How Monsanto Mobilized Academics to Pen Articles Supporting GMOs
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post/Bloomberg
Posted: October 11th, 2015
Monsanto Co.s undisclosed recruitment of scientists from Harvard University, Cornell University and three other schools to write about the benefits of plant biotechnology is drawing fire from opponents. Monsanto says its in regular contact with public-sector scientists as it tries to elevate public dialog on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. U.S. Right to Know, a nonprofit group funded by the Organic Consumers Association that obtained e-mails under the Freedom of Information Act, says correspondence revealing Monsantos actions shows the corporate control of science and how compliant some academics are. The articles have become the latest flashpoint in an information war being waged over plant biotechnology. The articles in question appeared on the Genetic Literacy Projects website in a series called GMO - Beyond the Science. Eric Sachs, who leads Monsantos scientific outreach, wrote to eight scientists to pen a series of briefs aimed at influencing public policy, GM crop regulation and consumer acceptance. Five of them obliged. University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta said he agreed to write Anti-GMO Activism and Its Impact on Food Security because communicating science to the public is his job. Folta has faced public criticism since the New York Times ... reported last month about his communications with Monsanto and a $25,000 donation to the science communication program he runs.