of genetically engineered food.

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