About all those Greenpeace articles today ….

Mr Toad June 2016
My GMO-Free Frog aka Mr. Toad

I usually go days without hearing any news about Greenpeace but today Google News is offering multiple stories. Attack stories! What is up?

Forbes: Greenpeace Is More Dishonest And Dangerous Than The Mafia
Washington Times: Greenpeace under fire for eco-terrorism tactics
The Rebel: Greenpeace “drama queens” pull “stupid” diesel powered stunt to save the world from fossil fuels
Wall Street Journal: The Case Against Greenpeace
Patriot Post: Greenpeace Being Sued for Racketeering
Heartland: Canadian Forest Company Seeks Millions from Greenpeace in U.S. Courts

It almost looks like a coordinated attack.

One piece, “107 Nobel laureates sign letter blasting Greenpeace over GMOs” by the Washington Post quickly started to trend.

I thought it was odd that these stories weren’t linking to the open letter or naming the scientists so I did a search. You can read the letter here if you like.

The Power of the ‘Nobel’ Brand

None of the laureates who signed the letter have expertise as ecologists or environmental scientists. Most come from chemistry, economics and physics backgrounds. They are entitled to their opinion but the title of the self replicating article misleads one into assuming the group is speaking from a position of authority on the matter. You know, like the way an open letter from a group of Climate Scientists on the subject of Climate Change weighs in with massive credibility.

About a third of the people who signed listed themselves as being connected to the medical field. I thought it would be worth taking a closer look at their careers. As biologists their opinion felt more meaningful to me.

One is on the board of directors for Nestle; another is connected to Syngenta. Many have enjoyed careers financed by the pharmaceutical industry. A lot participate in animal experimentation. As I looked through the list the group didn’t appear to be  one that cared a whole lot about the living world or the ramifications of using GMO technology on living systems.

But perhaps most damning: the majority have connections to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, the Max Planck Institute and Baylor University. Connect those dots you’ll see that those institutions are directly involved in golden rice research. The Rockefeller Foundation alone has spent more than 74 million dollars on golden rice development since 2007. That’s a whole lot of reasons to cash in on the reputations of in-house laureates and make a push for opening up the market.

While some of these scientists may have signed for altruistic reasons, most are not impartial and they should have stated so for the record.

The letter is also misleading. Greenpeace hasn’t singled out golden rice research. The official policy has always been available on their website which states:

We believe:
GMOs should not be released into the environment since there is not an adequate scientific understanding of their impact on the environment and human health.
We advocate immediate interim measures such as labelling of GE ingredients, and the segregation of genetically engineered crops and seeds from conventional ones.
We also oppose all patents on plants, animals and humans, as well as patents on their genes. Life is not an industrial commodity. When we force life forms and our world’s food supply to conform to human economic models rather than their natural ones, we do so at our own peril.

Besides. The value of golden rice for providing vitamin A has been debunked.

The push to allow golden rice onto the market has more to do with patenting & controlling seeds and opening up new markets for profit. One quarter of the calories consumed by humans on the planet comes from rice. Corporate agriculture has already taken over soy and corn. Since wheat resists GE, rice is the next best target.

I would feel bad for Greenpeace having to take all this abuse but of all the environmental organizations out there they are probably best equipped to manage the propaganda.

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12 thoughts on “About all those Greenpeace articles today ….

    1. I really appreciate Greenpeace and all they do. They get results. I suppose that is one of the reasons why they were targeted. I have recently found out Patrick Moore is involved in the latest smear campaign. I can’t imagine why he remains so bitter after all this time.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thoughtful post, thank you. I hate the whole concept of GM as a way for companies to make money. We really need biodiversity as we face climate change that we have caused and our governments have failed to agree about trying to correct!

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    1. Yeah and seriously you can’t solve the problems of poverty by just giving these trans-national companies more money. Imagine if they had put those millions of dollars into helping women in the global south set up community gardens! That kind of money goes a long way in these desperately poor places. A garden can increase the status of women, give their families a diverse dirt and even provide some extra spending money during bumper crops. And a well tended garden lasts for years. But sustainable, long lasting solutions that empower people is not the typical business plan of these predatory companies.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would be very interested in an in depth study that quantifies the extent to which people get their news and information from headlines and maybe the first paragraph. So many people do not know how to think critically. There is just too much twisted and misinformation floating around and it is very hard to find an objective source on either side of an issue that you know you can trust.

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    1. Apparently, most people only read the headlines. A few might read the first paragraph or two but almost nobody bothers to read to the end. I think people do know how to read critically but they are pressed for time and over saturated with info. So, yeah. It doesn’t even matter what these articles say: the headlines are the full story to most. And I think the idea of ‘objective’ news has been twisted by a certain group into ‘fair and balanced reporting’ which resulted in the embarrassingly poor coverage of climate change where a false debate became the story. Personally, I want activist journalism. Give me real, in-depth and important stories to tell over fluffy nonsense any day of the week.

      linkage:
      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/03/19/americans-read-headlines-and-not-much-else/
      http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/06/how_people_read_online_why_you_won_t_finish_this_article.html

      Liked by 1 person

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