In GMO debate, what’s worse? Biased scientists or uncritical media?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

The headline on the website of the environmentalist organization Environmental Working Group (EWG). . . Study: Monsanto’s Glyphosate Most heavily Used Weed-Killer in History, the EWG story reports. . . And the EWG report quotes the author of the study, Charles Benbrook . . . but not surprisingly, the EWG story fails to note (as the study itself does) that while he prepared this study, Benbrook was at Washington State University, where his program: “received funding from foundations, organic food companies, and co-ops.” That’s a far less-than-honest effort at transparency.

. . . .

. . . [I]t’s not surprising that an environmental group might not mention anything that questions Benbrook’s credibility as an unbiased researcher. They are advocates. That’s what advocates do. What is surprising, and should be worrying to a public . . . is that Benbrook’s conflicts of interest weren’t mentioned in most of the newsreports about his study. . .

Related article:  University student scientist view of crop biotech safety critics: Where’s the beef?

. . . .

Compare those reports to the solid job done by Science 2.0 in Glyphosate Now Most Popular Weed Killer In History, Laments Economist Chuck Benbrook. It not only notes Benbrook’s biases and funding conflicts at several points, . . . It suggests there are reasons to question what Benbrook says and raises those questions itself, on behalf of the reader.

. . . .

The public really ought to worry about this, about advocates posing as honest scientists and about journalists who fail to report conflicts of interest . . . Such incomplete reporting gives these claims a stamp of credibility they don’t deserve. It establishes these questionable assertions as fact in the public’s mind. It leaves people poorly equipped to make intelligent choices about questions of health and safety, and manipulated by a point of view.

Read full, original post: Monsanto, Biased Scientists, or the Media: Which One Scares You Most?

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