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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Dec 3, 2015, 06:07 AM

2. How 'Organic' Agriculture Evolved From Marketing Tool To Evil Empire



After a spate of setbacks for the anti-genetic engineering movement, including the FDA’s approval last month of a faster-growing, genetically engineered Atlantic salmon, the organic industry (which finances most of it) is leading an assault on university scientists who research and advocate for genetically engineered crops. Devoid of any systematic scientific evidence to back up claims of organics’ nutritional, health or environmental superiority, industry executives and their fellow travelers are disparaging modern genetic engineering (which organic categorically rejects) by leading a variety of smear campaigns.


But the opposition were neither persuaded nor persuadable, and pounced. The anti-genetic engineering activists and their organic industry benefactors subjected Folta to a vile hate campaign. He became the object of professional and personal harassment, his email accounts were hacked, and he and his wife were threatened with physical violence, simply because his expertise and advocacy run counter to the organic industry’s narrative (and financial well-being). On November 4, Folta announced that he was “bowing out of the public science conversation,” a loss to us all.

Other scientists were maligned simply for writing articles about genetic engineering for a science website. In a hatchet job published in the Boston Globe, Harvard University professor Calestous Juma was accused of “failing to reveal a connection” to Monsanto. The connection? A single email from a Monsanto executive asking Juma and other scientists to write an article on their area of expertise. Neither Juma nor any of the other scientists was paid and none championed or even mentioned Monsanto. But in the eyes of the anti-genetic engineering Mafia and their sympathizers in the media, a simple email exchange constitutes a nefarious “connection.”


A splendid editorial in the prestigious journal Nature Biotechnology got to the nub of the issue: “Smear campaigns against those speaking out against scaremongering on [genetically engineered] crops highlight why support for scientists involved in public outreach is so important.”


Certainly, the article offers hope that the organic is really struggling to get its marketing across, and its increasingly vile acts are those of desperation. I'm not so sure that's true, however. Still, good piece.

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