Kevin Folta: thoughts from a “Shill For Monsanto”

Since the anti-GMO activists have no science-based arguments they typically resort to ad-hom attacks or anti-corporation rhetoric. University of Florida plant scientist Kevin Folta is weary of this nonsense

(…) As an academic research scientist active at the public interface, I enjoy communicating about complex science topics. With regard to transgenic (GMO) crops, if you read my blogs, comments left online, or listen to audiences in public discussions, you’ll see that they ultimately reach a common point.

Someone always indicates that Monsanto is my employer. Like clockwork.

I’m still waiting for the check. Actually, I never worked for them, consulted for them, or received a dime from them. As a university scientist my funding is all public record, so this may be verified.

Here is why the throw-away “you work for Monsanto” or “shill for Monsanto” comment harms the anti-GMO movement:

1. It immediately says that you are willing to fabricate information in the absence of evidence.

2. It says that you are finished with the conversation, that nothing I communicate is valid in your opinion.

3. It shows that you are willing to try to influence other like-minded people with disinformation.

4. It shows disdain for the peer-review process and scientific method.

5. (least importantly) It disrespects a scientist’s real position as a public liaison, volunteering time to explain science. We’re used to that from dealing with climate change deniers and Creationists, no big deal.

Do read the whole thing.