14 Jun 2013 Environmental Working Group Seemingly Accuses Our Jeff Stier of Mental Illness on GMO Unauthorized Release
I see on Twitter that Don Carr, Senior Advisor to the Environmental Working Group and a former Communications Director at the Democratic National Committee, has referred to my colleague, Jeff Stier, as being a member of the “tin foil hat brigade” (presumably, of having a mental illness) for suggesting (not claiming) that the unauthorized release of some of Monsanto’s genetically-modified wheat could have been sabotage.
Not at all. Jeff merely pointed out, and very briefly in a much larger story here about the safety of the wheat and the benefits of GMOs in helping to feed the world, that the unauthorized release of the wheat “may [emphasis added] be an issue of sabotage.”
I’m not speaking for Jeff here, but it is merely obvious that sabotage should be considered. Monsanto does not benefit by the unauthorized release of the wheat. Anti-GMO activists, who have been claiming for years that unauthorized releases of GMO seeds could occur, do benefit (at least rhetorically). Does that mean the wheat wasn’t accidentally released? Or that an anti-GMO activist definitely got access to some and spread it? Of course not. It just means it is a possibility worth considering.
Having put this then-unfinished post aside for a few hours to complete some appointments, I see now that EWG’s Don Carr is now encouraging at least one journalist, Keith Kloor from Discover Magazine, to “admonish” Jeff for Jeff’s supposed “zero evidence based claim Oregon GMO was sabotage.”
This is silly and unworthy of an organization as established as the Environmental Working Group. Once again, Jeff said the wheat release “may [emphasis added] be an issue of sabotage.” He did not claim it was. He did not claim to know.
It seems to me, at a distance, that the EWG is going a bit overboard in attacking Jeff for merely noting that someone with a motive to undercut the GMO program, or Monsanto itself (for reasons that could have nothing to do with an opinion on GMOs) might have distributed the wheat. It is curious.
Regardless, I recommend Jeff’s story, which is very informative about the wheat and GMOs, and barely touches on the aspect the EWG has zeroed in upon.