GMO Answers, Sense About Science, Genetic Literacy Project all exposed as fake science front groups for Monsanto / Bayer

Documents recently uncovered by U.S. Right To Know have revealed that Monsanto put together a massive, multi-step plan to undermine the International Agency for Cancer Research’s position on glyphosate. A number of purportedly “independent” websites and academic organizations have been revealed for what they are: Front groups who work “behind the scenes” with lobbyists and industry reps to protect corporate interests. The disinformation campaign launched by Monsanto to keep glyphosate in the public’s good graces, despite the obvious evidence of harm, is just one more example of the lengths to which corporations will go to protect their profits.

At least now, Monsanto’s paid-off shills are right there in the hot seat with them.

Under the biotech behemoth’s evil scheme, four tiers of “industry partners” would be “engaged,” and basically ordered to help Monsanto with their smear campaign against the IARC (International Agency for Cancer Research in one way or another. The rabbit hole of corruption runs deep – but of course, when it comes to Monsanto, who’d expect anything less?

Monsanto shills posing as “independent” science experts

While no one likes an industry-funded lobby group, you’d probably expect that lobbyists and PR groups would be in Monsanto’s arsenal. What is a slap in the face is the fact that so many “science” sources, often cited as being independent organizations, are actually in cahoots with one of the world’s most evil corporations.

If you’re being paid off by a corporation, you’re not an “independent” source. And it turns out that a number of the industry’s most favored academic groups are indeed nothing more than corporate co-conspirators in the game of deception.

Labeled as “Academics” under Step 2 of Monsanto’s 5-point plan to discredit the IARC, the following websites are named as Tier-2 “industry partners” by the devil itself:

  • Genetic Literacy Project
  • Academics Review
  • Sense About Science
  • Biofortified
  • AgBioChatter

Genetic Literacy Project is headed up by the infamous John Entine, a man who portrays himself as an objective science journalist. But as USRTK notes, Entine is nothing more than an industry pawn, with deep ties and an undisclosed amount of industry funding.

Then there’s Academics Review: Set up as a non-profit in 2012, you’d have to do some digging to find out that this seemingly innocuous organization is actually a front group put together by Monsanto. As USRTK reports, Monsanto and their public relations team created Academics Review “to attack agrichemical industry critics while appearing to be independent.”

What about BioFortified? Yet another front group being propped up by the industry. The organization is tied to the agricultural industry and its partners. Together, they work closely on efforts to defend GMOs and pesticides, while attacking critics of the industry.

Last but not least, there’s Sense About Science: Trevor Butterworth and others from SAS are often cited by prominent media outlets as “independent” science experts – and yet, the organization was named by Monsanto as an “industry partner” in their plan for mass deception. USRTK has a lengthy fact sheet about Sense About Science. There is substantial evidence that the group and its writers have dark histories. Butterworth, in particular, is known for defending toxic chemicals that are important to the pharma, cosmetics and agricultural industries – and for attacking anyone who sounds the alarm. Butterworth and his ilk have argued against opioid prescription regulations and have denied the glaring problem of over-prescription – even though the U.S. is facing an opioid epidemic, in large part fueled by opioid manufacturers and corrupt doctors getting paid to prescribe them.

Monsanto’s multi-step plan to obscure truth

Keep in mind, the above “Academics” organizations are just one small part of Monsanto’s lengthy plan to keep the truth about glyphosate under wraps – or at least, under a veil of scrutiny. Step 2, named “Inform/Inoculate/Engage Industry Partners” includes four tiers of industry partners. Academics are only the second tier.

The first tier of industry partners are Big Ag-funded lobby groups, including GMO Answers and CropLife International, along with their European subsidiary, European Crop Protection Association. GMO Answers may sound innocent enough; it’s poised as a place where consumers can go get real answers to their GMO questions. But it’s actually just a marketing tool the industry uses to put a positive spin on GMOs.

In Tier 3, food-industry funded nonprofit and trade groups were called upon to “Alert food companies via Stakeholder Engagement team (IFIC, GMA, CFI) for ‘inoculation strategy’ to provide early education on glyphosate residue levels, describe science-based studies versus agenda-driven hypotheses” of the independent cancer panel.

Tier 3 includes the International Food Information Council, Grocery Manufacturers Association and The Center for Food Integrity (a misnomer, for sure). Tier 4 is simply listed as “key grower’s associations,” which undoubtedly includes corn and soy growers’ groups, along with other industrial growers.

And there are plenty of other gems from Monsanto’s dastardly scheme: Step 4 is literally named “Orchestrate Outcry with IARC decision,” in which key groups would be ordered to lead an industry-wide response. Step 5 would have growers’ associations demand that regulators “focus on the science” instead of the IARC’s “politically charged” findings.

In a bit of irony, the entire Monsanto document consistently demeans the IARC as “agenda-driven,” “politically charged” and so on – even though Monsanto is the organization hellbent on obscuring truth.

Sources for this article include: 1 2 3 [PDF] 4 5 6

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