Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Anti Biotechnology Groups Blame Organic Pesticide Company For Microcephaly in Brazil

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

No sooner than it was announced that transgenic mosquitoes and recombinant vaccines could help battle microcephaly in Brazil, conspiracy theorists drew out their arsenal and went into full battle mode. They immediately started grasping at straws to blame the problem on any bogeyman they could invent. One such conspiracy theory manufactured managed to make its way to Tech Times. In an insult to journalists everywhere, Alyssa Navarro seemed to not have spend any additional time in researching facts before regurgitating the internet myths. Much of the article seems pilfered from GM Watch.

Navarro goes on to blame the problem on a larvicide she claimed was manufactured by a company owned by Monsanto. At some point the headline was changed to cover their tracks, but the original is still visible in the URL of the article. Monsanto would eventually complain, because they are in no way associated with the company that manufactures the larvicide, and later Navarro followed up with another article. Unfortunately her old one is still out there, with no link to to the new one, nor was there ever an admission of her mistake.

The icing of the cake with all of these anti biotech and organic industry front groups running with the Monsanto/microcephaly conspiracy - The larvicide they claim is manufactured by Monsanto, is actually made by a large organic pesticide producer - Sumitomo. Sumitomo that makes the larvicide (the larvicide is itself not organic though), owns Valent and MGK. In fact, Hank Campbell writing for Genetic Literacy mentioned these companies back in 2014.

Sumitomo is also a major Japanese importer of organic sugar from Brazil used for energy and fertilizer production. Although they can get sugarcane locally in Asian countries, they choose to go organic and increase their carbon footprint by importing it from another continent. 

I hope these organic industry front groups learn their lesson for the future. Do a "little research"; a term they love to use,  before manufacturing fear, uncertainty, and doubt. 

For more on the conspiracies about the Zika virus, check out Dr. Gorski's piece here:

Creative Commons License
This work by Stephan Neidenbach is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


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