Today I have come across a piece that amused me and raised my eyebrow. Ecowatch (and others) are going after pro GMO group The Genetic Literacy Project for quote “unethical journalistic practices”.
First of all . . .
With that out of the way, lets see what all the fuss is about.
The Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) has been accused of unethical journalistic practices after it published personal information about individuals opposed to genetically modified food and changed the text of an article without the author’s permission.
GLP is an organization that heavily promotes genetic engineering of foods and attacks critics of the technology.
First off, I would not say that they heavily promote genetic modification. They merely attempt to dispel myths and misinformation on the subject. The kind often pedaled by publications like Ecowatch.
Also, I would not say they attack critics of GMO technology. They seem to (for the most part) merely attempt to ensure that the facts as they really are, are available. The opposition may take this as an attack, but its not.
I on the otherhand, have attacked so called GMO critics.
I do not have a problem with people that have a well reasoned argument. But I do have a problem with chronic pedlars of bullshit. Unlike GLP (which exists to educate), I exist to speak my mind when necessary.
And speaking of sources “promoting” an industry, I never cease to be amused by the blind eye given to the trickery of the Organic industry (or Big Organic) and their quest for ubiquitous GMO labeling.
Posting Personal Information “Way Below” Ethical Line
GLP has posted phone numbers, email and home addresses and other personal information about GMO critics. According to David Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now, GLP posted the phone number and email and home addresses of Don Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue University. Murphy contacted GLP asking them to remove the information, which they did, but shortly after GLP posted Murphy’s cell phone number and home address.
“It’s one thing to have a public disagreement with highly trained scientists and activists on a controversial subject like GMO safety, but publishing personal information, home addresses and cell phone numbers, is a new low, even forMonsanto’s smear merchant,” Murphy said. “Does Monsanto really want us publishing their CEO and top scientists like Robb Fraley’s home addresses? One wonders what they really have to hide if they’re willing to employ such slimeball tactics against their critics.”
1.) Monsanto’s smear merchant? LOL!
If I had a dime for every smear piece I ever read or come across in the alternative media about the biotech industry, I would be a rich man.
As for “slimeball tactics” . . . just look up Vandana Shiva and the Monsanto driven farmer suicides in her native India.
The suicides that trace back to a number of possible factors. Or, don’t bother looking it up, as I have a few times already.
2.) I will say that the publishing (or doxxing, as its called these days) of personal information IS a bit underhanded.
However, I am not coming up with anything to back this accusation, be it from a 3ed party (or even a rebuttal from GLP themselves!). This does not dismiss the claim. Merely, shows I can not find any proof of it.
What I did find however, were a number of sources that said things like GLC is a Monsanto funded group, or that they hid Monsanto money. Often from websites with truth in their name, or blogs published by doctors.
Ah, the sweet smell of manure. The amount ive sifted though for this piece alone could fertilize the world, and then some.
GLP has also posted personal information about other GMO critics such as Mike Adams, publisher of Natural News; Vani Hari, a.k.a. the Food Babe; Henry Rowlands, publisher of Sustainable Pulse; Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology; and others. GLP even went so far as to post information about the value of Smith’s house.
I think I have figured out the angle that they are playing here. GLP does have a write up on each individual named, some that contain contact information. However, those that do are for their businesses. Which in some cases, also happen to be the home residence.
Calling this doxxing is a bit like a bar freaking out that its publicly listed telephone number was posted on a blog.
Again, this is not to say that they may not have posted residential details in the past (or that it may be buried in an article somewhere). I am open to your voices in the comments, so long as you have the proof. But I don’t see it.
Carey Gillam, research director at U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) and a former veteran senior journalist with Reuters news service, said the practice of publishing personal identifying information such as phone numbers and addresses, was clearly an unethical practice.
“We here at USRTK are intentionally not posting the emails we’ve obtained that include that kind of information because we think it is below the ethical bar. Way below,” Gillam said.
If its the numbers above, then they are hardly personal. Again, unless I am missing something.
Crossed an Ethical Line
In November, pro-GMO journalist Keith Kloor accused GLP of altering his article, “The Story Behind the Story,” without his permission. The article, which was posted on his website, www.keithkloor.com, focuses on science writer Brooke Borel’s Buzzfeed profile of University of Florida scientist Kevin Folta, who was hosting a podcast using a fake identity.
GLP reposted a segment of Kloor’s article on their website with a different headline, “Did Brooke Borel cross ethical line in criticizing Kevin Folta GMO parody site?”
Kloor objected to GLP’s posting the article without his permission and changing the headline and text. In a blog, Kloor wrote: “It’s bad enough that a website built on the aggregated work of journalists takes something that belongs to you without asking for permission. It’s outrageous when the website truncates your text in ways that change the meaning of what you wrote, which is also what Genetic Literacy is guilty of doing with respect to my post. It’s infuriating and unforgivable when the person who stole your text puts his own flatly wrong headline above it … That’s crossing an ethical line.”
1.) GLP did not steal anything. Just as I did not steal anything.
So long as a link to the original material is present, no one stole anything.
Right under the write up is the source.
This is hardly a violation of ethics (journalistic or otherwise). Certainly not compared to, business as usual for the alternative media.
On a personal note, GLP has also changed the headlines of articles I’ve written that they’ve posted on their website. One headline they changed contained text that was meant to be derogatory to me.
I do not change the title of articles to be derogatory, personally. Nor do I alter quotes or text to suit my needs.
But I cant always say the same for my responses to said quotes or text.
Other authors also criticized GLP’s journalistic practices on Twitter. These included Borel, Helena Bottemiller Evich, a journalist with Politico, and Anastasia Bodnar, policy director at the pro-GMO website Biofortified.org, among others. The authors objected to GLP changing the headlines and text of articles, listing authors as GLP contributing writers when they aren’t and putting author bylines with paraphrased articles.
On Twitter, GLP Executive Director Jon Entine tried to assure the authors that GLP has been responsive “to every concern.” But Kloor responded sarcastically to that claim, asking Entine if he really wrote that “with a straight face.”
This may or may not be true.
I checked a few GLP posted articles from each author listed in the wayback machine, looking for listing as GLP Contributors. I didn’t find any.
Which makes me think that this is just an attack against the rational competition to the alternative and GMO fearing alternative media.
Nice try. But I can smell your bullshit from a mile away.