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U.S. Right to Know is conducting an investigation into the collusion between Big Food, its front groups, and university faculty and staff to deliver industry PR to the public. That investigation is ongoing. Thus far, it has been fruitful, as today’s New York Times article shows.
The Times article links to emails obtained via state Freedom of Information Act requests filed by U.S. Right to Know. These emails reveal how Monsanto and its partners use so-called “independent” third-party scientists and professors to deliver their PR messaging. Since the companies themselves are not credible messengers, they use these scientists and professors as sock-puppets to shape the media narrative on food issues, particularly GMOs.
...the biotech industry has published dozens of articles, under the names of prominent academics, that in some cases were drafted by industry consultants.
“Nobody tells me what to say, and nobody tells me what to think,” he said, adding, “Every point I make is based on evidence.”
At best, these statements by Professor Folta are misleading, and some of them are untruthful. Yet, as the emails released today reveal, Folta has been in close contact with Monsanto and the industry’s PR firm Ketchum, recently received a $25,000 unrestricted grant from Monsanto, and even wrote to a Monsanto executive, “I’m glad to sign on to whatever you like, or write whatever you like.”
When our movement got big companies to change, Dr. Kevin Folta, from University of Florida appeared on the scene. Every time we made headway on an important issue, Kevin Folta, who claimed to be an unbiased scientist, was there to refute our claims and throw some ad hominem attacks....Folta attempted to derail my speaking event at the University of Florida. He has also been interviewed by major media outlets such as The Atlantic, NPR, and the NY Times acting as an unbiased third party source, telling reporters he has no financial ties to Monsanto or the biotech industry all while acting as the ringleader and chief of my critics.
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originally posted by: Iconic
This is a lot of info to go through.
But, with all of this coming out after the supreme court shot down any chance of GMO label laws being passed....does it even matter?
originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
a reply to: Boadicea
The situation with peer reviewed science, academia and journalism is horrible. The US is the worst off. But as bad as you think it is, it will get much worse if TPP/TISA are allowed to happen.
Here's $25,000 to use for whatever you want
The letter is dated August 8, 2014 and confirm that Kevin Folta is receiving an "unrestricted grant" in the amount of $25,000, which "may be used at your discretion... in support of outreach projects." This means the money can be used for travel expenses, trips to Hawaii, luxury hotels or anything else Kevin Folta wants to use it on.
"I'm grateful for this opportunity and promise a solid return on investment." The "return on investment," of course, refers to serving as Monsanto's propaganda puppet in exchange for $25,000. This is the very definition of academic corruption. Payola. Bribery. Folta has been caught red-handed taking money from Monsanto and promising results in return! After receiving this money from Monsanto, Kevin Folta went on to viciously smear clean food activists like the Food Babe by lying to media organizations like The Atlantic, loudly proclaiming he had no financial ties to Monsanto even after cashing their check for $25,000 and promising them a "return on investment."