Monday, December 28, 2015

Another abuse of cherry picking FOIA to manufacture a story.

Written by Vavilov

Alison Vuchnich from Global News Canada used the emails from the US-RTK sweep, that showed no evidence of wrong doing, to manufacture a false narrative that targeted Kevin Folta, a public scientist that teaches public audiences the science of genetic engineering. 

Alison lifted words from a conversation between Dr. Folta and the person that runs the website, where he frequently answers questions for the public. He suggested that GMOAnswers set up a site parallel to Rachel Parent’s site, Kids Right to Know, calling it Kids Right to Truth.  Parent is a 14 year old with no scientific training that makes frequent pronouncements on the dangers of genetically engineered foods.  Her family owns a large health-food company, and her statements represent common non-scientific tropes and not actual science. The website was never established.  It was an idea that Folta never bothered to pursue.  Neither did the folks at GMO Answers.  Nobody cared.  It was just an idea. And Rachel Parent’s family owns the URL, not Folta or GMO Answers. 

However, Vuchnich used the mention of this possibility, obtained from private emails confiscated from Folta under Freedom of Information Act, to claim this as an attack on Parent by the “GMO Lobby”.  A piece littered with well debunked cherry-picked claims was presented in the Dec 21 issue of Global News. 

She interviewed US-RTKs Gary Ruskin who referred to Folta as “Monsanto’s attack dog”.  Folta simply teaches science and has never advocated on behalf of Monsanto or for that company. 

The other US-RTK executive, Stacy Malkin, took to Twitter and again indicated that Monsanto had Ketchum (GMO Answers) persuade Folta to create a critical piece about Parent.  In reality, someone asked GMOAnswers about her and he answered with a  very complimentary commentary, suggesting she (and all young women) sharpen critical thinking skills and immerse themselves in STEM disciplines.  It was a very positive message

But Ruskin, Malkan and Vuchnich conspire to paint this discussion as an attack, and one funded by 
Monsanto.  Folta’s scientific research has never been sponsored by Monsanto and never received any compensation from them personally.  Monsanto did contribute to a science literacy program where Folta taught scientists how to engage the public, but those funds were not used after Folta and his family received threats.

That was the plan by Vuchnich, et al.   A look at the comments in the article and by the notes on Twitter show the true intent—to harm a scientist by making him appear to be a bully, when he did nothing of the sort. This is the latest round in the Organic Consumer’s Association attack on Folta, orchestrated by US-RTK and facilitated by complicit journalists that manufacture false narratives from cherry-picked information.  And just look how their willing disciples run with that false information---

1 comment:

  1. I almost got tripped up by that url. There's an error. Parent owns but what Folta's email was talking about was and that's currently parked by a holding company.