glyphosate

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...

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...

Good science journalism is hard to find. In a world of fake news, the public needs trusted guides to help them understand complex issues.

The website Undark, whose stated mission is "true journalistic coverage of the sciences" seems a promising venue. Its editorial staff and advisory board contain some fairly well-known and respectable names.

That's what makes the website's publication of a Monsanto conspiracy article so troubling and, quite frankly, bizarre. The piece, written by Carey Gillam, deploys distortions and half-truths early and often. Literally, the very first sentence is a...

The first director of IARC (the International Agency for Research on Cancer), Dr. John Higginson, was also a scientific advisor to the American Council on Science and Health Those were the glory days of IARC, which was founded for the purpose of identifying human carcinogens for further study and to guide health policy.

Unfortunately, much has changed since 1965. Fifty-two years after its inception, IARC has become a fringe group, seemingly more interested in scaring people than identifying actual health threats. Any organization that declares bacon to be as dangerous as plutonium has entirely lost its way.

Things started to unravel for...

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...

In Part One, we examined the findings of the 2015 meeting of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), during which a panel of 17 cancer experts considered evidence that would determine what class of carcinogens that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide RoundUp) belonged in.

What was especially strange was that the panel chair was Aaron Blair, an epidemiologist for the National Cancer Institute, was the head of a group which had conducted years of extensive research that gave glyphosate a good safety report card (not expected to be carcinogenic in humans). Yet, the panel never heard anything about Blair's work. He never said a word, allegedly...

Glyphosate, the active herbicide in Roundup, is pretty much always in the news, but it is even more so lately:

  • It causes cancer. (A lawsuit against Monsanto)
  • The EU says it doesn't cause cancer. 
  • It was added to California's Proposition list as a carcinogen. Except it isn't.
  • The...

"Lying" is considered one of those words civilized people should never say. That's why politicians never use it. Instead, their opponents are "misinformed" or "misspeaking" or "using alternative facts." 

Well, the time for civility is over. Journalist -- if we can actually call him that -- Danny Hakim is lying to you. And it's not his first rodeo, either. He's built quite a track record for himself at the New York Times, publishing distorted information about GMOs and comparing agricultural pesticides to "Nazi-made sarin gas." 

Now, Mr. Hakim has written an...

When an article says "Don't let this go unshared," over and over again (five times - if we're counting,) I automatically have questions. When the main message of the article scares people with misinformation and flawed science, then I have an article for Monday morning.

The 'Food Babe' has a new article out on glyphosate that fits both of the descriptions above. She claims that there are new data to show that glyphosate used when crops are grown is making it into many of the foods that are in our cupboards.

She states that a "FDA-registered food safety laboratory tested iconic American food for residues of the weed killer glyphosate (aka Monsanto’s Roundup) and found ALARMING amounts." She then goes on...

There has been a long history of ridiculous fearmongering by environmental activists masquerading as health experts. BPA, MSG, Alar, DDT, and food coloring are just a handful of chemicals that fell prey to overblown fears or outright fabrications. Today, the whipping boy that takes the brunt of the unfounded chemophobic assault on science is the herbicide glyphosate.

Glyphosate is demonized primarily for one reason: Monsanto. To many of its irrational detractors, who refer to the company as "Monsatan," anything the company touches is, by definition, evil. The seed giant genetically engineered some of its crops to be resistant to glyphosate so that farmers could spray it on their fields; the crops would survive while the weeds were destroyed. It's not a perfect solution. For...