The St. Louis Dispatch, the hometown newspaper of the Monsanto Co., called the company’s courtship of Syngenta “unsolicited,” but said an acquisition could propel Monsanto back to a business model more heavily based on chemicals, rather than seeds and biotechnology.

At press time, Syngenta rejected Monsanto’s $45 billion bid to acquire it.

The St. Louis Dispatch asked if the massive merger could do anything for Monsanto’s image, “which has become a punching bag for environmentalists, foodies and other activists.”

“Clearly, there’s no easy public relations fix for a corporation that’s blamed for a range of ills, including the rise of super weeds, the decimation of the monarch butterfly, legal assaults on farmers and the unwanted (in the eyes of critics) genetic manipulation of our food supply,” newspaper reporter Tim Barker wrote.

In the story, Barker quoted Haim Mano, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who said Syngenta has a better public image, which could benefit Monsanto down the road if it acquires the company.

“Maybe the goal is to become, in the eyes of the public, more Syngenta and less Monsanto,” Mano told the paper.