Genetic Literacy Project

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The Genetic Literacy Project is associated with the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) and the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA). Its executive director is Jon Entine who promotes GMOs. Bloomberg and The Progressive have reported that lawyers suing Monsanto state in court documents that companies funnel money to the Genetic Literacy Project in order to "shame scientists and highlight information helpful to Monsanto and other chemical producers.” [1][2] In a report that examined corporate attacks on science, Congress found that to discredit the World Health Organization (WHO), Monsanto "turned to industry trade groups, such as CropLife and industry front groups, such as Genetic Literacy Project and Academics Review as platforms of support for industry spokespersons."[3]

The Genetic Literacy Project's website is owned by the public relations company: ESG MediaMetrics.[4]The website for ESG Mediametrics has been removed, but archived version of the firm show that its clients include Monsanto, the Vinyl Institute, and Merisant, a Monsanto spin-off that manufactured artificial sweeteners.[5]

The Genetic Literacy Project has attempted to deny their affiliation with Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) and the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA).[6] However, archived page of the Genetic Literacy Project list the same address and phone number for Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) and the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA).[7] In the New York Review of Books, Michael Massing wrote "the Center for Media and Public Affairs was set up with conservative foundation money in the mid-1980s as part of a growing effort by the right to portray the American press as liberal and out of touch with mainstream America."[8] Reporters with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that STATS was a stealth defender of the chemical industry that did not disclose funders and was associated with Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) which had contracted with tobacco companies.[9]

The group regularly denies having any ties to Monsanto. However, in late 2017 documents were released as part of a lawsuit against Monsanto regarding the possible carcinogenicity of the pesticide glyphosate.[10] One document detailed Monsanto's battle plan against the World Health Organization, which was planning to classify glyphosate as a possible carcinogen. On page five, Monsanto's plan listed strategies and tactics for discrediting the World Health Organization before it released it's ruling, and named several "industry partners" they would work with that included Biofortified AKA Biology Fortified, Inc., Sense About Science, Genetic Literacy Project, and Academics Review/[11]

Employees and Contributors

Executive Director Jon Entine is a former journalist. HuffPo released Entine's emails with Kevin Folta where they discussed funding from Monsanto and ways to discredit GMO critics. Folta was later discovered to be acting as a third party scientist for Monsanto.[12] When Folta's emails became public that showed he was being funded by Monsanto, he contacted Keith Kloor to preemptively release the emails "but selectively." After Kloor wrote the story for Nature, he then warned Jon Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project. "You and I should also talk,” Keith Kloor wrote to Jon Entine, “You are in the emails.”[13]

The website for the Genetic Literacy Project also has several pages where Rebecca Goldin is cited as "Rebecca Goldin is Research Director for the Genetic Literacy Project and Director of Research for the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University. She holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Mathematics, and a B.A., cum laude from Harvard University."[14][15]

Archived pages of the website for Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) carry an emblem for the Genetic Literacy Project, in the upper left corner.[16]

One of the Genetic Literacy Project's writers is Stephan Neidenbach.

Contact Information

Articles and Resources

U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science, Space & Technology: "Spinning Science & Silencing Scientists: A Case Study in How the Chemical Industry Attempts to Influence Science"[17]

Greenpeace Polluter Watch Profile of Jon Entine[18]

Jon Entine and Genetic Literacy Project Spin Chemical Industry PR[19]

Trevor Butterworth and Sense About Science USA Spin Science for Industry[20]

Article at STAT, linking Trevor Butterworth with the Genetic Literacy Project[21]

The Three Stooges of Science Denial: The Genetic Literacy Project, Sense About Science, and STATS[22]

Related SourceWatch Articles

References

  1. Peter Waldman, Bloomberg Businessweek, Does the World’s Top Weed Killer Cause Cancer? Trump’s EPA Will Decide, July 13, 2017 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-07-13/does-the-world-s-top-weed-killer-cause-cancer-trump-s-epa-will-decide
  2. Paul Thacker, The Progressive, July 21, 2017 http://progressive.org/magazine/how-the-biotech-industry-cultivates-positive-media/
  3. U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science, Space & Technology: "Spinning Science & Silencing Scientists: A Case Study in How the Chemical Industry Attempts to Influence Science" February 2018 https://democrats-science.house.gov/sites/democrats.science.house.gov/files/documents/02.06.18%20-%20Spinning%20Science%20and%20Silencing%20Scientists_0.pdf
  4. GM Watch, October 15, 2018 https://www.gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/18507-the-three-stooges-of-science-denial-the-genetic-literacy-project-sense-about-science-and-stats
  5. GM Watch, October 15, 2018 https://www.gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/18507-the-three-stooges-of-science-denial-the-genetic-literacy-project-sense-about-science-and-stats
  6. Polluter Watch Page for Jon Entine, accessed February 2017, http://www.polluterwatch.org/jon-entine
  7. Website for Genetic Literacy Project in Wayback Machine, accessed February 2017, https://web.archive.org/web/20130109205913/http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org:80/contact/
  8. Michael Massing, "[http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2006/02/09/the-enemy-within-an-exchange/ ‘The Enemy Within’: An Exchange ]," The New York Review of Books, February 9, 2006.
  9. Meg Kissinger and Susanne Rust, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 22, 2009 http://archive.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/54195297.html/
  10. Carey Gillam, "How Monsanto Manufactured Outrage At Chemical Cancer Classification It Expected" , Huffington Post, September 19, 2017.https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-monsanto-manufactured-outrage-at-chemical-cancer_us_59c17c88e4b0f96732cbc9f3
  11. Monsanto: Glyphosate IARC, Draft dated February 23, 2015. http://baumhedlundlaw.com/pdf/monsanto-documents/72-Document-Details-Monsantos-Goals-After-IARC-Report.pdf
  12. Paul D. Thacker, HuffPo, accessed August 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/keith-kloors-endearing-love-affair-with-gmos_us_596fc0c8e4b062ea5f8eea33/
  13. Paul D. Thacker, HuffPo, accessed August 2017, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/keith-kloors-endearing-love-affair-with-gmos_us_596fc0c8e4b062ea5f8eea33/
  14. Rebecca Goldin, Genetic Literacy Project, February 4, 2013 https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/02/04/bacterial-genetics-helps-defeat-antibiotic-resistant-super-bugs-2-2/
  15. Rebecca Goldin, Genetic Literacy Project, June 24, 2013 https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/06/24/privacy-and-our-genes-is-decodes-dna-project-big-brother-or-the-gateway-to-a-healthier-future/
  16. Website for Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) http://archive.is/ZqDa1
  17. U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science, Space & Technology: "Spinning Science & Silencing Scientists: A Case Study in How the Chemical Industry Attempts to Influence Science" February 2018 https://democrats-science.house.gov/sites/democrats.science.house.gov/files/documents/02.06.18%20-%20Spinning%20Science%20and%20Silencing%20Scientists_0.pdf
  18. Polluter Watch, Page on Jon Entine, Accessed March 2018 http://www.polluterwatch.org/jon-entine
  19. US Right to Know, Page on Jon Entine, Accessed March 2018 https://usrtk.org/hall-of-shame/jon-entine-the-chemical-industrys-master-messenger/
  20. US Right to Know, Page on Trevor Butterworth, Accessed March 2018 https://usrtk.org/food-for-thought/trevor-butterworth-spins-science-for-industry/
  21. Paul D. Thacker, The pharmaceutical industry is no stranger to fake news, STAT, JANUARY 30, 2018 https://www.statnews.com/2018/01/30/pharmaceutical-industry-fake-news-tobacco/
  22. GM Watch, October 15, 2018 https://www.gmwatch.org/en/news/latest-news/18507-the-three-stooges-of-science-denial-the-genetic-literacy-project-sense-about-science-and-stats

External Resources

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