Monsanto-funded Journalists fail to disclose Industry ties

An EcoWatch story broke the news two years ago of how Monsanto fakes news.  Time and again, Monsanto-funded journalists fail to disclose industry ties.  Journalists whom the company secretly pays write pro-GMO articles, or hit pieces against organic foods.  Those ostensible “journalists” fail to disclose their monetary (and career) conflicts of interest.  Those “journalists” work for Monsanto to produce fake news.

Fake Monsanto News – 27 Examples

In Nov. 2015, EcoWatch uncovered 27 examples of so-called journalists failing to disclose they were paid by Monsanto.

A Columbia Journalism Review story on whether science journalists should accept money from corporate interests triggered the research. The authors wanted to know whether journalists were disclosing their sources’ corporate ties and conflicts of interest. U.S. Right to Know reviewed recent articles to assess how often journalists, columnists and other writers quote academic sources without disclosing that they were funded by the chemical giant Monsanto.

The review found 27 articles quoting (or authored by) university professors after they received Monsanto funding.  Alarmingly, the university professors failed to disclose their funding.  If even university professors – who obviously know better – fail to disclose their funding, how many other Monsanto-funded writers fail to disclose that the biotech bully from Missouri is paying them to promote Monsanto or help shield the company from liability?  Monsanto is now being sued by farmers and others for causing their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, for failing to warn people that Roundup is carcinogenic.

Collapse of Journalistic Standards, Personal Integrity

This is a failure of journalistic standards as well as personal and civic integrity.  Whenever a writer quotes sources about food controversies such as GMOs or organic food, readers have a right to know if Monsanto funded that writer or whether the writer has any conflicts of interest.

Cuttlefish Squirt Ink for Monsanto
These writers are like cuttlefish squirting ink for Monsanto, covering up the truth of the matter in a morass of disinformation, misinformation, or outright propaganda.  Failing to reveal obvious conflicts of interest fools the reading public about the credibility of Monsanto-funded academics, their support of GMOs, their criticisms of organic food.  It also detracts from the credibility of consumer advocates, or anyone else (like this writer, writing because science shows GMOs are neither safe nor nutritious) who wants the world to know the truth about Monsanto’s poison products and business model.

University Professors Shill for Monsanto, hide Secret Funding

EcoWatch found that many top media outlets quoted either University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta or University of Illinois Professor Emeritus Bruce Chassy, while failing to disclose that the “professors” had received funding from Monsanto.  The New York Times published documents that showed Professor Folta received Monsanto funding in August 2014, while Professor Chassy received Monsanto funding in October 2011, if not also prior to that date.

Fake Monsanto News from NY Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, etc.

Failure to disclose Monsanto funds occurred at well-known news outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune. Other Monsanto-funded fake news appeared in science publications, such as Nature, Science Insider and Discover. Other fake Monsanto news came from magazines such as the New Yorker, Wired, The Atlantic. But fake Monsanto news was not and has not been limited to print and internet media. Well known broadcast outlets like ABC and NPR also published fake Monsanto news without revealing they were funded by Monsanto itself.

EcoWatch published this list of news articles quoting (or authored by) Professors Folta and Chassy after they received their Monsanto funding, yet failed to disclose that Monsanto funding.

•  New York Times: “Taking on the Food Industry, One Blog Post at a Time.” By Courtney Rubin, March 13. (Also ran in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune).
•  New York Times: “Foes of Modified Corn Find Support in a Study.” By Andrew Pollack, Sept. 19, 2012.
•  Washington Post: “Kraft Mac & Cheese Just Got Duller. You Can Thank (Or Blame) ‘The Food Babe’.” By Michael E. Miller, April 21. (Also ran in the Chicago Tribune).
•  Washington Post: “Proof He’s the Science Guy: Bill Nye Is Changing His Mind About GMOs.” By Puneet Kollipara, March 3.
•  Nature: “GM-Crop Opponents Expand Probe Into Ties Between Scientists and Industry.” By Keith Kloor, Aug. 6.
•  NPR: “Is The Food Babe A Fearmonger? Scientists Are Speaking Out.” By Maria Godoy, Feb. 10.
•  New Yorker: “The Operator.” By Michael Specter, Feb. 4, 2013.
•  The Atlantic: “The Food Babe: Enemy of Chemicals.” By James Hamblin, Feb. 11.
•  Wired: “Anti-GMO Activist Seeks to Expose Scientists Emails with Big Ag.” By Alan Levinovitz, Feb. 23.
•  ABC News: “Scientists Developing Hypo-Allergenic Apples.” By Gillian Mohney, March 22, 2013.
•  Science Insider: “Agricultural Researchers Rattled by Demands for Documents from Group Opposed to GM Foods.” By Keith Kloor, Feb. 11.
•  Columbia Journalism Review: “Why Scientists Often Hate Records Requests.” By Anna Clark, Feb. 25.
•  Discover: “Open Letter to Bill Nye from a Plant Scientist.” By Keith Kloor, Nov. 10, 2014.
•  Discover: “How to Balance Transparency with Academic Freedom?” By Keith Kloor, Feb. 27.
•  Discover: “Anti-GMO Group Seeks Emails from University Scientists.” By Keith Kloor, Feb. 11.
•  Forbes: “Zombie Retracted Séralini GMO Maize Rat Study Republished To Hostile Scientist Reactions.” By Jon Entine, June 24, 2014.
•  Forbes: “Did The New Yorker Botch Puff Piece On Frog Scientist Tyrone Hayes, Turning Rogue into Beleaguered Hero?” By Jon Entine, March 10, 2014.
•  Forbes: “You Can Put Lipstick On A Pig (Study), But It Still Stinks.” By Bruce M. Chassy and Henry I. Miller, July 17, 2013.
•  Forbes: “Anti-GMO Scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini, Activist Jeffrey Smith Withdraw from Food Biotech Debate.” By Jon Entine, May 29, 2013.
•  Forbes: “Malpractice On Dr. Oz: Pop Health Expert Hosts Anti-GM Food Rant; Scientists Push Back.” By Jon Entine, Oct. 19, 2012.
•  Forbes: “Scientists Smell a Rat In Fraudulent Genetic Engineering Study.” By Henry I. Miller and Bruce Chassy, Sept. 25, 2012.
•  Forbes: “The Science of Things That Aren’t So.” By Bruce Chassy and Henry I. Miller, Feb. 22, 2012.
•  Des Moines Register: “Consumers Are Misled About Organic Safety.” By John Block, Oct. 10, 2014.
•  Gainesville Sun: “Genetically Modified Foods Face Hurdles.” By Jeff Schweers, June 29, 2014.
•  Peoria Journal Star: “Hybrid Crops That Used to Offer Resistance to Rootworm No Match for Mother Nature.” By Steve Tarter, June 21, 2014.
•  Gawker: “The ‘Food Babe’ Blogger Is Full of Shit.” By Yvette d’Entremont, April 6.
•  St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “California Labeling Fight May Raise Food Prices for All of Us.” By David Nicklaus, Aug. 19, 2012.

Related:  Writer Henry Miller Outed as Monsanto Puppet, again

Two Compromised Professors, Thousands of “Others”
If university professors are this easy to capture and compromise, how much easier is it for Monsanto to pay “journalists,” bloggers and other hack writers (not on a university salary) to promote GMOs and attack organic foods and those who believe in and support them?

Fake “Independent” Experts
These two compromised professors who failed to disclose their Monsanto funding have received major media attention as “independent” experts on GMOs and organics.  The professor fakers only admitted to receiving their Monsanto funding after they were unmasked by emails uncovered by Freedom of Information Act requests filed by a consumer group – U.S. Right to Know.

Monsanto News Fakers Like Fleas
Now, how many other news fakers are out there with “scientist” and “professor” titles defending Monsanto and attacking organics while hiding their secret Monsanto funding?  Think of them like fleas.  If you can find two, you know you’ve got a thousand you can’t yet see. “Independent” indeed!

Monsanto-funded Journalists Fail to Disclose Industry Ties

In future, one would hope that when “journalists” write about food, they carefully question their sources regarding any conflicts of interest.  Who or what corporation is funding this so-called food “expert”?  What PR or front group is used to fund this “expert” person to hide his ties with Monsanto, the real source of the funding?  This is a shell game played for decades, but the stakes have never been higher. Roundup is very likely killing people, while “professors” and other corporate shills provide desperately-needed cover for what is arguably a criminal enterprise.

Readers beware!

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