Are these science writers and publications facing death threats for covering GMOs?

[Note: See this Tracker post for a reply that Mike Adams published on his blog, and for an update with more names added to the target list.]

An anti-GMO activist has compared some science journalists and publications to the Nazis, saying they are “Monsanto collaborators who have signed on to accelerate heinous crimes being committed against humanity under the false promise of ‘feeding the world’ with toxic GMOs.”

In the post on his Natural News blog, Mike Adams also writes that ” it is the moral right — and even the obligation — of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of those engaged in heinous crimes against humanity.”

It is not known whether Adams is behind a separate website that appeared today called Monsanto Collaborators, which listed more than a dozen science writers as collaborators, including Keith Kloor, Jon Entine, Brooke Borel, and others. It also listed Discover, National Geographic, MIT’s Technology Review, and Forbes.com, among others, as “publisher collaborators.”

Adams writes of the Monsanto Collaborators site that “someone has indeed launched a website that appears inspired by a suggestion from this story.”

Kloor has been most responsible for calling attention to Adams, reporting in May on his Discover blog Collide-a-Scape that Adams appeared as a guest on The Dr. Oz Show on May 13th. In a clip from the show, Oz introduces Adams as “the renegade health ranger,” whose website “gets more than 7 million hits per month.” Adams’s Natural News describes him as an “activist-turned scientist” whose mission ” is to empower consumers with factual information about the synthetic chemicals, heavy metals, hormone disruptors and other chemicals found in foods, medicines, personal care products, children’s toys and other items.”

Kloor also reported in that post that Adams had threatened Jon Entine, who wrote a profile of Adams headlined, in part, “Most ‘dangerous’ anti-science GMO critic?”, which appeared on the website of The Genetic Literacy Project and was cross-posted to Forbes, where Entine is a contributor. Entine says Adams threatened him and Forbes with legal action over what Adams said were inaccuracies in the profile. Forbes took down the post, enraging Entine, who says the magazine has promised to review his rebuttal and perhaps repost the profile.

According to Entine, Adams sent him this in an email:

As you are now well aware, you are about to be named in a personal lawsuit which will cite the extensive body of your defamation and cyber bullying efforts, all of which have been archived and time stamped for court evidence. You can count on this lawsuit requiring considerable resources of your time and money for the foreseeable future.

You are no doubt also aware that I have many friends in law enforcement and that we are simultaneously pursuing an effort to have you arrested and charged with cyber bullying crimes. I honestly cannot say for sure whether such an effort will be successful, but it is one of the areas we are actively pursuing against you.

The post in which Adams called for “the killing of those engaged in heinous crimes against humanity” is entitled, “Biotech genocide, Monsanto collaborators and the Nazi legacy of ‘science’ as a justification for murder.”

It begins by describing Monsanto “as the most hated and evil corporation on the planet,” and charging that several websites are now “marching to Monsanto’s orders, promoting GMOs and pursuing defamatory character assassination tactics against anyone who opposes GMOs, hoping to silence their important voices.” These are the Monsanto collaborators “who have signed on to accelerate heinous crimes” against humanity, Adams writes.

He compares them to Nazi collaborators, writing that the “parallels” are “numerous.” The post is accompanied by pictures of Hitler and Goebbels. (The Monsanto Collaborators site features a swastika.) He writes that “cash and blackmail–sometimes both–are the tools used by the biotech industry to sway public opinion,” and that “sex traps are routinely attempted against outspoken anti-GMO activists in an effort to create photographic or video evidence which can be used to blackmail them.”

I’ve emailed Adams asking for clarification of some of the things he’s written.

The complete list of journalism collaborators, in addition to those named above,  includes Jennifer Ackerman, Mischa Popoff, John Stossel, David Tribe, Don Hazen, David Rotman, Mark Lynas, Emil Karisson, Steven Novella, and Theresa Phillips. Others on the list of “publisher collaborators” are Alternet, Daily Caller, and Modern Farmer. A third list–of scientists–is “under construction,” the website says.

I’ve emailed Adams to ask for comment.

-Paul Raeburn

14 Replies to “Are these science writers and publications facing death threats for covering GMOs?”

  1. Kevin Folta

    Nah. Let it slide. First these people are no threat. They talk a good game. They harass me all the time but when I show up in person they’ve got nothing. It is internet balls. Period.

    On the other hand, to keep crazed rants, decorated in hate and swastikas attached to Natural News and Health Ranger is a huge step. Now let’s connect him to Whole Foods, Oz, Mercola, Smith, Shiva and the rest of those criminals.

    Instead of screaming about Adams, we should put a light on his head and ask everyone to pick a side- for or against him. That’s the way to fragment a whack job movement.

  2. MichAel Finfer

    These researchers and bloggers should give the FBI a call and say they feel threatened. Then, maybe Mike will get the attention he seems to crave.

  3. Boyce Rensberger

    Mike Adams, or some extremist ranter by that name, is already known to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s system of tracking hate groups. He seems to have been allied with Alex Jones’s Infowars Web site, an ultra extreme right wing outfit.

    Here’s what SPLC says: “Others at Infowars posted the kinds of paranoid conspiracy theories that the site is best known for. “With his re-election in place,” a particularly fearful Mike Adams wrote, “expect Obama to start issuing a mass of ‘kill orders’ that will even start targeting political opponents.” Adams went on to fret about mandatory vaccines and Obama’s purported plans to “destroy the Second Amendment.”

    This all seems to be a deranged version of the usual left-right political divide. People opposed to transgenic products, which they persist in calling GMOs, often are from the political left. Industry supporters tend to be on the right.

    Maybe paranoia trumps any political leaning.

  4. Lee Siegel

    The anti-GMO people are as detached from reality as climate change deniers and the kooks who think vaccines cause autism.
    If Mr. Adams is threatening people’s lives, law enforcement should get involved.

    • cebaka

      Um… vaccines have caused autism. It is not a theory. Do more research and the honest unbiased person will find what I have seen for years. I worked in the health industry for 20 years. I read a case where the Drs gave a vaccine to a child and the child reacted, starting to wig out some. The Drs admitted that he was having a reaction to the vaccine but it will go away. Well, it didn’t and the child is now diagnosed as autistic since then. Then there is RFK Jr, who created a website dealing with the harmful effects of vaccines. He started the website because his son ended up with autism after his vaccine. He is the lawyer who sued the gov’t recently, stopping them from mandating vaccines for eveyone. He won for 2 reasons: 1) the gov’t had no evidence from studies or otherwise that vaccines work, and 2) they had no evidence that vaccines are not harmful. And what do you know? less than a month later, the corona pandemic happens. What is the probability (a scientific term, if you are not familiar with it) that this is just a coincidence? This is why we have so-called “conspiracy theorists”. Because they are tired of the tremendous misinformation that you all know we are getting from the main stream news.

  5. mem_somerville

    I’d be interested to know if the science organizations might have something to say–there’s already at least one scientist on the list, and there’s likely more to come. Is there anyone who will speak for them?

  6. August Pamplona

    You are correct in that having the kooks like Adams show their true colors so obviously that most reasonable people are forced to take a second look is good for rationality.

    However, I think you are wrong in downplaying this nonsense. You say that these people are no threat. You are wrong. Most of these people are no threat. There’s a difference.

    I’m sure that there are people out there who might think that the type of people protesting at abortion clinics are abominable and they are wrong. Those people are also not a threat. If they do say bad things online I think that you would also find that it is a case of “internet balls”. If you meet them outside the context of harassing people at abortion clinics I’m sure you will find them to be very nice people. Many will undoubtedly go out of their way to help a stranger (actually, I was given a ride late at night once by someone and then realized he was one of “those people”). They are not particularly evil and they are harmless.

    But that’s not the point. The generalization that is encompassed by your use of the expression “these people” is not the issue. Even if “these people” would generally never hurt anyone, it only takes one mentally unstable, self righteous person who is absolutely certain of their convictions to be incited to kill an abortion doctor (or a “Monsanto collaborator”).

    Getting law enforcement involved in this is in no way an overreaction. This sort of thing coming to prominence is definitely a potential real threat.

  7. Mischa Popoff

    Thanks Arthur. Glad you liked it.

    I fail to see why Monsanto is always put-up as the face of the science of biotechnology. They’re just one corporation. A very successful one… sure. But GMO technology is being worked on by literally thousands of scientists the world over, very few of whom work for Monsanto.

  8. disqus_zXLbNfw1Yi

    Alex Jones is not right wing. He promoted the conspiracy theory that GWB was behind 9/11. He is just a huckster promoting insane conspiracy theories.

  9. Dallas C

    Human
    cytotoxicity of pesticide additives (Scientific
    American 2009 Jun[1]): “One
    specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated
    tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and
    umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself – a finding the
    researchers call “astonishing.” “This clearly confirms that the [inert
    ingredients] in Roundup formulations are not inert,” wrote the study authors
    from France’s University of Caen. “Moreover, the proprietary mixtures available
    on the market could cause cell damage and even death [at the] residual levels”
    found on Roundup-treated crops, such as soybeans, alfalfa and corn, or lawns
    and gardens. The research team suspects that
    Roundup might cause pregnancy problems by interfering with hormone production,
    possibly leading to abnormal fetal development, low birth weights or
    miscarriages.”

    Ethoxylated
    adjuvants of glyphosate-based herbicides are active principles of human cell toxicity
    (Toxicology 2013 Nov[2]): “Pesticides are always used in
    formulations as mixtures of an active principle with adjuvants. … Here
    we demonstrate that all formulations are more toxic than glyphosate [alone], …
    POE-15 [polyethoxylated tallowamine] clearly appears to be the most toxic
    principle against human cells, even if others are not excluded. It begins to be
    active with negative dose-dependent
    effects on cellular respiration and membrane integrity between 1 and 3ppm, at
    environmental/occupational doses. We demonstrate in addition that POE-15
    induces necrosis when its first micellization process occurs, by contrast to
    glyphosate which is known to promote endocrine disrupting effects after
    entering cells. Altogether, these results challenge the establishment of
    guidance values such as the acceptable daily intake of glyphosate, when these
    are mostly based on a long term in vivo test of glyphosate alone. Since
    pesticides are always used with adjuvants that could change their toxicity, the
    necessity to assess their whole formulations as mixtures becomes obvious. This
    challenges the concept of active principle of pesticides for non-target
    species.”

    [1] Gammon C et al.
    Weed-Whacking Herbicide Proves Deadly to Human Cells. Scientific American 2009 Jun
    scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/

    [2] Mesnage et al.
    Ethoxylated adjuvants of glyphosate-based herbicides are active principles of
    human cell toxicity. Toxicology. 2013
    Nov 16;313(2-3):122-8

  10. Jim Lunsford

    While I despise GMOs, I also despise Adams as he is a lunatic. Of course, so are GMO advocates. What can I say? Clowns to the left of me…….

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