Kavin Senapathy

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Kavin Senapathy is a pro-GMO activist who blogs at Forbes about GMOs.[1] Senapathy is also a guest contributor to Science 2.0 and the Genetic Literacy Project, which is operated by Jon Entine.[2] In a report on corporate attacks against 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] Senapathy has guest hosted the podcast run by Kevin Folta[4] and provided an interview for Monsanto's website where she said her job is to debunk myths.[5]

In 2015, Senapathy helped organize an open letter [6] to celebrity mothers speaking in support of labelling genetically engineered foods. This letter inspired the documentary film Science Moms, and led to creation of the group SciMoms.

In 2017, health researchers at Yale's School of Public Health published a letter to the editor of Forbes responding to a piece by Senapathy that sought to undermine breastfeeding guidelines by the World Health Organization.[7] "In Kavin Senapathy’s opinion article, the suggestion that the 2017 revised WHO Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) guidelines place newborns at risk of starvation or severe complications is not supported by the evidence of decades of research in the area of breastfeeding and human milk. We are deeply concerned because it could lead to serious misunderstandings for expecting parents and the general population."[8]

Monsanto Ghostwriting and Retractions

Following revelations in the New York Times that Monsanto ghostwrote an article for Henry Miller,[9] Forbes removed several articles written by Miller and Senapathy.[10] Articles that Senapathy co-wrote with Miller were aggregated at the Hoover Institution, but the titles now lead to dead links.[11]

A Self Described Science Defender

In the past, Senapathy has described herself as a "science defender"[12], "science communicator"[13] and "science popularizer"[14]. She does not appear to hold any formal science degrees.

In September 2015, Senapathy attended an event[15] in Washington DC hosted by Independent Women's Forum called, Women Fighting the Culture of Alarmism: Come Meet the Science Defenders! Attendees of the event included, Angela Logomasini and Michelle Minton of Competitive Enterprise Institute;[16] Julie Gunlock of IWF; fellow Forbes contributor, Tara Haelle; Janice Person, Online Engagement Director for Monsanto Company; SciMoms Anastasia Bodnar of the front group Biology Fortified, Inc.; Monsanto's Social Sciences Lead Cami Ryan; and the 'SciBabe' Yvette d'Entremont[17].

Appearance in propaganda documentary Food Evolution

Along with Tamar Haspel, Karl Haro von Mogel and Kevin Folta Senapathy appeared in the documentary Food Evolution which promoted GMO agriculture and dismissed concerns about the dangers of glyphosate.[18] While the film received some favorable reviews, critics told Vice that the director is a "corporate shill" for presenting a biased film.[19] Forty-five prominent scientists, academics, and writers wrote a statement that blasted the film as a "piece of propaganda."[20] The film repeats a line from Monsanto that the pesticide glyphosate is "safe as table salt" while ignoring findings from the World Health Organization's cancer agency.[21] The film was commissioned by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) which has lobbied in favor of GMO agriculture and whose President has worked for Monsanto, DuPont, and CropLife, a lobby group.[22] Both Marion Nestle and Michael Pollan disavowed the film as propaganda.[23]

Related SourceWatch articles

Sources

  1. Kavin Senapathy Author Page at Forbes, website, accessed Sept 2017, https://www.forbes.com/sites/kavinsenapathy/#119c2d563782
  2. Kavin Senapathy Author Page at Science 2.0, website, accessed Sept 2017, http://www.science20.com/kavin_senapathy
  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. Talking Biotech podcast, website, accessed September 2017, http://www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com/447/
  5. Monsanto blog, Fighting the hydra of science myths: an interview with Kavin Senapathy website, accessed Sept 2017, https://monsantoblog.eu/fighting-the-hydra-of-science-myths-an-interview-with-kavin-senapathy/
  6. Independent Women's Forum, August 24 2015 Scientist and Advocate Moms to Celeb Moms: Weigh GMO Food with Facts Not Fear http://www.iwf.org/media/2797993/Scientist-and-Advocate-Moms-to-Celeb-Moms:-Weigh-GMO-Food-with-Facts-Not-Fear-----
  7. Yale School of Public Health, YSPH Team Responds to Opinion Piece Critical of Breastfeeding, website, accessed March 2018, http://publichealth.yale.edu/article.aspx?id=16135
  8. Yale School of Public Health, YSPH Team Responds to Opinion Piece Critical of Breastfeeding, website, accessed March 2018, http://publichealth.yale.edu/article.aspx?id=16135
  9. Danny Hakim, Monsanto Emails Raise Issue of Influencing Research on Roundup Weed Killer, New York Times, website, accessed Feb 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/business/monsantos-sway-over-research-is-seen-in-disclosed-emails.html?_r=0
  10. Stacy Malkan, Why Forbes Deleted Some Kavin Senapathy Articles, US Right to Know, website, accessed September 2017, https://usrtk.org/food-for-thought/kavin_senapathy_henry_miller/
  11. Kavin Senapathy Author Page at Hoover Institution, website, accessed Sept 2017, https://www.hoover.org/profiles/kavin-senapathy
  12. Dr. Vandana Shiva, website, We don’t need Ketchum in our Mustard, http://vandanashiva.com/?p=321
  13. March Against Myths About Modification, website, About Us, http://www.mamyths.org/about-us/
  14. Independent Women's Forum, August 24 2015 Scientist and Advocate Moms to Celeb Moms: Weigh GMO Food with Facts Not Fear http://www.iwf.org/media/2797993/Scientist-and-Advocate-Moms-to-Celeb-Moms:-Weigh-GMO-Food-with-Facts-Not-Fear-----
  15. Eventbrite, Women Fighting the Culture of Alarmism: Come Meet the Science Defenders! Independent Women's Forum, Thursday, September 17, 2015 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/women-fighting-the-culture-of-alarmism-come-meet-the-science-defenders-tickets-18199373817
  16. Competitive Enterprise Institute, Women Fighting the Culture of Alarmism, https://cei.org/content/women-fighting-culture-alarmism
  17. Sick Of It All, 5 Astroturf Groups You Should Stop Sharing From http://endocriminal.blogspot.com/2016/01/5-astroturf-groups-you-should-stop.html
  18. Food Evolution (2016) Full Cast & Crew, IMDb website, accessed January 2020, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6188658/fullcredits
  19. Alex Swerdloff "This Documentary Wants to Teach People About GMOs, But Experts Call It Propaganda" Vice July 1, 2017
  20. Alex Swerdloff "This Documentary Wants to Teach People About GMOs, But Experts Call It Propaganda" Vice July 1, 2017
  21. Nathan Donley "Take pro-GMO film at OMSI with grain of salt (Guest opinion)" The Oregonian August 4, 2017
  22. Tim Schwab "Documentaries as Advertising: Corporate Interests Turn to Indie Docs for Influence; Audiences in the Dark" 100 Reporters December 20, 2019
  23. Alex Swerdloff "This Documentary Wants to Teach People About GMOs, But Experts Call It Propaganda" Vice July 1, 2017