California bill would curb open records requests used to harass biotech, public health researchers

foia png
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Corporations and activists from the left and the right are abusing open records laws to harass public university researchers. A growing body of analysis shows that these attacks are growing both in number and severity. Fortunately, some states have begun to clarify how these laws apply to university researchers, both through courts and state legislatures.

[Recently] California Assemblymember Laura Friedman introduced legislation that would modernize the California Public Records Act to encourage the release of information that enables public accountability while protecting the research and discovery process that is so critical to the mission of public universities.

Related article:  European Union suspends some GMO regulations to fast-track COVID-19 vaccine

[Editor’s note: Michael Halpern is the deputy director of the Center for Science & Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.]

post I wrote in 2015 detailed how anti-GMO activists used overly-broad open records requests to attempt to vilify genetic researchers and the journalists who report on their work….

We said that the group’s requests constituted harassment because they were so broad and seemed like fishing expeditions. The group has since proved this point, publishing and deceptively framing emails on its website to intimate that reporters were taking money to write favorable stories on genetically modified food (they were not) and shopping around other manufactured controversies….

Read full, original article: Corporations and Activists are Exploiting Open Records Laws. California is Trying to Change That

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
a a b b a f ac a

Video: Death by COVID: The projected grim toll in historical context

The latest statistics, as of July 10, show COVID-19-related deaths in U.S. are just under 1,000 per day nationally, which is ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
types of oak trees

Infographic: Power of evolution? How oak trees came to dominate North American forests

Over the course of some 56 million years, oaks, which all belong to the genus Quercus, evolved from a single undifferentiated ...
biotechnology worker x

Can GMOs rescue threatened plants and crops?

Some scientists and ecologists argue that humans are in the midst of an "extinction crisis" — the sixth wave of ...
food globe x

Are GMOs necessary to feed the world?

Experts estimate that agricultural production needs to roughly double in the coming decades. How can that be achieved? ...
eating gmo corn on the cob x

Are GMOs safe?

In 2015, 15 scientists and activists issued a statement, "No Scientific consensus on GMO safety," in the journal Environmental Sciences ...
Screen Shot at PM

Charles Benbrook: Agricultural economist and consultant for the organic industry and anti-biotechnology advocacy groups

Independent scientists rip Benbrook's co-authored commentary in New England Journal calling for reassessment of dangers of all GMO crops and herbicides ...
Screen Shot at PM

ETC Group: ‘Extreme’ biotechnology critic campaigns against synthetic biology and other forms of ‘extreme genetic engineering’

The ETC Group is an international environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Canada whose stated purpose is to monitor "the impact of emerging technologies and ...
Share via
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend