Sunday, March 1, 2015

US-RTK and Intimidation

I've heard a lot about how public records requests can be used to intimidate and harass scientists.  I know that the documents requested from me will likely be used to harm my reputation, as I see things that will be taken from context and used to attack my credibility. It is not a question of if, it is a question of when. 

A twitter post circulated yesterday where scientists are living in fear of a few that are agents of the "biotech/chemical industry" that successfully intimidate others, forcing them to shun their morals, ethics and responsibility and "look the other way". 

This is how you are being painted by a registered dietitian, a person most likely dispensing food and health advice to paying customers.  

Hey you, flimsy university scientist... You're either a bully or a spineless twit, either way playing perfectly into the hands of the chemical industry.

I present this because this is the perception.  This is what people in health-related professions believe.  You're a malleable idiot that can't stand up for the obvious truth, because you are intimidated by someone, or some company, that is making up your mind for you. 

Here's the Irony. 

Since the US-RTK request of public records I have received amazing support from the academic community, and it is growing. However, how many scientists have written op-eds, how many have made public statements, how many have rallied national organizations on behalf of the fourteen that are being bullied by this well-financed organization set out to harm science?  

Not many. 

How many of you have signed up to help with GMO Answers?

Maybe one, and I work with him, and he's not happy about this.

WHY?  Because US-RTK is well financed by organizations like the Organic Consumers Association ($46,000 to US-RTK last year, which is exactly $46,000 more than I got from the 14 companies they claim influence my science), and to satisfy future payments they need to be harassing scientists, most of all, discrediting the effective voices in biotech education.

Does Intimidation Work? 

Yes.  One of my colleagues that used to post on GMO Answers says that he's not doing it any more.  

A junior professor at a major university sent me this email: 

Click on it to embiggen.  I told him to get some guts and get involved anyway.  We'll see what happens. 

This was posted on a message board on Nation of Change: