Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Pro-GMO Group Crosses Ethical Line

Health + Wellness
Pro-GMO Group Crosses Ethical Line

The Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) has been accused of unethical journalistic practices after it published personal information about individuals opposed to genetically modified food and changed the text of an article without the author’s permission.

GLP is an organization that heavily promotes genetic engineering of foods and attacks critics of the technology.

Posting Personal Information “Way Below” Ethical Line

GLP has posted phone numbers, email and home addresses and other personal information about GMO critics. According to David Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now, GLP posted the phone number and email and home addresses of Don Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue University. Murphy contacted GLP asking them to remove the information, which they did, but shortly after GLP posted Murphy’s cell phone number and home address.

“It’s one thing to have a public disagreement with highly trained scientists and activists on a controversial subject like GMO safety, but publishing personal information, home addresses and cell phone numbers, is a new low, even for Monsanto’s smear merchant,” Murphy said. “Does Monsanto really want us publishing their CEO and top scientists like Robb Fraley’s home addresses? One wonders what they really have to hide if they’re willing to employ such slimeball tactics against their critics.”

GLP has also posted personal information about other GMO critics such as Mike Adams, publisher of Natural News; Vani Hari, a.k.a. the Food Babe; Henry Rowlands, publisher of Sustainable Pulse; Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology; and others. GLP even went so far as to post information about the value of Smith’s house.

Carey Gillam, research director at U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) and a former veteran senior journalist with Reuters news service, said the practice of publishing personal identifying information such as phone numbers and addresses, was clearly an unethical practice.

“We here at USRTK are intentionally not posting the emails we’ve obtained that include that kind of information because we think it is below the ethical bar. Way below,” Gillam said.

Crossed an Ethical Line

In November, pro-GMO journalist Keith Kloor accused GLP of altering his article, “The Story Behind the Story,” without his permission. The article, which was posted on his website, www.keithkloor.com, focuses on science writer Brooke Borel’s Buzzfeed profile of University of Florida scientist Kevin Folta, who was hosting a podcast using a fake identity.

GLP reposted a segment of Kloor’s article on their website with a different headline, “Did Brooke Borel cross ethical line in criticizing Kevin Folta GMO parody site?”

Kloor objected to GLP’s posting the article without his permission and changing the headline and text. In a blog, Kloor wrote: “It’s bad enough that a website built on the aggregated work of journalists takes something that belongs to you without asking for permission. It’s outrageous when the website truncates your text in ways that change the meaning of what you wrote, which is also what Genetic Literacy is guilty of doing with respect to my post. It’s infuriating and unforgivable when the person who stole your text puts his own flatly wrong headline above it … That’s crossing an ethical line.”

On a personal note, GLP has also changed the headlines of articles I’ve written that they’ve posted on their website. One headline they changed contained text that was meant to be derogatory to me.

Other authors also criticized GLP’s journalistic practices on Twitter. These included Borel, Helena Bottemiller Evich, a journalist with Politico, and Anastasia Bodnar, policy director at the pro-GMO website Biofortified.org, among others. The authors objected to GLP changing the headlines and text of articles, listing authors as GLP contributing writers when they aren’t and putting author bylines with paraphrased articles.

On Twitter, GLP Executive Director Jon Entine tried to assure the authors that GLP has been responsive “to every concern.” But Kloor responded sarcastically to that claim, asking Entine if he really wrote that “with a straight face.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Syngenta Megamerger Must Be Blocked

These 3 Women Attend Monsanto’s Annual Shareholder Meeting Demanding Answers

Monsanto’s Glyphosate Most Heavily Used Weed Killer in History

Cancer Prevention Needs Attention Too: What if We Weren’t Exposed to 80,000 Toxic Chemicals Every Day?

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Sept. 18, 2020 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington comforts Marsha Maus, 75, whose home was destroyed during California's deadly 2018 wildfires, on March 11, 2019 in Agoura Hills, California. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

By Governor Jay Inslee

Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.

In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.

Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch