Monsanto Money Buys Science

(July 12, 2019) Monsanto money buys science. The embodiment of the way Monsanto works to buy whatever scientific “expert” opinions it needs is readily seen in the person of one Dr. Nina V. Federoff. This woman has been outed as a shameless industry shill by Stacy Malkan of U.S. Right to Know. Ms. Malkan’s exposé titled, “Nina Fedoroff: Mobilizing the authority of American science to back Monsanto” is an impressive piece of journalism in an age when good journalism grows increasingly rare. Most journalism simply does not pay well unless one writes for Monsanto or some other corporation that can afford to pay a  promoter like Henry I. Miller or shameless others of his ilk.

Ms. Malkan follows the money to show just how Dr. Federoff has, for years, served her Monsanto and GMO benefactors. The doctor does so by never divulging the fact that she has been rewarded in one form or another by Monsanto and other corporations of its ilk that promote the genetically modified (Read: genetically perverted) food industry.  For more on the subject, please see “Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives, based on a book of the same name by Jeffrey M. Smith.

Ms. Malkan demonstrates how Dr. Federoff has promoted chemical industry giants like Monsanto, as well as all things GMO, while posing as a disinterested third-party “expert.” Federoff has done her work for Monsanto – like the execrable Michael Taylor before her – not only by moving through the revolving door that runs between government “service” and industry employment, but also by posing as someone with a talent for the truth when it comes to Monsanto and genetically perverted food.

Dr. Federoff is a perfect example of all that is rancid and wrong in Washington D.C. She does her dirty work in the dark for an industry that makes its money by killing things, and she does it while pretending to work in the light as a disinterested third party. A principal factor in her duplicity is her failure to disclose her industry ties, her vested interest in promoting Monsanto and GMOs. She routinely pretends to operate independently of her corporate benefactors. She virtually never reveals who is paying her to promote (or defend) Monsanto and GMOs, but her ruse begins to unravel when every position she ever held has been nothing but a promotion for the chemical and GMO industries that poison the world with toxic pesticides like Roundup.

Using the AAAS to advance agrichemical industry policy objectives

As Ms. Malkan reports, during her 2011-2012 run as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and as Chair of the Board of Directors from 2012-2013, Dr. Fedoroff worked with agrichemical industry allies to advance key policy objectives. She worked to keep genetically engineered foods unlabeled. She worked to defeat a proposal by the U.S. EPA that would have required additional data on the health and environmental impacts of genetically engineered crops which are classified as pesticides. She wants us eating pesticides without our knowing it, wants us blindly eating without question or knowledge whatever her corporate benefactors choose to “produce.”

AAAS helped persuade voters to oppose GMO labeling

In 2012, the AAAS Board of Directors under Dr. Fedoroff’s chairmanship, moved to convince California voters to vote against GMO-food labeling. California’s Proposition 37 was a ballot initiative to label GMOs. A review of the many political statements made by AAAS found no other examples of the organization trying to influence voters ahead of a state election. The AAAS and Dr. Fedoroff refused to respond to USRTK requests for comment. USRTK works to promote labeling,which 90 percent of U.S. citizens polled have said they prefer.

The AAAS board’s statement opposing GMO labeling contained inaccuracies, according to longtime AAAS members. Several of them denounced the anti-labeling statement as a “paternalistic” attack on consumer rights that misled the public by omitting important scientific and regulatory context.

AAAS goes to Bat for Industry

Curious similarities appeared in language used by the AAAS and the industry-funded campaign to defeat Proposition 37. “Is a major science group stumping for Monsanto?” Michele Simon asked in Grist. Ms. Simon, noted Ms. Malkan, described the board’s statement as “non-scientific but very quote-worthy,” and noted that the accompanying AAAS press release contained “talking points” that matched No on 37 campaign literature.

AAAS Lack of Transparency

In a 2013 letter to Science magazine, another group of 11 scientists raised concerns that the AAAS board’s statement on GMO foods “could backfire.” They wrote, “we are concerned that AAA’s position represents a poorly informed approach to communicating science …  appearing to be less than transparent is a really bad idea for the scientific community.”

Dr. Fedoroff was an early supporter of the industry-backed “‘No’ on 37” campaign. She was listed on an industry website in June 2012 as one of four scientists representing the “scientific and academic community” who opposed GMO labeling. The industry campaign later asked Dr. Fedoroff to help recruit more academics to their cause, which she did, according to an October 1, 2012 email to Meghan Callahan of BCF Public Affairs.

Helped kill data requirements for pesticide-producing plants

While serving as AAAS president in 2011, Dr. Fedoroff worked with agrichemical industry allies and an industry lobbyist to stop the U.S. EPA from requiring companies to provide additional health and safety data for genetically engineered foods that are classified as pesticides. The USRTK web site presents detailed emails showing just how low Dr. Fedoroff was willing to go to please her corporate masters.

Please see Ms. Malkan’s entire US Right to Know story to see just how Dr. Fedoroff operates at the behest of Monsanto and others.  Her being outed by USRTK is one more nail in Monsanto’s coffin as it tries to continue fooling the public regarding its carcinogenic Roundup and its promotion of toxic GMO “food.”

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