Folta: PLoS should retract Thacker and Seife article, issue apology

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I’m furious about the false and defamatory statements made by Paul Thacker and Charles Seife in this August 13, 2015 article on PLoS Blogs. There are several key take-home points:

1.  While they have since tacked on a clarification in a footnote, it was not complete. Thacker and Seife’s implication that I was a paid advsor to Monsanto to defeat California Proposition 37 still stands, and has been cited elsewhere. The anemic correction leaves false statements available for maximum damage. Mission Accomplished.

2.  USRTK claimed that the FOIA request was to test relationships for why answered questions for individuals on GMOAnswers.com. The email released has nothing to do with GMOAnswers.com.  Why would a hostile activist-funded organization release that email to authors unless it was to advance reputation damage to those communicating science?

These are two important questions that clearly demonstrate the intent and the strategy.

What should have happened?  The authors and PLoS should have made it right. 

1.  PLoS should have demanded the article be changed to reflect factual information, or else pulled down the article.

2.  PLoS should have offered me equal space to clarify the real situation.

3.  Thacker and Siefe should have provided a public apology. However, Thacker has dug in, and on Twitter now accuses my actions of being orchestrated by a PR firm.

Over the years I’ve made some mistakes in my blogs.  But I made the correction, and apologized.

It is a bad time to be in a controversial area as a scientist.  The career that took a lifetime to build, can be destroyed overnight by activists, and with the help of your friends in scientific publishing.

Read full, original post: Retraction and Apology. Do the Right Thing.

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