A group of bottom feeders operating as the U.S. Right to Know has gone fishin’. They’re filing Freedom of Information Act requests with universities around the country looking for anything they can use to link academics who dare to post on the pro-GMO website, GMOanswers.com to the biotechnology industry and of course position that relationship in some sort of negative light. Oh the humanity! It sounds ridiculous, but this type of legal bullying can cause real problems for scientists, researchers, and professors.
And when we say they’ve gone fishin’, we mean they’re fishing for anything that can be used to draw an illustration of an inappropriate or influence-heavy relationship. The University of Illinois was targeted as now retired professor Bruce Chassy was on the hit list. Science magazine quoted Chassy in an article on their website saying, ‘“I suspect a disclosure would make me look bad.” The article continues with Chassy noting that, “he regularly interacts with firms that produce GM products and has urged them to do more to answer the technology’s critics. But the school’s lawyers rejected USRTK’s request on 4 February, noting Chassy no longer works at the university.”
GMOanswers.com is a website supported by industry organizations and corporations, including the National Corn Growers Association. The premise of the site allows visitors to submit questions that are then answered by the scientific community.
So here’s what this really looks like. When you’re losing ground, you get desperate. U.S. Right to Know must really be feeling that desperation since they’re only targeting scientists that are participating in the GMO answers website which is a completely transparent clearinghouse of information regarding biotechnology. It must really stink to be anti-GMO right now because they have no scientific consensus to hang their hat on. And they know it.
So bullying it is. And mucking up the works with FOIAs. Yup. That sounds productive.