This week Mike Adams, the self-styled “Health Ranger”, who runs the alternative medicine website Natural News, posted one of the most disturbing tirades against scientists that I’ve ever seen. He’s always been a promoter of pseudoscientific arguments against GMOs, but he has gone much, much further in his latest piece “Biotech genocide, Monsanto collaborators and the Nazi legacy of ‘science’ as justification for murder” (WARNING: Graphic and disturbing imagery of Holocaust victims at the link).
Adams compares himself and others speaking out against GMOs to those brave men and women who resisted the Nazis. He claims that they are fighting a global conspiracy to suppress research showing that GMOs are unsafe, specifically with regard to the infamous retracted (and then recently re-published without peer review) Séralini study purporting to show that genetically modified corn caused rat tumors.
Today, Monsanto collaborators — publishers, journalists and scientists — have signed on to the Nazi genocide machine of our day: the biotechnology industry and its evil desire to dominate the world’s food supply and blanket the planet with deadly chemicals that have been scientifically shown to cause horrific cancer tumors. They use many of the same tactics as the Nazi regime, too: intimidation, character assassination, threats and fabricated disinformation. Hitler’s Ministry of Propaganda, it turns out, is alive and well today in America. Its headquarters is not in Berlin but St. Louis.
He then gets specific about what he hopes will happen:
Just as history needed to record the names and deeds of Nazi war criminals, so too must all those collaborators who are promoting the death and destruction caused by GMOs be named for the historical record. The true extent of their collaboration with an anti-human regime will all become readily apparent once the GMO delusion collapses and mass global starvation becomes an inescapable reality.
I’m hoping someone will create a website listing all the publishers, scientists and journalists who are now Monsanto propaganda collaborators. I have no doubt such a website would be wildly popular and receive a huge influx of visitors, and it would help preserve the historical record of exactly which people contributed to the mass starvation and death which will inevitably be unleashed by GMO agriculture (which is already causing mass suicides in India and crop failures worldwide).
It gets even more twisted. In his piece calling for someone to create this website, Mr. Adams said the following (emphasis original, not mine):
Interestingly, just yesterday German President Joachim Gauck celebrated the lives of those brave Nazi officers who attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944. (1) Their attempted Wolf’s Lair bombing failed, but it was an honorable attempt to rid the world of tremendous evil by killing one of the people responsible for it.
This official ceremony sends a message to the world, and that official message from the nation of Germany to the rest of the world is that “it is the moral right — and even the obligation — of human beings everywhere to actively plan and carry out the killing of those engaged in heinous crimes against humanity.”
He has since added a number of addenda to his piece, claiming that “Those are the paraphrased words of the German government, not my statement”, and that “in no way do I condone vigilante violence against anyone, and I believe every condemned criminal deserves a fair trial and a punishment that fits the crime. Do not misinterpret this article as any sort of call for violence, as I wholly disavow any such actions. I am a person who demands due process under the law for all those accused of crimes.” I hope that his followers will abide by the same philosophy, although a quick look through the comments (rife with Holocaust deniers, ugh) isn’t exactly reassuring.
The story continues. Mr. Adams originally seemed excited about the appearance of the “Monsanto Collaborators” website, highlighting it in an update to his piece. But at some point he evidently changed his mind, denouncing it instead as a “false flag” operation being carried out by Monsanto to discredit him. No, seriously.
Just today, Nick Price posted an analysis of the “Monsanto Collaborators” website on This Week in Pseudoscience. According to his analysis, comparing the source codes for “Monsanto Collaborators” and “Natural News”, as well as the publication dates of the two pieces, it seems pretty likely that the same people were behind the Natural News piece and “Monsanto Collaborators”.
What I found was pretty convincing. I found that MonsantoCollaborators.org was registered hours before the article it was supposedly responding to was even put online. Furthermore, there are a number of similarities between NaturalNews and MonsantoCollaborators.org, from sharing entire files (which do not appear elsewhere on the internet), to shared graphics, to using the same proprietary fonts, to similar code structure, matching file naming conventions, and other code quirks.
I encourage you to go read the rest of Nick Price’s piece and judge for yourself whether or not his analysis is convincing.
(Just out of curiosity, Colin did a search for phrases appearing on the “Monsanto Collaborators” website and noticed that the phrase, “global agricultural holocaust” also appeared in a Natural News article a year ago, although that’s not really substantive evidence of authorship as he found it on a few other sites as well.)
Targeting scientists and journalists is not a good look for the anti-GMO movement. Even if it’s simply a case of overblown rhetoric, as Mr. Adams is now desperately trying to have you believe, these are not the the kinds of arguments that a reasonable person ought to be comfortable supporting. Furthermore, these casual comparisons with Nazis and the Holocaust are, in my opinion, highly disrespectful to the millions of people who died in the concentration camps. I urge those of you who read and share articles from Natural News to take a serious look at the people you’re promoting.
Mr. Adams (or whoever is behind that website), feel free to mark me down as a “collaborator” for being a staunch opponent of these disgusting tactics. I stand on the side of science, not scaremongering.
For further reading on this story, check out Paul Raeburn’s Knight Science Journalism report: https://ksj.mit.edu/tracker/2014/07/are-these-science-writers-and-publications-facing-death-threats-for-covering-gmos/ , and Mariah Blake’s Mother Jones story: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/07/popular-conspiracy-site-likens-pro-gmo-journalists-nazi-collaborators
(and to forestall the inevitable comments: No, I’m not getting paid by Monsanto, and no, I don’t approve of their exploitative practices. There is much to criticize about the big agricultural corporations, and I’m very sympathetic to those criticisms. However, the science on GMO safety is compelling. You can read a more extensive treatment of the literature, and my feelings about Monsanto in these two pieces: