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.
Adams claims that the widespread criticisms of the paper’s methodology from the scientific and skeptical community are exactly like Nazi propaganda tactics:
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).
Right on cue, a few days later this website filled with Nazi imagery appeared, naming (among others) Steve Novella, and Orac as “Journalist Collaborators”.
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.”
This has quite reasonably been interpreted by a number of people to mean that Mr. Adams is calling for the assassination of scientists he disagrees with.
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:
Political paranoia has a long legacy, this article has a good background: http://harpers.org/archive/1964/11/the-paranoid-style-in-american-politics/
The anti-corporate stuff is hardly surprising. They’re huge organizations, often foreign owned, have strange cultures, seem to get away with criminal actions, have lots of influence over the government, etc.
“I stand on the side of science, not scaremongering.”
You are vocally disapproving of the death threats and such, and that is laudable. But you don’t stand with Monsanto, as you explain in your footnote.
And I’ve never seen anything more than a qualified defense as you’ve given. It seems like the anti-GMO people have managed to poison the well very successfully, to where even the people brave enough to say, “death threats are wrong” still wouldn’t want to be associated with Monsanto.
I think that’s why the paranoid style has such a long history: it’s very, very effective.
Brava! And thank you for continuing to generate and share the energy to fight back – with words – the stupidity and ignorance and outright malice-in-the-name-of-good. How did we ever get to be in such a mess? Or is it simply that we always were and now there are vehicles (social media and otherwise) to allow the witless to spew their evil?
What Ben said.
“Will no one rid me of these troublesome scientists?”, quoth Adams.
(to mangle history a bit)
(King Henry II speaking of Archbishop Thomas Becket, later murdered.)
Or to look at more recent history, Palin’s website showing crosshairs over opposing party politicians, one of whom Gabby Giffords, was shot. Abortion opponents websites did something similar to doctors, some of whom were murdered. Political nutcases and scam artist nutcases want to shout their inflammatory rhetoric, but don’t want to blamed for the blood and death. Yes, they have a right to speak out, even to sound as crazy as they do, but when such speech incites others to kill, other voices need to be heard saying “no, that’s wrong”. Thank you, Dr. Raff, for saying no.
” I don’t approve of their exploitative practices”
Thank goodness for people like Mike Adams that has the guts to expose the dangers and pseudoscience of GMO’s, Vaccines and other drugs. For those that believe in the pseudoscience of vaccines and GMO’s and the medical mafia and for those who question the preceding look into acquiring a copy of “BOUGHT, the hidden story behind Vaccines, Big Pharma and your Food” release date of 9/5/14
Why do you think it takes guts to do what he does? He writes scary stories and collects a check; like Stephen King, but the movie adaptations aren’t as good.
1958 CDC states smoking does not cause cancer. 2012 CDC states vaccines do not cause autism even though it is listed as an adverse effect to vaccines on the vaccine inserts page 11/13. Just as the government and medical mafia injects poison into our children to the unknowing so is the chemical corporations feeding you and I with deadly poisons under the false premise that these products (vaccines & GMO’s) are safe and effective.
DuPont’s GMO Canola “safety study” has been exposed for what it truly is. Industry funded pseudo-science. Or perhaps nonsense is a better word. Both the test group and the control group were fed GMOs laced with Roundup. The study was funded by DuPont, performed by DuPont employees and published in the Journal of Food & Chemical Toxicology, which is controlled by Dupont. And the biggest farce… the DuPont authors declare in their paper that “there are no conflicts of interest” – despite the fact that they are employees of the company that stands to profit from the market authorization of the GMO in question. And Bryan Delaney, the first author of the DuPont study, is also managing editor of FCT. That interest too goes undisclosed. Yes, this is the same journal that retracted the 2 year independent 3 times peer reviewed Seralini GMO long term toxicity study which found that rats fed Roundup Ready GMO corn developed mammary tumors, organ damage and died prematurely. The Seralini study was republished in the Journal of Environmental Sciences Europe. And so goes the regulatory approval process for GMOs. This leads us to ask: Do you feel safe?
The more glyphosate in the feed, the higher the number of birth defects in the pig herd
Lead researcher at MIT Dr. Stephanie Seneff presentation on harmful effects of glyphosate (round up)
“1958 CDC states smoking does not cause cancer”
Who ever told you that was lying, or cannot distinguish a tobacco ad from a scientific report (the latter is typically not a four color print):
Click to access chapter2.pdf
The rest is probably of the same shoddy caliber. And Stephani Seneff has not medical training, the “Dr.” is for her PhD in electrical engineering and computer science.
You beat me to it once again.
But I just read the first line. Did a quick check and figured the rest were more figments pulled out of thin air! And I already knew that Seneff is an engineering professor.
I looked through your response, but didn’t see an answer to my question or a cogent argument. It looks like you’ve copied and pasted a bunch of blog comments from somewhere else. The only thread connecting them seems to be your devout belief that GMOs are the devil. That’s great? But you seem to have started with that conclusion, then gone hunting for soundbites to support it. The Séralini study, for example, is notoriously sloppy at best and intentionally misleading at worst.
Forbes has an interesting piece on that article. It is not complimentary. It points out that Séralini chose a journal that would be ranked in the bottom ten percent of environmental sciences journals. (“Would be” because it hasn’t been around long enough to have an official ranking.) And although Séralini says the republication is peer reviewed, the journal’s editor apparently admitted that’s not true.
The Forbes article also has a great summary of the problems with the Séralini study, which the authors didn’t bother to fix in the republication:
“The number of rats used in the study was too small to draw statistically meaningful conclusions. The study team also selected a breed of rat to use in the experiments in which 80 percent routinely develop cancers, further obscuring the results. Some of the rats fed GM corn outlived the control group, further confusing the picture. The newly-released study, as the first version, did not include any pictures of the control rats. Critical scientists say that is most likely because the type of rat used is tumor prone and would almost certainly show numerous tumors after two years of life; including pictures of control rats with tumors would further undermine Séralini’s claims that the cancer was caused by the corn or glyphosate.”
The authors admitted their study had problems, and that “the data are inconclusive, due to the rat strain and the number of animals used.” But they republished it anyway, without bothering to fix those problems. And from their perspective, why should they? Anti-GMO activists weren’t clamoring for more accurate or reliable research. They want convenient conclusions packaged with gruesome photos and useful soundbites. Séralini is providing good customer service, if not good science, in my opinion. In fact, according to the Forbes piece, Séralini admits “in this new paper that the original study ‘was not a carcinogenicity study,’ but his PR site, GMO Seralini, claims differently.” Sometimes scientists complain about people doing science through press releases; Séralini seems to be doing PR through carefully stage-managed research.
As an environmentalist, I find one thing particularly objectionable about the Séralini study. (Aside from the fact that it’s misleading, and seemingly intentionally so.) Again, the Forbes article characterizes it well: “Normally, rodents who develop tumors in experiments are humanely euthanized but in this case they were kept alive and the tumors allowed to grow to grotesque size, and then featured in press releases. None of the results depended on the size of their tumors or how long they lived after the tumor appeared. This unethical treatment of animals was a direct violation of accepted research protocol and was by itself grounds for the article being rejected initially or withdrawn. After carefully reviewing the study, six French national academies (Agriculture, Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, Technology and Veterinarians) issued an extraordinary joint statement condemning it and the journal that published it.” I support the use of lab animals in scientific studies, as long as it’s done ethically and only when reasonably necessary. This appears to have been gratuitous and done for the sake of generating scarier pictures to make the research seem more exciting. It worked on you.
Maybe he needs a tinfoil hat. Because he i obviously getting more and more insane as time goes on.
Reblogged this on 2012 And All That and commented:
It is beyond me how anybody could take heed of anything that Mike Adams says. There is no greater paranoid delusional on the internet.
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