Monday, March 7, 2016

How a Boston Globe journalist secretly allowed herself to be used for an organic industry-led attack on a professor.


By Stephan Neidenbach - welovegv@gmail.com
Edited by Nandu Nandini

I have never quite read anything in such an esteemed paper as The Boston Globe as this piece on Professor Juma at Harvard. The article was clearly meant to tarnish his reputation, as there is zero evidence of any kind of wrongdoing on his part.

In 2014 the professor wrote a blog entry for Genetic Literacy. An opinion piece. The Globe article makes it sound like it was some sort of research paper led by Monsanto. By emphasizing "biotechnology" in quotes it is quite demeaning to an entire technology. 
Clearly their writer Ms. Laura Krantz has an agenda here. After a quick Google search, I found a blog wherein she discusses learning all about organic farming and her future plans to live that kind of lifestyle. Since the organic industry has a vested interest in demonizing biotech crops I called her out on it via Twitter. Within 10 minutes of calling her out on it, she deleted her organic blog, clearly demonstrating that she had something to hide. I find it extremely unethical that a journalist complains about a writer not disclosing something, and then tries to hide her own past. Her page was saved in the Google cache and can be accessed here.

I also question her honesty by which she obtained this information. The Boston Globe received the 4,600 emails from the University of Florida. One does not simply sort through nearly 5,000 emails to find one email from a Harvard professor. So I decided to do something a little unorthodox, I submitted a FOIA request on the FOIA requests. It turns out that she received the documents on September 30th, just one day before the article was published. Ms. Krantz would like us to believe that in no less than 24 hours she went through 4,600 emails, wrote the article, submitted it to her editor, and had it approved? In my opinion, she already had the email about Professor Juma in her possession from Gary Ruskin at US RTK, and the Globe's own FOIA request was a way to cover her tracks.

US RTK received funding from the Organic Consumer's Association, which in turn receives funding from many companies in the organic industry such as; Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, Joseph Mercola, Nutiva, and Eden Organic. After losing the GMO labeling battle in California, Ruskin formed US RTK, through which has been submitting FOIA requests in the hopes of connecting scientists that defend science to the biotech industry.
Professor Juma did nothing wrong. He did not take any money from Monsanto and merely offered his opinion on a blog. Now he is receiving threats and calls to land him in jail by celebrity husbands. Professor Folta clearly made a mistake in not mentioning the grant his outreach program received. Professor Juma did not even make a mistake. Who discloses on brief emails when writing a blog posting? If Ms. Krantz has nothing to hide or disclose herself, why is she trying to delete her past?

5 comments:

  1. So you are saying that people that are interested in learning about organic farming shouldn't write about the inherent dangers of GMOs and associated pesticides and ecological damage.
    That says more about you and your 'cause' than her.

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    1. Agreed! Just like her argument is that Juma is interested in GMOs but apparently shouldn't write about why he likes them. Whatever this piece says about me, says the same about her.

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  2. She must have some big strings to pull. The Google caches are gone as well.

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  3. Google will eventually delete cache entries for pages that return 404. There is also a URI for requesting immediate removal to expedite.

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