As an outspoken biotechnology and genetic engineering advocate, my writing has garnered all types of feedback.
I receive flattering compliments:
“I enjoy your snarky but intelligent writings.”
Snarky AND intelligent? Why thank you!
“I really love your passion for science and science literacy. Your courage is very impressive and I see it as a great example.”
I blushed when I read this.
“You are doing a fantastic job promoting science, and ensuring all know the quacks are just that- people who are scaring and exploiting those who are gullible and looking for answers in all the wrong places.”
This is exactly my objective, so I’m glad this follower feels this way. Truly, the kind and encouraging messages I receive make me smile.
This might seem like a humble brag, but I need these bees in my bonnet to counteract the vitriol. Case in point: My followers have been dubbed the “Senapath Crew” because anti-biotech group GMO Free USA was spreading this rumor, but couldn’t bother to get my name right. At least my followers helped transform it into something positive:
I’m baselessly accused of awful things almost daily. Here are some examples:
“Very little of your writing is fact. You’re a paid shill from biotech.”
If I only had a nickel for every time I’ve had the word “shill” thrown at me, I’d have some literal shill bucks by now.
“Kavin’s scientific evidence? Probably in her pocket like everyone else against TRUTHFUL genetic literacy.”
“Best of luck, helping Mosanto, who probably wrote or supported the poor woman making her kids eat non-organic. The poor children may pay later for perscription .drugs because they believed their parents. Eat what you want, believe what you want, and live in peace. But help others to let your kids make the choice by supporting and educating them.”
Won’t someone think of the children?!! (I left the spelling errors.)
“Kavin Senapathy is linked to the Genetic Literacy Project which is linked to Jon Entine, who’s linked to George Mason University, who’s linked to the Koch brothers, it’s like how far back can we go on this?”
Who needs six degrees of Kevin Bacon when we have six degrees of Koch brothers?
Anyone see a common thread? That’s right – apparently science advocates like me are shilling for big agrochemical! The above is just a small sampling of the shill accusations science advocates like me, Yvette d’Entremont, Kevin Folta, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephan Neidenbach and those on this since unpublished “Monsanto Collaborators” hit list receive regularly. (Then again, as the founder of “We Love GMOs and Vaccines,” Stephan often receives messages from the cream of the extremist crop.)
So what’s my point? Behold:
That’s right, two of the biggest biotech opponents I know, Mamavation and Just Label It, are leading a campaign to PAY BLOGGERS FOR THEIR CAUSE. Let’s call these “Labeling Advocates” out for what they are: Shills. As I’ve said time and time again, the anti-GMO movement has become synonymous with the pro-organic movement. It’s not even a secret, just take a look at this list of Just Label It (JLI) partners. It’s pretty heavy on organic industry names. And Mamavation leads the “Bookieboo” blogging network, which touts itself as the “only GMO-free blogging network”. Its partners also include the who’s who of organic industry players.
Labeling proponents tout a so-called “right to know” from their Big Organic thrones on high. The GMO labeling issue trickles down to the masses framed as a “right”, riling up concerned consumers to take to the streets with figurative torches and pitchforks. After all, who doesn’t want to fight for their rights? But organic bigwigs know better. “Right to know” is a subterfuge. The labeling movement is a ploy to eliminate genetically engineered foods.
After paying bloggers to shill, JLI is encouraging the masses to take to social media with hashtag #concealorreveal to bully companies like Quaker Oats and Pepsi into supporting mandatory GMO labeling.
I suggest we crash their party in the name of science. Here’s how:
- Take to Twitter May 18th, 6pm PST/9pm EST for the #ConcealorReveal party and own that hashtag! (We’ve been successful at this before and we can do it again).
- Share this post and the meme above to spread awareness of the hypocrisy of biotech opponents shouting unfounded shill accusations while proudly advocating shilling.
- Co-opt this petition at Justlabelit.org/quaker. Change the subject heading to “Support science. Don’t support mandatory GMO labeling!” Here’s a suggested letter to use, or write your own:
“Dear Quaker and PepsiCo,
I understand that you’re being pressured by biotech opponents to support mandatory FDA labeling of GMOs. Please know that mandatory GMO labeling is an unscientific stance. Genetic modification is a tool, not an ingredient. Those who understand the science behind genetic modification (GM) know it’s not something to fear. Labeling GM ingredients will only serve to demonize them, and also makes no sense. Genetic modification is a set of methods that enable various benefits including reduced pesticide use, nutrient fortification, aesthetic improvements, and increased crop yields. Please stand your ground and don’t bow to pressure to support mandatory GMO labeling. Rational parents and families will support you in this regard.
That’s it! Easy enough, right? Until next time…
Featured image Andrey Burmakin via Shuttershock