anti-GMO

Should a public university, which derives much of its funding from state and federal government, be in the business of using that taxpayer money to fund a project whose sole purpose is to besmirch the reputation of scientists, including those of other public universities?

That's the dubious position in which the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) finds itself. And those in charge of the project won't answer any questions about it.

UCSF operates an online archive called the Industry Documents Library. Its "About" page begins with this ominous warning:

Increasingly, connections are being made between tactics taken by the tobacco industry and other...

There's no nice way to put this. Academia is in the midst of self-destructing, not just in the United States but worldwide.

Recall that, just two months ago, Fresno State Professor Randa Jarrar went on a hate-filled Twitter rant against the recently deceased Barbara Bush. Her diatribe was so vile, that the university investigated the possibility of terminating or disciplining her. But, nothing happened, despite the fact that a video surfaced of her praising airplane hijackings (1:07) and making a sexual gesture at students (2:02).

Just a week later, the University of...

There's a lot of money to be made in kowtowing to the latest dietary fads and unsubstantiated health scares. As a result, organic products -- which are sold to people based on the myths that they are safer, healthier, and tastier than conventional products -- are now a nearly $50-billion-industry in the U.S.

Other companies have noticed and jumped aboard the bandwagon. If there is money to be made, they are eager to throw science under the bus in order to prey on a scientifically illiterate populace. The proliferation of ridiculous labels -- from...

I've been a science writer and editor for nearly eight years. During this time, I've learned a few things.

Perhaps the most important is that science is never enough. It doesn't matter if you have facts, data, and logic on your side, a substantial proportion of people will reject what you say and call you bad names. The reason, usually, is because they have an ideological conflict of interest -- by far, the worst kind of conflict of interest. That is, they are so dedicated to a particular viewpoint, that literally nothing will change their minds. That is anathema to science.

Editors must be aware of that fact. Otherwise, they are likely to be...

Academia is in a pathetic state.

Last week, Fresno State's Randa Jarrar put on public display why so many Americans despise the institution: After a hateful Twitter rant in which she defamed the recently deceased Barbara Bush, she clogged ASU's suicide hotline by tweeting out its phone number. During the controversy, a video surfaced in which Jarrar is endorsing the hijacking of airplanes (1:03), talking about throwing grenades into a house (1:16), and making a lewd sexual gesture (1:55).

None of that matters. As she bragged at the time, she will never lose her $100,000-...

Stephan Neidenbach is a middle school technology teacher. To counter the barrage of misinformation about biotechnology on the internet, he began a Facebook page called We Love GMOs and Vaccines. He quickly gained prominence among science communicators.

Anti-biotechnology activists – especially those who are on an ideological bender against genetically engineered crops – are trying to destroy the careers of scientists who work on or publicly advocate for GMOs. Their favored tactic is to target academic scientists with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, then fishing through e-mails for any evidence that the scientists are “corporate shills.” Finding none, activists pull quotes out of context, fabricate conspiracies, and cyberbully scientists online. University of Florida...

Over the past few days, a controversy has erupted following claims in the Washington Post that the Trump Administration has banned or otherwise discouraged the use of seven words, such as "fetus" and "transgender," by the CDC and other HHS agencies. For what it's worth, CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald has denied these reports.

Lest we forget, the Obama Administration did something similar: In 2009, it began referring to acts of terrorism as "man-caused disasters." Additionally, throughout its eight-year tenure, the...

When it comes to food, biotech, and health reporting, the New York Times is at least consistent: It is guaranteed to be wrong every single time.

Recently, it ran a very strange article about traces of glyphosate in Ben & Jerry's ice cream. It's strange for two reasons: (1) Ben & Jerry's is vehemently anti-GMO; and (2) It doesn't matter if there are traces of glyphosate in your ice cream.

Ben & Jerry's Gets 'Greenmailed'

Like Whole Foods, Ben & Jerry's has profited handsomely by scaring people about the safety of the food supply. The company is anti-GMO and supports GMO labeling. However, that...

Vitamin-A deficiency around the world leads to between 250,000 and 500,000 children going blind – every single year. Half of them die within a year of losing their sight. And several other health problems stem from this urgent issue.

Yet, a solution to this global health threat is available today, and it could quickly help 250 million preschool children around the world who are vitamin-A deficient, as estimated by the World Health Organization

That said, exactly how many countries today are growing "Golden Rice" – a genetically-modified seed with three genes that produce beta-carotene, a vitamin-A precursor – to assist their underfed and vulnerable populations?

Zero.

Yes, it's difficult to fathom,...

Science writers have long suspected that the anti-GMO movement is linked to the anti-vaccine movement. Indeed, both are predicated upon one of the biggest myths in modern society: "Natural is better."1

In an interview with Science, Seth Mnookin recalled how a public health official warned him that anti-vaxxers were particularly prominent in locations that had a Whole Foods. Mr. Mnookin concluded, "It's those communities with the Prius driving, composting, organic food-eating people."

So, that's why it wasn't surprising when March Against Monsanto, a group that opposes GMOs, became a...