Maintream media has been casting a much more skeptical eye and various lefty/green writers have either changed their minds or at least taking less strident anti stances and are willing to be a little more open-minded. It’s hard to say what has been causing the change in these writers. It could be they are starting to realize that scientists aren’t lying to them. It might be that the antis are. It just might be a combination of both.
On top of that, prominent public figures like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye have respectively said, “chill out,” and “I’m going to revise the second edition of my book to reflect my stance on GMOs.” (the latter is not an exact quote)
What do the antis make of all this? Yeah, the same old “bought off” routine. But that song and dance is a bit long in the tooth. There are just so many people who Monsanto can buy off even when you make around $15 billion.
Actually, the anti movement is very much like vaudeville. The same players doing the same routines in city after city. Eventually they were replaced by moving pictures which were more modern, convenient and cost less.
So, what’s an anti to do? You ratchet it up.
Slowly, scientists and farmers have been coming out of their labs and fields and fighting back against the bullshit peddled by the antis. They are outraged at the libelous accusations made against them. This does not sit well with the antis. They ratcheted it up and have engaged in online smears of squints like the excellent science communicator Kevin Folta, who have put themselves out to bring science to the people. They accuse farmers of poisoning people.
Their latest and most disturbing and desperate tactic was taken straight out of the climate deniers playbook. A newly formed group called US-Right-to-Know (US-RTK) have filed FOIA requests against 14 scientists, including the aforementioned Flash Folta, at public universities for all their emails which reference companies like Monsanto. They are looking for payola. Do they have any proof that these squints are on Monsanto’s payroll? Nope. They speak in favor of GMOs. It’s a fishing expedition.
And, even if they do find any ties, tenuous or solid, does that make what they are saying wrong? That’s a big tactic. Since they can’t go after the science, go after real or imagined conflicts. Whether or not any of these squints are getting paid, doesn’t negate the evidence they present. To dismiss out of hand any evidence simply due to industry ties is dishonest.
If you want to know the true duplicitous nature of the anti movement, right-to-know pretty much sums up how full of shit they are. They demand transparency. What is the evil Monsanto hiding? In response to that, the biotech industry, led by Monsanto set up a site called GMO Answers that answers consumer questions about GMOs. They get volunteer scientists and farmers to answer questions. What was the reaction of the antis? Corporate propaganda! Lies!
Readersupportednews.org has a 2013 piece by Alternet’s Katherine Paul Zack Kaldveer that questions the idea of an industry-run answer site
In this case, it’s a new website and forum, introduced by biotech trade groups no doubt with the help of a new PR firm. And a new front group. (emphasis mine) The freshly launched GMOAnswers.com is funded by the biotech industry, which claims it just “wants to talk.”
This week, the New York Times reported on the launch of GMOAnswers.com, a new website intended to “answer virtually any question posed by consumers about genetically engineered crops.” Except, of course, where they’re hidden in our food.(emphasis mine)
Right there, that bolded phrase shows how little Kaldveer knows about GM technology. Where they’re hidden? Hey Katherine, go over to the site and ask them. Kaldveer’s nonsense is similar to a complaint by former Prop. 37 leader Stacey Malkin and now a member of the US-RTK that is demanding the emails. Folta mentions it on his blog
Perhaps my favorite comment by Stacy Malkan is that GMO Answers.com does not address the “peer-reviewed statement” that 300 scientists claim “no consensus”. I hope they do eventually, heck, I might even ask the question on GMO Answers.
Hey, Stace, go over and ask. That’s what they’re there for. Oh, right. Corporate propaganda.
They’re totally full of shit. There is no other way to describe it.
I’m smelling desperation at Anti-GMO Central. Their tactics remind me of how Hunter Thompson described Richard Nixon. He had the fighting instincts of a badger trapped by hounds… Badgers don’t fight fair, bubba.
The FOIA request was so egregious even the normally anti-allied Union of Concerned Scientists issued a report concerning this new activist tactic
Open records requests are increasingly being used to harass and intimidate scientists and other academic researchers, or to disrupt and delay their work…
You have got to be kidding me. And it’s not just Monsanto they are claiming are anti-science. It’s pro-GMO. It’s Bizarro World. The Organic Consumers Association whose fearless leader is solidly anti-vax is calling others anti- science? Do they really believe this or are they just nuts? They remind me of an old Carlin bit on stupid people. He divided them into three groups: stupid, full of shit and nuts. I think the anti groups are, to paraphrase Carlin describing Dan Quayle, all three.
When the movement started gaining steam, it was a simple straight-forward right-to-know. But that was a red herring. The real end goal was elimination of GM technology which they now admit while still pimping the right-to-know nonsense.
It’s no use trying to change the minds of groups like the intellectually challenged liars at GMOFreeUSA or the lying thugs of the Organic Consumers Association. It’s a losing battle. You can’t change crazy. The best bet for folks like me and you is to counter their nonsense in public forums, online and off. If scientists and farmers keep getting message out, it will cease to become an issue altogether.
But if you look at it the big picture, I don’t think this is a real issue for most Americans. They may give lip service when asked, but they basically only know what they hear from the antis since they yell the loudest. They have more important issues to deal with like making a living wage, paying the rent/mortgage and taking care of their families. The idea that these well-fed, sighted, unprincipled fucks are fighting to stop a useful technology is disgraceful. They ought to be ashamed of themselves for spreading fear and lies. But they won’t. It’s a righteous, religious crusade.
One final afterthought. What the hell is up with them making demands on farmers and companies? They demand farmers do it this way. They demand food companies do it that way. What kind of narcissists are these miscreants that they feel they can dictate that their lifestyle choices should be followed by all of society? I mean, these organic pricks wouldn’t set foot in a McDonalds or buy Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, yet they feel entitled to dictate to these companies to adjust products they don’t and won’t use. to fit the worldview? And farmers? Who the hell knows how to farm better than a farmer, some urban hippie who couldn’t find his ass with both hands and thinks he’s a farmer because he has a plot in a community garden?