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‘Hateful’ example of anti-GMO activism illustrates dangers when emotion overpowers reason

| | July 25, 2014

There is a frightening, hateful turn of events taking place right now that anyone involved in the GMO issue, or the vaccine issue, or the climate change issue, or any risk controversy, needs to know about. In fact, it illustrates an even wider phenomenon that explains why advocates deny evidence and distort the facts, why society has become so partisan and polarized, and even why extremists in many places turn to violence. The episode, still developing, illustrates the power of emotion over reason in shaping the views we have, and the dangerous lengths those emotions can carry us to.

Mike Adams is the self-professed Health Ranger and runs a highly successful for-profit empire through his Natural News website. Yesterday Adams posted a piece (not his first) suggesting that anyone who says anything uncritical or open minded about Monsanto, or biotechnology/GMOs, is the essentially the same as a Nazi collaborator, using science as a justification for genocide.

Several people, principally Keith Kloor in his blog at Discover Magazine, called Adams out on this extremism. Adams responded today by posting a site that names names…targets. Really. He posted an update to his screed with a Monsanto Collaborators website http://monsantocollaborators.org/ complete with a swastika next to the headline Monsanto (the banner photo above), and a list of ‘Collaborators’ that includes Kloor, environmentalist and GMO supporter Mark Lynas, Brooke Borel (who writes for Popular Science), Jennifer Ackerman (National Geographic), and others, along with publications that could be targets, including MIT Technology Review, National Geographic, Discover, and Alternet. He is also preparing a list of scientists he will also label collaborators.

Related article:  NY Times’ Eric Lipton defends anti-biotech, anti-vax Moms Across America, which harasses scientists

The collaborators’ crime? Either supporting, or writing open-mindedly, about biotechnology. Make no mistake. Adams is naming potential targets for what he says is the moral right and obligation “…of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of those engaged in heinous crimes against humanity.

Certainly we should all call Adams out for his extremism. But in a way we should thank him, for challenging us all to think a bit more carefully about issues we feel passionately about, and not just blindly adopt as ‘fact’ the views of overtly biased advocates, especially those with views we generally agree with. And even as we challenge him, we should thank Adams for  revealing to us all the ease and power with which emotions overwhelm reason and open-mindedness…and the danger we face if we blindly let these instincts control how we think and live.

Read the full, original article: A current example of frightening extremism in the name of our beliefs

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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