Julie Wilson – U.S. Right to Know (USRTK), a non-profit organization dedicated to exposing the fraud and corruption surrounding the food industry, launched an investigation into the intimate and unethical relationship between the biotech industry and university faculty and staff, which is used to manipulate public opinion about GMOs and to coerce the government into passing legislation supportive of Big Ag’s patented seeds and pesticides.
The investigation, which is still ongoing, reveals how biotech industry giants Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Dow AgroSciences and others, buy academics employed by taxpayer-funded universities to push GMOs and lobby Congress to pass legislation favorable of their products, with one of the most high-profile examples including attempts to derail states’ rights to enact GMO-labeling laws.
The collusion between Big Food, its front groups and university staff has been exposed through thousands of emails and documents obtained through a USRTK Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, which was meticulously filed over a six-month period.
USRTK: Public deserves to know about flow of money and level of coordination between Big Ag and public university scientists
The FOIA request sought to obtain emails and documents from 43 public university faculty and staff to learn more about the biotech industry’s public relations strategies. Records were requested from scientists, economists, law professors, extension specialists and communicators, all of whom are employed by taxpayer-funded public institutions and steadily promote GMO agriculture under the “independent” research.
Currently, USRTK has received thousands of documents in nine of their requests; however, much more information is expected to be released as FOIA requests continue to be answered.
The documents received thus far expose how the biotech industry funds expenses for university faculty to travel the globe promoting and defending GMOs and their associated pesticides, highlighting the shift that scientists have made from being researchers to being actors in Big Ag PR campaigns. Continue reading