KCAL9, the CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, invited conspiracy theorist Zen Honeycutt -- an anti-GMO, anti-vaccine, conspiracy-mongering snake oil saleswoman and founder of Moms Across America -- to discuss children's health.
The "activist-legal" complex is real. One of the lead plaintiffs' attorneys, Timothy Litzenburg, was arrested for the attempted extortion of $200 million from a company involved in the production of Monsanto's Roundup. This same attorney collaborates with Carey Gillam and her anti-GMO organization U.S. Right to Know.
American science and industry are under threat by this complex, known to be an unholy alliance of activists and trial lawyers who deploy various pseudoscientific tricks to score multibillion-dollar lawsuits against large companies. No industry is safe from these deceptions.
In the age of "Facebook science," the weight of evidence must compete with powerful popular narratives. Can common sense help? Let's take a look.
Who is the "decider?" For glyphosate, the EPA claims authority over California. But for a growing list of concerns, are small minorities demonstrating influence and control over the desires of the majority?
Sometimes facts beat hype. This week was one of those times. The EPA, after years of compiling and evaluating data, declared that it would not approve labels for the herbicide glyphosate that contained a cancer warning. This puts the U.S. agency in direct opposition to California's absurd Proposition 65, which would require a cancer warning label on the chemical -- even though it would be incorrect. The U.S. now joins a dozen other countries that have already determined glyphosate is safe as used.
The University of California-San Francisco has become a strange place. While the university certainly hosts faculty doing world-class research, simultaneously it has become the academic home for conspiracy theorists, including anti-vaxxers and anti-biotech activists.
It's been a good month for us at ACSH. Cox Media correctly defined us in a story about glyphosate in cereal. And a media fact-checking group decided that we deserved a 'High' rating for a "clean fact check record." And the month's not even half over.
Pop quiz: What do The New York Times, Jeffrey "the yogic flying instructor" Smith, and the National Resources Defense Council have in common? Answer: They all shamelessly lie about glyphosate to make money. (And you get extra credit if you answered "They are all bad sources of science information.")
Does glyphosate — the world’s most heavily-used herbicide — pose serious harm to humans? Is it carcinogenic? Those issues are of both legal and scientific debate. Learn the facts here.
Not that any of this matters to the people who get paid to lie about biotechnology. But to those activists, the scientific consensus on glyphosate is simply evidence of a gigantic Monsanto-led conspiracy. That would somehow involve the U.S. EPA, the European Food Safety Authority, the World Health Organization -- and now Brazil's national health agency, all of which agree that glyphosate doesn't cause cancer.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is one of the foremost pro-science organizations in the world. Not only does it advocate for good science and science policy, it publishes Science, the prestigious journal read globally by millions. Unfortunately, AAAS has gotten a bit weird in recent months.