By J.D. Heyes | Natural News
Using financing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ivy League Cornell University’s Alliance for Science has launched a multi-million-dollar broadside against a small food-oriented public interest group as a means of pushing genetically modified organisms to new markets around the world — and all in the name of advancing the welfare of Mankind.
The group being targeted is called U.S. Right to Know, and its mission, according to the organization’s website, is to “expose what the food industry doesn’t want us to know.” The group was founded by Gary Ruskin, a long-time anti-GMO advocate.
As reported by Corporate Crime Reporter, the Cornell Alliance for Science is using a $5.6 million Gates Foundation grant to “add a stronger voice for science and depolarize the charged debate around agricultural biotechnology and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)” — or, more correctly, “defend GMOs on behalf of the agrichemical and food industries against all critics,” the website reported.
One of the Right to Know’s first orders of business is to identify, and then publicize, professors at public colleges and universities around the U.S. and elsewhere who have ties to groups, corporations and other entities that push GMOs.
We deserve to know the details
Corporate Crime Reporter further noted:
Earlier this year, Ruskin’s group filed for correspondence and emails to and from professors at public universities who wrote for the agrichemical industry’s PR website — GMO Answers.
The GMO Answers website was created by Ketchum, a corporate public relations firm.
“We taxpayers deserve to know the details about when our taxpayer-paid employees front for private corporations and their slick PR firms,” Ruskin said. “This is especially true when they do work for unsavory entities such as Ketchum, which has been implicated in espionage against nonprofit organizations.”
At GMO Answers, the site portrays the growing of GM crops as part of “modern agriculture.” Further, the site attempts to pass GMOs off as harmless and beneficial.
“The biotech industry stands 100 percent behind the health and safety of the GM crops on the market today, but we acknowledge that we haven’t done the best job communicating about them — what they are, how they are made, what the safety data says,” the site notes. “Join us. Ask tough questions. Be skeptical. Be open. We look forward to sharing answers.”
Right away, GMO Answers appears ready to provide the answers that the biotech industry wants to put out.
In the meantime, U.S. Right to Know has filed public records requests regarding correspondents to and from professors who work at publicly funded academic institutions and biotech companies like Monsanto, as well as to and from PR firms like Ketchum and Fleishman Hillard, and others, and to and from trade groups like the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Council for Biotechnology Information. The requests are not aimed at obtaining personal information or academic research involving the professors.
Terrorists and GMOs
But the requests, which were sent in February to 14 scientists at four universities, appeared to irritate corporate-minded directors at Cornell Alliance for Science; they have sponsored a petition, Science 14, in which signatories pledge to help fight “anti-science bullying,” which is how U.S. Right to Know’s effort is being portrayed.
“These scientists need the support of allies like you to protect scientific freedom,” the petition says. “Please join the fight for academic freedom by signing our letter to support the scientists under attack and urging them to stand strong in the face of anti-science bullying.”
An assistant dean at Cornell University recently drew the ire of millions of Americans when he said that terrorist fighters belonging to ISIS would be welcome on the campus.
Cornell has a history with GMO promotion, thanks to funding from the Gates Foundation. It began its push to “depolarize” the GMO “debate” last fall.
Both efforts — that of wanting to placate terrorist organizations and of mercilessly pushing GMOs for corporate interests — are harming the country.
“This use of surrogates is par for the course with the biotech industry,” wrote Tim Schwab of Food & Water Watch in September. “Sometimes called the soft lobby, corporations routinely engage neutral-appearing scientists and impartial-sounding front groups to help advance their political and economic agendas.”
Cornell, he said, has been a longtime producer of “science for sale,” citing a large amount of research that has been generated by “our public land-grant universities” in a 2012 document called, “Public Research, Private Gain.”
This is what tyranny looks like
We further reported then:
Earlier this year, a Cornell economist, William Lesser, accepted payment from what Schwab described as a “biotech front group,” in exchange for producing a highly suspect analysis indicating that GMO labeling would be a huge cost for consumers. And while Lesser said the study contained his personal observations rather than those of Cornell, GMO backers nevertheless began to refer to his findings as “the Cornell study” in their efforts to stave off initiatives by states to force food makers to include labeling of GMO ingredients in their products. At the same time, Schwab noted, independent studies have shown that GMO labeling would not increase food costs by much, if at all.
The Alliance for Science site, then, is essentially Cornell’s GMO propaganda instrument.
“Rather than trying to promote a civil, honest, impartial dialogue about GMOs–as you would expect from a university like Cornell–the school has chosen to partner with some of the biotechnology industry’s most prominent supporters and defenders,” Schwab wrote.
Fast forward six months to the latest alliance effort to quash the FOIA requests; it’s as if Cornell believes that Americans should not be told whether professors at the public universities they help fund are being influenced at all in their support of GMO foods by the corporate and philanthropic interests developing and promoting them.
It’s the very definition of tyranny.
Regarding Gates, as Food & Water Watch further reported, the philanthropy has partnered with biotech firms to develop GM crops for Africa, though African nations either don’t want them or don’t need them — because organic food production is already sufficient for their needs.