Dr. Kevin Folta (University of Florida)

Kevin M. Folta is chairman of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida and has landed himself recently at the center of a huge controversy over accepting thousands of dollars to reiterate Monsanto’s false claims about the safety and sustainability of their chemical-based pesticides, including herbicides and insecticides. Folta, who holds a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Illinois, contends that all GMOs (genetically modified organisms in food) are safe always and that they are just the next step in traditional breeding. Yet, GMOs are created through gene-splicing techniques that allow DNA from one species to be injected into another species in a lab, creating combinations of plant, animal, bacteria and viral genes that WOULD NEVER OCCUR IN NATURE, or through traditional cross-breeding techniques. Folta leads a campaign of disinformation while accusing his critics of just that. He has been getting away with it for years now, until just recently. The New York Times just exposed Dr. Folta by publishing emails from the self-proclaimed “public scientist” to Monsanto reps and the Ketchum PR firm–emails which were all dredged up by the US Right-to-Know campaign (a coalition of 37 US states)–that used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain nearly 200 pages of documented money trails and even instructions for Folta (with his agreements and volunteered suggestions to do so) of EXACTLY what to say, when, where, and how to promote the biotech agenda of deceit and lies. Folta also made headlines in Alternative News by taking pot shots (on Twitter) at Hani Vari, the Food Babe, and at Mike Adams, the Health Ranger and Editor-in-Chief of Natural News. (1)

http://www.naturalnews.com/052482_Corrupt_Journalist_Awards_corruption_journalism.html

Dr. Folta is quite the wordsmith and public speaker and has obviously cashed in here to be a puppet for Monsanto while pretending to be a “public scientist” looking out for the best interest of consumers, the environment, and anything else that makes him sound like a good guy, all while he pockets tens of thousands of dollars (and that’s just what he’s been caught with already) and goes on all kinds of expense-paid trips by Monsanto (and other Biotech giants) to luxurious places, including Hawaii. (2)

 

Over one hundred unethical lying academics posing for Biotech and “Pro-GMO”

 

At propaganda central, or “GMO Answers” (gmoanswers.com), one can find Monsanto’s best propaganda, including their own paraphrased bogus science by Dr. “Quack” Folta and dozens of other biotech shills. Under featured questions, the very top question is posed, as if some concerned health enthusiast asked them at some point, it reads:

 

Why would I want to eat a product that has only been proven safe for 30 years when I can eat a product that has been safe for 1000s of years organic, non GMO?

 

One of the top menu pulldowns/pages claims this:

 

“More than 100 experts have contributed to this site including independent experts in leading academic institutions, industry groups and representatives from member companies.”

 

To “GMO Answers” the word expert must have the double meaning of quack and biotech shill.

 

Lies, Lies and more Lies (straight from the website):

 

“First, humans have been modifying our foods for more than ten thousands of years. The domestication of agricultural crops was a process of selecting certain genetic compositions that were more beneficial for human consumption. Traditional breeding continues this process. Genetic engineering is also trying to achieve the same goal and often more directional and with better efficiency. Second, before GM crops can be released to the market, they are tested in ways that conventional and organic crops are not. During the development of a new GM seed, safety testing is done largely by certified independent third-party laboratories using protocols required by the government. If a study were ever to yield a result that raised any food safety concern, it is required by law that the information to be presented to the FDA. GM crops are also tested for their safety as feed and in the environment and regulated by authorities, such as USDA and EPA.”

 

First of all, there is virtually no third party testing of GMO on “their” behalf, and there’s no outright labeling of GMO in America, only the labeling of products that are certainly not, like Non-GMO Project Verified and USDA Certified Organic. And several studies, short term AND long term, such as the Seralini Team investigation of GM soy and GM corn, HAVE raised massive food safety concerns, not to mention that more than 90% of Americans WANT GMO food to be labeled as such, and for good reason. (3)

 

Kevin Folta, who is a board member of “Biology Fortified,” regularly blogs about his devotion to the public understanding what he is calling science. He says the science behind genetically engineered foods is complicated and difficult for people to understand, and that some people “think” these foods are strange, dangerous or monstrous and call the “frankenfoods” – – rather than “try to understand them.” Folta here is posing as pro-science but he’s simply parroting corporate talking points, as clearly illustrated in more than a few email exchanges. These are just classic PR tactics that Folta uses whenever a critical article surfaces and gains attention questioning biotechnology, and so Folta and his cohorts try to derail legitimate discussion by using “red herrings.” (4)

 

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

 

The non-profit U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) group has exposed, through FOIA requests, how certain “public scientists” and taxpayer-funded institutions and university research “experts” have colluded with the biotech industry to manipulate public perception and a clear understanding of the dangers of inserting chemical pesticides into staple crop. Folta and other academics lobby Congress to pass legislation based on lies so their check-cutters (Monsanto Mafia) can patent seeds, pesticides, and take over the agriculture industry, virtually destroying anything organic in its path. Folta is a favorite GMO-Monsanto mascott. (5)

 

PR strategy #1 by Big Ag: Use “Independent Scientists” to sell the lies

 

Independent scientists are good at swaying public opinion and Monsanto knows this. This was a big move by the Ag-Giant to dismantle the anti-GMO movement, but turns out the PR strategy just blew up in their own faces. Nothing is worse for a company, organization or corporation than to lose ALL credibility in the eyes of the consumers. These are the same propagandists pressuring Congress to prevent states from enacting GMO labeling (DARK Act). Dr Folta is of the “eager” kind who will do and say anything for money from his beloved biotech field giants, but now that he has been caught, he’s gone rogue on social media accusing other health-food advocates of being food terrorists and violent instigators. Folta has also been known to testify against GMO labeling bills and before agriculture committees. (10)

 

The illustrious and now infamous Folta often cites GMO studies that don’t exist. He talks about long-term GMO studies where animals ate GMO 100 percent of the time for 15 years and produced no evidence of health risks. This was complete and utter fabrication. He explains how dumping millions of pounds of (toxic) glyphosate makes for a cleaner environment, yet the World Health Organization recently classified glyphosate, the main ingredient combination in Roundup herbicide, as “probably carcinogenic” which means more than likely even the smallest amounts of GM soy, corn, and the like cause cancer in humans, not just the lab rats we all already know about. There are also several studies citing the deadly effects of glyphosate on soil, water, plant and animal life. “Food Babe” Vani Hari’s character and efforts to keep consumers informed about food chemicals has been viciously attacked for some time by Folta, and now that all comes out in the biotech “Rico Case” that’s now unfolding. For years the “Food Babe” has been saying that food and chemical corporations work with public university scientists “behind closed doors” to manipulate the public, and she was right. The mass exposure of these documents by US RTK speak for themselves, and no judge in the world would call Folta innocent of selling out to the corporate biotech monopoly Monsanto. This is irrefutable proof that Dr. Folta and maybe 100 others like him have completely sold out to the biotech Giants to promote propaganda and manipulation.

 

Kevin M. Folta, chairman of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida, described Ms. Hari’s lecture at the university of Florida last October as a “corrupt message of bogus science and abject food terrorism.” – quoted in New York Times, 3/15/2015

 

Ms. Hari said every time her efforts made headway on important issues, Folta was right there to thwart them, like an attack dog sent on a mission. Here are some of the ad hominem quotes and writings of Professor Folta published at this point:

 

“The fact that she is able to mobilize this army of blind followers who reject science and follow her words, to smear and harm the reputations of companies that are doing nothing wrong.” – The Atlantic, 2/11/2015

 

“There’s something that dies inside when you are a faculty member that works hard to teach about food, farming and science, and your own university brings in a crackpot to unravel all of the information you have brought to students.” — Folta’s Blog, Food Babe Visits My University, 10/21/2014

 

The Industrial-GMO Complex exposed

 

Now the NY Times has published an UNPRECEDENTED investigative report and Folta’s name is entrenched with biotech front groups and their insidious PR efforts to brainwash the public into believing pesticide-laden food that creates pesticide in your gut is somehow a healthy lifelong endeavor. Hundreds of emails are revealed. This resembles the case where Forbes.com had to fire the top rogue GMO propaganda writer because his violent history with his ex-wife and daughter came to light in court documents that went public–that being one Jon Entine, former ABC TV news producer. (7)

 

Why would Monsanto take the risk of working with a rogue scientist who could blow the whole operation? Why risk the whole PR platform lie on a “public scientist” and push him to speak at Universities, environment committees, legislatures and even Congress? Dr. Kevin Folta turned out to be a HUGE MISTAKE for Monsanto and other biotech giants. This is now a precedent set for the clean food movement, with reference to even the New York Times and their editors who had the courage and honor to publish the US Right to Know information. (6) Folta is one of at least 100 “science” and “Big Ag” shills who are fully exposed here. Knowing that Monsanto’s main goal is miseducation and understanding all the tactics there are employing is knowledge that is of vital power and will also serve as the fulcrum in the information war going on right now between GMO and organic. Alternative news investigative reporters and editors alike are sharing with mass media on this one to expose the whole coercion racket of the industrial GMO complex.

 

These revelations about academics and “public scientists” reveals that some powerful entities in the chemical and food industries have major financial incentive to discredit the work of the Nutritional World, Natural Health enthusiasts worldwide, and the clean food movement itself. Sock puppets like Dr. Kevin Folta, professional liars who paint the platform of caring community leaders, are on a mission to get rich and infuse pesticides into 100% of YOUR food.

 

Folta gets $25,000 grant from “Frankenfoods” Monsanto and says he’ll write anything they want him to write

 

Newly discovered emails reveal that Folta received a $25,000 unrestricted grant from Monsanto, and even wrote to a Monsanto executive,

 

“I’m glad to sign on to whatever you like, or write whatever you like,” and “I promise a solid return on investment.”

 

 

How is this science? A molecular biologist who says he’s a public scientist while promising evil corporation Monsanto that he will write ANYTHING they want him to write? This inherently includes the testimony that Folta will give to politicians, legislative branches of Agriculture, the USDA, the FDA, University lectures, you name it. Top all this off with the fact that Folta repudiated any financial ties to Monsanto for years, and there are more than a handful of these published lies now made available, thanks to USRTK, Natural News.com, Vani Hari, truth media, Gary Ruskin (USRTK) and the Natural Health News Network. (8)

 

The following is a list of published denials by Folta of his connections to Monsanto and the “BigAg” industry:

 

“David [Oppenheimer] and I have no research or personal funding from ‘Big Ag’ – only in our dreams.”

 

“Certainly Monsanto (and others) have funded work at my university. Not my work.”

 

“I have no financial ties to any of the BigAg companies that make transgenic crops, including Monsanto.”

 

“I’m an independent scientist. Not Monsanto.”

 

“I am one of thousands of independent, public scientists worldwide…”

 

“I have nothing to do with Monsanto. I’m not, you know, I don’t work for them… I am not a shill (laughing)… I’m a public scientist.”

 

He has “no formal connection to Monsanto.”

 

Folta has been cited as taking word for word answers as provided by Monsanto’s PR firm Ketchum and using them as his own. He previously claimed he had never used their text as words, but that too was all part of a big long list of lies, as published by the New York Times. Basically, Monsanto needed some new front guys but went with the wrong scientists for too long, and now they’re busted.

 

The “Food Babe” Vani Hari has done a remarkable job getting huge chemical food companies and major chain restaurants to remove some of the most dangerous food chemicals from their menus and top selling products. Professor Folta is a Monsanto mafia attack dog that has been after her for years, and the immature, sucker-punch attack tactics have now been fully exposed as fraud, manipulation of public knowledge, and of the shill variety. Here are some actual Folta quotes about Vani Hari as she tours the country educating the public about smart food choices. The notorious Dr. Folta has this to say about the “Food Babe’s” message: (9)

 

“corrupt message of bogus science and abject food terrorism.” (Her fee was $6,000.) Dr. Folta added, “She found that a popular social media site was more powerful than science itself, more powerful than reason, more powerful than actually knowing what you’re talking about.”. – quoted in New York Times, 3/15/2015

“She really conflates the science. If anything, she’s created more confusion about food, more confusion about the role of chemicals and additives.” – NPR, 12/4/2014

“To have someone like Hari go out and make up nonsense that only digs into public opinion against these technologies is really frustrating for us.” – The Atlantic, 2/11/2015

“That’s not healthy activism or change based on science. That’s coercion, fear mongering and (yes) terrorism to achieve short-sighted political non-victories in the name of profit and self-promotion, ironically the same thing she accuses the companies of.” — Food Babe Visits My University, 10/21/2014

 

“Luckily, Starbucks didn’t fold… Otherwise, Hari would have blackmailed them too.” – Food Babe Visits My University, 10/21/2014

 

“Vani Hari would be spreading her corrupt message of bogus science and abject food terrorism here at the University of Florida. Oh joy”. – Food Babe Visits My University, 10/21/2014

“Responding to the Food Babe is like telling a funny joke to my dog at a party. Everyone there gets it– except for the dog. She just tilts her head to one side and looks at me like I’m stupid.” – Response to the Food Babe. This is Boring, 3/19/2015

“There’s something that dies inside when you are a faculty member that works hard to teach about food, farming and science, and your own university brings in a crackpot to unravel all of the information you have brought to students.” — Food Babe Visits My University, 10/21/2014

“If this is a charismatic leader of a new food movement it is quite a disaster. She’s uninformed, uneducated, trite and illogical. She’s afraid of science and intellectual engagement. She’s Oz candy at best.”- Food Babe Visits My University, 10/21/2014

“What if Hari were to take a long look in the mirror and decide that while scaring people into boycotts and book buying pays the bills, the legacy associated with it is embarrassing. Time will frown on Hari, and it already is happening.  While adored by internet fans, scientists, physicians, the food industry, farmers and science fans see her clearly as the empty information vessel she truly is.” – The Value of Vani, 12/12/2014

“Her discussion was a narcissistic, self-appointed attack on food science and human nutrition. There is a vein in my head that pulses when I hear someone deliberately misrepresent science for personal celebrity, and it was pounding.” – Food Babe Visits My University, 10/21/2014

“I was really proud to see that the student audience was not buying it. Throughout her presentation that was about Hari in the spotlight and “me-me-me”, students got up and left. She left gaping pregnant pauses where previous performances got applause– only to hear nothing. Not even crickets.” – Food Babe Visits My University, 10/21/2014

“While microphones stood ready in the audience to answer questions, there was no public Q&A period where a scientist that knows the research could publicly challenge her false assertions.”- Food Babe Visits My University, 10/21/2014

“I guess I’m just angry because I didn’t get to lock science horns with The Food Babe. I would have liked to have asked a few questions that she could never answer.” – Food Babe Visits My University, 10/21/2014

“I listened to her talk about herself and provide lots of false information to my students, and waited for the opportunity to ask dismantling questions from one of the two microphones in the room”. – A Letter To Support My Claims Against the Food Babe, 11/16/2014

“She did not take questions from the audience. The event ended and the audience left”.- A Letter To Support My Claims Against the Food Babe, 11/16/2014

“She was paid $6000 for over an hour’s time to promote her brand and spread her filth.  Now scientists and educators have to fix it.” – A Letter To Support My Claims Against the Food Babe, 11/16/2014

“As we attempt to illuminate products, technology and method to feed a growing population, Hari’s shameful resistance to reality needs to be met. We’ve done that, and I’m proud of the push back…” – The Value of Vani, 12/12/2014

 

“Recently I’ve given a number of talks and interviews where I’ve been described as the “guy that stood up to the Food Babe”. While standing up for science is important, I’d rather be described as the guy that changed her mind because I took the time to teach the facts.” – The Value of Vani, 12/12/2014

 

“I cannot think of someone so clueless that thinks she’s so clue-full. The bravado to manufacture completely wacky statements is beyond arrogance, and to criticize students who approach her from a scholarly evidence-based point shows she’s fully subscribed to her own deception.” – Vani Hari’s Kooky Response to Critical Students, 1/26/2015

 

Folta discredits Food Babe campaigns to remove controversial chemicals from the food supply:

“Bread is a foam. Even culinary experts will tell you. It was a perfectly safe food additive for years, until she came along and decided that Subway bread was essentially a yoga mat.” – The Atlantic, 2/11/2015

 

“The fact that she is able to mobilize this army of blind followers who reject science and follow her words, to smear and harm the reputations of companies that are doing nothing wrong.” – The Atlantic, 2/11/2015

 

“Safety always has to be the number one concern. And an understanding of safety is contingent on an understanding of the chemical in question. But she lacks the scientific prowess to be able to tell when something is truly a threat, and when something poses no threat.” – The Atlantic, 2/11/2015

 

Published from Dr. Folta’s personal blog:

“In another thread she encourages those curious to call the university, because “a certain professor who promotes Monsanto… has spread a lot of nonsense”. Again, she speaks from no evidence, leveling false allegations against a public scientist that only wants her to back her claims with science.  How do I ‘support Monsanto’?”- A Letter To Support My Claims Against the Food Babe, 11/16/2014

“She also took the liberty of making a false association between a public scientist and university professor to a company that does not exist, purely to discredit him. Here are two clear falsehoods that Hari stands by.  Why anyone would take any advice from her, ever, is beyond me.”- A Letter To Support My Claims Against the Food Babe, 11/16/2014

“Of course, she ties me in with Monsanto. Blatantly false. But since when does she need evidence before making a claim?” – Vani Hari (Food Babe) and Silencing Critics, 12/7/2014

 

Folta the Hack impersonates a radio talk show host and asks himself questions on the air

http://www.buzzfeed.com/brookeborel/when-scientists-email-Monsanto

 

Folta’s personal email to Food Babe (3/19/2015):  

“I work as an independent, public scientist. Companies have no control of my research, my results or my opinions.”

“You’ll also see from my publications that almost all of my funding comes from public sources, like USDA, NSF and NIH. I’m not a “Monsanto scientist” as you’ve suggested. My only “industry funding” is for strawberries– a strawberry industry of family farmers that grow a nutritious fruit. Yes, I answer questions on GMO Answers. I am not paid, I’m grateful for the forum, and if you gave me a page on Food Babe.com to answer questions the answers would be exactly the same.

Monsanto operative Kevin Folta

Now that Kevin Folta has been exposed as a Monsanto operative who falsely denied having ties to Monsanto, Natural News is publicly calling for The Atlantic to issue a retraction of all their stories quoting Kevin Folta — stories in which The Atlantic utterly failed to ferret out the truth that Folta was secretly serving as a Monsanto attack dog while exploiting the trust (and perhaps gullibility) of The Atlantic editors to accomplish that task. Much like Kevin Folta himself, The Atlantic has some serious explaining to do if they hope to retain any semblance of journalistic credibility. How were they so easily scammed by a Monsanto operative? And why didn’t they correct their story when the truth came out?

Sources:

(1) http://www.naturalnews.com/051128_Kevin_Folta_Monsanto_whore_Twitter_tantrum.html#ixzz3lLf2jorf

(2) http://www.righttoknow-gmo.org/

(3) http://www.gmoseralini.org/en/

(4) http://www.biofortified.org/2015/02/dr-kevin-folta-joins-our-board-of-directors

(5) http://www.prwatch.org/news/2014/03/12426/meet-plush-gmo-mascot-frank-n-foode

(6) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/06/us/food-industry-enlisted-academics-in-gmo-lobbying-war-emails-show.html?_r=2

(7) http://www.naturalnews.com/047665_Jon_Entine_domestic_violence_Forbes.html

(8) http://usrtk.org/gmo/our-investigation-of-big-food-and-its-front-groups/

(9) http://foodbabe.com/2015/09/08/proof-monsanto-pays-public-scientists-discredit-movement-submitting-foia-request/

(10) http://www.naturalnews.com/051115_Kevin_Folta_Monsanto_shill_Craigslist_ad.html

 

Additional Sources:

(11) http://www.naturalnews.com/051114_Kevin_Folta_Monsanto_Mafia_GMO_propaganda.html

(12) http://www.naturalnews.com/051098_Monsanto_influence_academic_prostitutes_New_York_Times.html

(13) http://www.naturalnews.com/051097_Kevin_Folta_academic_prostitutes_Monsanto.html

(14)

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/2303691-kevin-folta-uoffloridadocs.html#document/p10/a237532

(15) http://www.naturalnews.com/051169_The_Atlantic_Kevin_Folta_bad_journalism.html#ixzz3lkFJ6cur

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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