NPR's On Point inquired about my participation in the current discussion on Hakim's article. They were enthusiastic, until the libelous misrepresentation of my career in science eliminated me from the discussion.
I got an email from the producer for NPR's On Point. He asked me if I could be a last-minute guest on the show on November 2, so I moved a standing meeting so I could accommodate his request. We spoke for 30 minutes about the topic and the producer seemed quite happy with my answers and my command of the subject.
Twenty minutes later he called and asked, "What is your relationship with Monsanto."
I answered correctly, "I have friends that work in the company, they never sponsored my research, and once donated to a communication program but that money was never used."
I answered every question correctly and honestly.
He then went into asking questions about Eric Lipton's New York Times piece from last year, the piece that described me as a "lobbyist" that "trades grants for lobbying clout" on the "inner circle of industry consultants".
He left with, "We'll follow up."
Later that afternoon I got an email that said the "Current trajectory (of your participation) is no."
Sure, maybe they just had better people agree to the interview. Could very well be.
But at the same time I could not help but feel the enthusiasm flip 180 degrees, and it sure seemed like Lipton's libelous New York Times article was a dominant factor in that decision.
Uninvited. Another score for the anti-GMO movement. Their hit-job cost me another professional opportunity.
Worse, I do think that I could have contributed to the discussion and advanced public understanding. My experience, knowledge and ability to distill the information were removed from that conversation.
In the spring of 1987 I walked into a laboratory with a mission to learn how to be a better scientist. I wanted to learn how to use the tools of science to solve problems for people and the planet.
Almost 30 years later I understand the science and how to communicate it. However, activists have fabricated a false narrative that continues to eliminate my participation from an important conversation. That is exactly what USRTK wanted to do with their FOIA-based attack, and what Lipton wanted to achieve with his smear piece. Mission accomplished.
Anyone that thinks these attacks on scientists don't matter needs to simply look at this situation.