The big players in the GMO and agrochemical industry – Monsanto, Bayer, Dow, Syngenta, DuPont – are engaging in an extensive public relations, advertising, lobbying and political campaigning to make sure that genetically engineered crops (GMOs), and the chemical pesticides they require, continue to proliferate in the U.S.
To improve their public image, they are attempting to manipulate everything we see and hear about GMO crops and pesticides in the media and on TV, the internet and print articles – using propaganda-laden commercials, “mommy-blogger” articles, farmer endorsements, hired operatives to change Wikipedia, and front group websites. The biotech industry is feeling threatened, and their profits hang in the balance. They are trying to silence the truth!
A lot of people trust the website Snopes.com and use it to fact-check things they hear on the internet. For no reason whatsoever, this mom-and-pop website has been put on a pedestal as if they are the be-all and end-all of truth on the internet.
Facebook recently teamed up with Snopes, allowing them become an arbitrator of fake news circulating on their network, essentially elevating them as an authoritative source of information. I find this development alarming on many levels:
Monsanto has made BILLIONS off of the weedkiller Roundup (aka glyphosate) along with their Roundup-Ready GMO seeds, but sales have been plummeting since the truth about this toxic product is coming out. They are doing everything they can to keep those profits coming in!
Did the facts really change? Why would they call this information FALSE?
It’s as if Monsanto edited it themselves and sent it off to Snopes for publication. Entire sentences and paragraphs were removed that were hurtful to Monsanto. Important data was removed entirely. The wording was changed to make the findings of an independent FDA-registered laboratory seem less scientific or credible…
The data about how Cheerios and Stacy’s Pita Chips were found to have MORE glyphosate than the level permitted by the U.S. government in drinking water (700 ppb) was completely removed! Apparently Snopes believes it’s not factual or important to mention that some foods were found to have more weedkiller in them than even our lax regulations allow…
In this first revision, Snopes makes a huge mistake in stating that the World Health Organization’s International Agency For Research on Cancer’s (IARC) finding that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans was “overturned in March 2016”, which is NOT TRUE…
IARC’s 2015 assessment has NOT been overturned, this is just what Monsanto dreams would happen. In reality, the team of international independent cancer scientists at IARC who made the finding that glyphosate “probably causes cancer in humans” are defending their decision, while being attacked by Monsanto with their lobbying group attempting to cut off IARC’s funding. The 17 independent scientists at IARC came to an unanimous decision that isn’t muddled by industry ties, and Monsanto is trying to shut them up.
The subsequent 2016 Joint FAO-WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) is not reliable as the scientists on the panel have a giant conflict of interest in working with ILSI Europe, a group funded by Monsanto, CropLife, and big food companies, along with a board of trustees comprised of industry execs from Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Nestle and others. Snopes is WRONG to say their finding is the “current consensus amongst the world’s regulatory agencies”. That’s the industry-funded view!
A large body of peer reviewed research links glyphosate to cancer, reproductive problems, liver, kidney and skin cell damage, ..., and more – but Monsanto doesn’t want the world to know the truth. The industry has a long history of of concealing health risks about their products from the public.
“Historically, the same thing happened with tobacco, the same thing happened with asbestos, the same thing happened with arsenic. It’s not junk science.” ~ Aaron Blair, PhD, MPH, internationally renowned epidemiologist and the author of more than 450 scientific papers, who spent thirty years at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Blair led the IARC panel.
Which just goes to show they don’t properly research the facts before publishing stories!
The FDA has been caught having closed-door meetings with industry representatives several times in the past. There is evidence that Monsanto met with the FDA specifically to discuss glyphosate residues in food in 2016:
“In April of this year, Monsanto’s international regulatory affairs manager Amelia Jackson-Gheissari emailed FDA asking to set up a time to talk about “enforcement of residue levels in the USA, particularly glyphosate.” ~ Huffington Post, September 2016
Monsanto also had secret talks with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about glyphosate and are trying to hide the documentation from the public.
“The plaintiffs’ attorneys say at least four specific documents they have obtained are clearly in the public interest and “illuminate that one of Monsanto’s chief business strategies is its secret and untoward influence on EPA.” – Huffington Post, January 2017
Likewise, the industry group CropLife (which represents Monsanto and agrochemical companies) tried to stop the EPA from convening their scientific panel to review the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate. Read their August 24, 2016 letter to the EPA here. (The meeting took place in December, and the EPA’s findings have not yet been made public.)
Yet, my post was called “unsubstantiated”…
Advertisements on Snopes website for Monsanto/Bayer:
It was brought to my attention that after Snopes first called our piece a “MIXTURE” of truth, Monsanto’s operative (aka Kevin Folta) swept in and started bullying the reporter at Snopes into changing his article to claim that the information we presented was “FALSE”.
He is NOT independent and works right along with Monsanto executives, industry consultants, and lobbyists to spread their propaganda…
In other words, this is how Monsanto quietly paid Kevin Folta to advocate for them…
For more on Kevin Folta’s connections to Monsanto and the industry, READ THIS:
- Food Industry Enlisted Academics in G.M.O. Lobbying War, Emails Show – New York Times
- The problem with science journalism: we’ve forgotten that reality m... – The Guardian
- Seed Money: True Confessions Of A GMO Defender – BuzzFeed
- Kevin Folta’s Problem With Ethics – GM Watch
- Our Investigation of Big Food and its Front Groups – U.S. Right To Know
Just as I had reported, Monsanto is scrambling to bury this story and Snopes is just one channel that they are using to make people believe that any story speaking negatively about Roundup and GMOs is false. This is a dirty fight and Monsanto’s propaganda is in full force. This Snopes piece is all marketing. Marketing for Monsanto!
Snopes response to Food Babe: “The change in rating was mainly the result of my narrowing the focus of the claim to the alleged conspiracy to suppress residue data. This was in response to criticism from ‘both sides’ about a lack of clarity my original approach took. The issue with the FDN study, of course, is that its methods have not been peer-reviewed or even made public, outside of the fact that the report states the tool was an LC-MS-MS in an FDA-certified lab… My approach is to take the totality of these data, which argues that at environmentally relevant concentrations there is no harm through diet, while allowing that debate still exists within the the scientific community. That remains my position.”
After all of this… Kevin Folta admits that the glyphosate tests that we reported on were 100% CORRECT…
That’s right. He contacted Anresco Laboratories and found that their testing was done 100% correctly and obtained honestly. In fact, in his podcast he admits he should have contacted them first. Yet Snopes still calls this report FALSE. Isn’t this ridiculous?
Food Babe Army CALL TO ACTION:
1. Contact Snopes here and tell them that their article about glyphosate in food is spreading misinformation propagated by discredited scientist Kevin Folta and should be retracted.
2. Spread the word that Snopes.com is NOT to be trusted. Share this post now!
If you have friends or family that use Snopes as a factual source of information, please share this post with them! This is how we cut the legs off of Monsanto’s propaganda machine. We need to expose who Snopes really is and what they stand for. The truth will set you free!