Amy Harmon: When good journalists cross the anti-GMO cult

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the New York Times, Amy Harmon hit another one out of the park recently and earned even more wrath from the anti-gmo cult when she wrote about one man’s lonely journey into learning the facts about GMOs,

Harmon first wrote about GMOs in her piece on a disease endangering the Florida citrus industry. That brought her into the savage sights of the anti-gmo crowd. What was her heretical offense? Being honest and using facts and evidence .  Her offense was not writing GMOs were going to cause the apocalypse.

In her latest piece, A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops, she chronicles the journey of one County Council member in Hawaii, Greggor Ilagan, to learn about GMOs when a GMO ban was being debated in the council. In the end he found, like any informed person, that GMOs are just fine and that anti-GMO activists are dumbasses.

What I liked the best about the piece beyond that is was a great piece of journalism, was that it was great reading about someone whose journey mirrored my own, from not knowing anything about GMOS, to finding out it was much ado about nothing. Whenever someone raised some negative issue about GMOs, Ilagan dutifully checked it out. Again and again and again.

Greggor Ilagan shows what happens when you actually look for facts instead of being a dumbshit activist with an agenda who rejects the facts in favor of a political worldview.

Harmon writes

Urged on by Margaret Wille, the ban’s sponsor, who spoke passionately of the need to “act before it’s too late,” the Council declined to form a task force to look into such questions (harmfulness of GMOs) before its November vote. But Mr. Ilagan, 27, sought answers on his own. In the process, he found himself, like so many public and business leaders worldwide, wrestling with a subject in which popular beliefs often do not reflect scientific evidence.

Imagine that. Declining to form a task force to look for the actual facts before acting on an issue.

You really have to read the article. It really exposes the anti-GMO crowd and how corrupt and dishonest they are.

One example of the dumbassness of the anti crowd is this tidbit. At one hearing, council member Brenda Ford questioned University of Hawaii biologist, Richard Manshardt about the effect GMO corn had on the bee population. He answered

“[Manshardt]  responded to a question from Ms. Ford about the effect on honeybees of corn engineered to resist pests: none, he said, because the protein it produced affected only certain insect groups, and was not toxic to bees.

“I don’t agree with the professor,” Ms. Ford told her colleagues.”

Seriously? What the hell? But again, that’s the mindset of the anti-GMO. Ask an expert and if it disagrees with your belief system, ignore it.

 The liberal/left talks about how stupid the right is for the their anti science stances. For Christ’s sake, a fuckin’ scientist explained to her the facts and she simply dismissed them. But that’s the M.O. of the anti-GMO crowd.

I applaud Greggor Ilagan for being honest and trying to do the right thing and learn. I also like the idea that he is only 27-years old and not a grizzled, old contrarian. There is no doubt he will take heat from the anti-GMO crowd. They will accuse him of being a shill and worse.  He was already tarred with the allegation that he is only on the council due to political corruption.

And as it always is in the anti-gmo world, since they don’t have the facts on their side, they resort to childishness and attempts to smear the messenger.

In response to Harmon’s article, Food Democracy*, an anti gmo group led the charge with a badly photoshopped and sexist image on their FB page which, at best was lame.

When called on it, Food Democracy defended their photo and called it satire. Well, maybe but it was in poor taste. When asked to apologize for their offense, what did they do? They dug in their heels and defended it as free speech. Sure, they have to the right to do it but with free speech comes responsibility. In civil society, when someone offends and is called on it, they apologize.  They don’t dig in their heels. We’ve all done it, me more than most, I would guess.

Since the image caused such offense, it would have been in FD’s interest to remove the image and apologize. It wouldn’t have been seen as a sign of weakness, but an honest admission they crossed the line.

The comment section below that stupid image was a great representation of what happens when the antis are confronted facts that conflict with their worldview. These people are ostensibly, liberal/left. To defend such an image is baffling. And not only did they defend the image, they questioned her bona fides and even said she is an idiot and should be fired.

Is Harmon an idiot? Not likely. She was a Guggenehim Fellow and won the Pulitzer for Explanatory Reporting for her series called “The DNA Age”which was about the ramifications of genetic technology.

I brought  her Pulitzer up on the Twitter and this is a response I received when someone suggested the Times replace Harmon with Michael Pollan

screenshot

 

 

 

 

 

I must admit, that stunned me. That’s the kind of thing you hear from dumbass, FoxNews, Tea Party types.

But wait, there’s more.  She wrote another series called  Target Cancer which received the journalism award given by the National Academies of Science.

And what do these anti-GMO nimrods have to say?

She is a biased science illiterate person who is sticking her science ignorant nose where it doesn’t belong. I suggest she write for a fashion magazine instead.

The article has very similar dialogue Monsanto uses. “Correlation for causation.” is one used frequently. I suspect she was briefed by Monsanto

It’s a sad thing when the liberal left and progressives act like the crazies on the loony right wing.

* I will not link to nonsense sites like Food Democracy. I don’t want to give them traffic

6 Thoughts on “Amy Harmon: When good journalists cross the anti-GMO cult

  1. Oooh…yeah, the “correlation for causation” thing is used frequently–by idiots. “Correlation ≠ causation” is *not* a Monsanto plot.

    The level of cluelessness is astonishing. If they weren’t so full-bore Dunning-Kruger they’d be so embarrassed.

  2. Carlos on January 12, 2014 at 8:32 pm said:

    Hi Bernie, if you don’t want to give traffic to a linked site, use this: http://www.donotlink.com

  3. Joni R on January 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm said:

    It’s good Food Democracy put out that stupid meme over her. Makes their cause look even more legitimate. They couldn’t even scramble to get something made up and plastered to beat the facts. Facts hurt for the anti-GMO cult. Too bad too many people here have joined the cult.

  4. Roy Kamisato on January 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm said:

    Good rebuttal, I was beginning to believe I was one of the few progressive left who disdain voodoo science.

  5. I, too, was happy to see someone who had gone through the same process of actual open-minded analysis of GMOs.

    I have felt the sting of the anti-GMO crowd myself as I moved from casually anti-GMO to pro-GMO. They’ve done petitions against my becoming President of a Rotary Club, spread lies and rumors about me and my business, threatened me, and continue to insult and slander me almost daily. As is the case with most cults, the members believe they are righteous, therefore anyone who disagrees is evil. That justifies anything in their concrete narcissistic minds.

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