There are two sides to every story

The Western Producer, like most publications, has one foot on each side of a street.


One side is where journalists live and work; the other is where the community they cover exists.


The reporters and editors are paid to observe, analyze and report. Even when they want to, they can’t cheer or condemn what they see, except in the limited venue of these few opinion pages.


We try to keep open minds, even if we might not agree.


On the other side of the street are our folks who build the publication, market our product and sell our ads.


They work hard to sell what the journalists build. 


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They can cheer on agriculture and openly support the industry that feeds us all.


One of our duties as a successful agricultural business is to support agricultural organizations and their events, charitable and otherwise. Sponsorships vary, from cash to in-kind donations such as providing advertising space.


Last weekend a pair of well-known research centres, AgWest Bio and Genome Prairie, approached me.


Those research institutes were concerned that The Western Producer was sponsoring an upcoming agricultural industry event where some of the speakers are known for their questionable science. 


The presenters are opposed to genetic modification of plants and animals for food production and tend to be against large-scale, commercial agriculture.


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As a sponsor of an event where diverse opinions are shared, we don’t take an editorial position.


Our marketing folks look at the value that a conference might deliver to the agricultural community and to our business and decide on sponsorship. 


In this case it is about organic agriculture, a small, but vital and growing sector.


Our sponsorship isn’t an endorsement of the event’s speakers, nor would we want to silence dissenting voices by refusing sponsorship.


We support the discussion, hoping it informs you. 


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If you feel these voices threaten our industry, we offer and encourage you to use these pages to express those positions.

  • Rob Bright

    Well thank you for trying to take an unbiased approach. That is certainly in the best interests of journalistic integrity. I should say, however, that Ag West Bio and Genome Prairie can in no way shape or form be considered unbiased in their assertion that Dr. Thierry Vrain and Dr. Seralini support questionable science, or that their qualifications as experienced scientists are in doubt. Indeed, if Ag West Bio or Genome Prairie decided to publicly announce their specific concerns or beliefs about Genetic Engineering, I’m sure very many scientists would question their scientific independence and integrity with just as much conviction and validity. It would be in everyone’s best interests if the biotech corporations who are so adamant about the veracity of their claims would step forward and conduct proper safety testing by independent third parties and submit them for peer review as is required by any and all good scientific research. Why they choose instead to spend millions of dollars to prevent labeling initiatives to let consumers know what is in their food is beyond me. If they have such faith in their products, they should open the books and let the public and the broader scientific community decide if their science is “good.”

  • Dayton

    Thanks for sharing the fact you were visited by a couple of middle weights. When the heavy weights start knocking on your door you may want to reconsider your unbiased approach and revert back to the bias reporting again.

    • Maurice Ryton

      What a disgusting response. Have the courage to show your name or are you crawling around on your belly looking for a fox hole to hide in?
      I personally applaud the WP for looking at both sides of the debate. Allowing people to express opinions and beliefs from both sides is responsible reporting. Keep up the good work WP.
      Maurice Ryton

    • April Reeves

      Wow, not sure I’ve ever seen such a comment by the Pro side, but I love it! This is what turns people away from Genetic Engineering altogether. Keep it up, guest….

  • MsLabradorGirl

    Thank you for taking an unbiased stance…very few media do these days. I appreciate being able to hear all sides and making up my own mind.

  • April Reeves

    Thank you Western Producer. I may start subscribing again, after a short absence from many loyal years with you.