Shame on Pediatrics. Rejecting Scientist's Comments

 A lot has been said about the journal Pediatrics December 2023 Clinical Report on "Using GMOs on Children". The poor scholarship and citation bias are alarming, and the bias against safe technology is clear.  When I wrote to editor-in-chief Dr. Lewis First, he indicated that I was invited to submit a response to the article that would be posted below the article on its website. I submitted my response, and it was not published on the site. My guess is that it illuminated the bankruptcies of the article in a manner that ran counter to the authors', editor's and journal's narrative.  So I'll publish my comment here.  Dear Pediatrics Readership,  The article by Abrams et al. represents a stunning example of how misinformation spreads- even through a credible conduit. Pediatrics is a respected journal, so when a paper implies a technology is dangerous, physicians and the general public take note. That’s good. But if the message runs counter to the scientific con

Glyphosate, A.I. and Spreading Disinformation

 Here's a great example of how bad reporting and the war on glyphosate play hand-in-hand.  I don't know anything about the reporter, Stacey Scott at Gillett News (Gillett is a town of 32,000 in Wyoming), but the headline she/it (they use A.I. generated graphics, Stacey Scott might be an A.I. too-- no Twitter or online presence) generated has the potential to misinform.  The Agriculture Department?  You mean the USDA?   No. You mean some other major government regulatory agency? No. Some respected international agency?  No. Then who "warns" ?  It was the government of Amritsar.  What? Yes. Amritsar, a relatively small town/region by India standards. It's a major metropolitan hub in the northwest, not far from the Pakistan border. They have some agriculture there, mostly rice, palm oil, sugar cane and maize, apparently a lot of Basmati rice which is exported from small-holder farms. According to Scott's article, glyphosate is "a chemical known to cause canc

Glyphosate and School Lunches

 School lunches might not be the perfect sustenance, I don't know.  When I was in school the institutionalized food was a weird combination of vague meatoid substances and carbohydrates pushed together into recognizable forms. I think we have come a long way since then, and I'm grateful that many municipalities recognize that many economically challenged families rely on school-based nutrition to feed their children.  Last week I saw a tweet about the horrors of school lunches on Food Chain Radio, a syndicated broadcast by Michael Olson that may be accessed online.   The episode hosted perennial wet blanket on science Zen Honeycutt, representing Moms Across America (that Olson slipped and referred to as "Moms Against America"), a group of scientifically distressed moms that search to blame agriculture for their families' health issues.  I engaged Honeycutt in the past on her website . She posted blatantly false data that were absolutely manufactured (claiming for

A Response to Carey Gillam

The general rule is not to engage those that seek to malign you as a scientist.  But this is a textbook case of how they respond to legitimate criticism-- by trying to disqualify the critic. I thought it would be worth a read so you can understand how these folks work, and why scientists are hesitant to engage disinformation.  Last week I prepared a critical, scholarly response to an article by Carey Gillam in The Guardian. Her work was a horrible distortion of data to manufacture a sense of risk where none actually exists.  In response, she published a textbook ad hominem fallacy argument against my scientific response, personally impugning me with selective editing, out of context quotations, and misrepresentation of situations. All of her comments are based on documents (mostly my emails) freely obtained through transparency laws I abide by as a public scientist. I then commented thusly on her website. To her credit, it has been allowed to stand, of course with her comment:  "

Your Evidence Means Nothing- Time to Disengage

 As usual, I was being berated by an anonymous "GMO-free" account on Twitter, and also as usual, responded with kindness and tact.  Another nameless account joined in the Folta pile on, responding to my tweet about Vandana Shiva being invited to give a talk at the FAO.  He reminded me about the "terminator" seeds that never were actually commercialized.   I offered a few words about my knowledge of the subject, but that was met with disdain. I sent a link to my CV so he could understand who I really was and what I really do.  I guess I was not surprised to get such a response. I asked about why someone would listen to aggressive hate groups over a pubic scientist's actual record.  It was the best response I could have imagined.  It was the line I needed to drop engagement, block, mute, etc.  When people do not accept evidence and instead trash others based on what they think, they don't deserve your time and attention.  Trolls.  Spend your time influencing o

Blackmailing Small Business

 Thanks to my friend Freida for bringing this to my attention.  I'm glad to discuss it here, so that others can understand that this is happening. It is extortion.  According to Freida, Corner 17 Noodles and Bubble Tea is an exceptional small restaurant in St. Louis.  They offer authentic Asian cuisine, and are apparently the "real deal" according to Freida. They were contacted by a social media personality that offered them the opportunity to be reviewed for a $100 food credit.  The owners politely declined.    A polite response from the owner didn't sit well with "influencer" Antonio Malik Self describing as an "influencer" suggests a certain level of confidence that you do in fact influence others.  It also comes with a certain sense of entitlement that people actually care about what you do or give a damn what you think. In response to the owner's kind decline of the offer, Malik decided to write the review anyway. Apparently without actual

Center for Media and Democracy Smears Scientists

  At a time when democracy is threatened by a number of sources and media is a potent remedy or problem, the Madison WI based Center for Media and Democracy could be especially relevant. Their cause seems reasonable, and as an independent academic scientist, consumer and American I applaud some of their efforts.  Sadly, they have targeted me and other scientists for harassment.  They have posted pages that use omission, innuendo and inference to portray scientists they wish to defame in a false, negative light. Their website about me does not mention what I actually do, awards won for teaching/research/outreach excellence, pursuit of opportunities of under-represented students, and my efforts to coach and promote faculty career progression.  Look at the  manipulation- the omission, the twisting, the extrapolation. This is what Center for Media and Democracy does to target a scientist they don't want teaching inconvenient science.  I have contacted CMD with kind requests to amend th