"Independent" GMO Researcher Forced To Admit $25K Grant From Monsanto

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Cassius Methyl via TheAntiMedia.org,

In January of 2015, a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Oakland organization U.S. Right to Know requested email records between academics, scientists, and representatives of Big Agriculture.

The FOIA requests were sent to 14 scientists at four public universities, requesting information on communications and email records.

The FOIA findings included communications of well-known, staunch proponents of GM crops like Kevin Folta, a professor and chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Gainesville, who received a $25,000 grant from Monsanto. The emails reveal the funds could “be used at [his] discretion in support of [his] research and outreach projects”.

About 4,600 pages of emails, among other records, were obtained from Folta.

According to the communications, the ties between allegedly objective scientists and Big Agriculture run deep. According to Nature Magazine,

“The documents show that Monsanto paid for Folta’s travel to speak to US students, farmers, politicians and the media. Other industry contacts occasionally sent him suggested responses to common questions about GM organisms.”

While it’s not uncommon for scientists to receive corporate funding through grants, these revelations are troublesome because Folta is regularly sold to the public as an “independent” authority on GMOs. In fact, the biotech industry-funded site, GMOanswers.com — which seeks to dispel myths about the dangers of GM foods and pesticides — has still not disclosed Folta’s financial ties to Monsanto.

According to an article from Nature Magazine, U.S. Right to Know is “probing what it sees as collusion between the agricultural biotechnology industry and academics who study science, economics and communication.”

In layman’s terms, the organization is made up of ordinary people who seek to make corruption transparent and obliterate illusions of objectivity.

Executive director of U.S. Right to Know, Gary Ruskin, said one of the reasons the organization made the requests is that “The agri-chemical industry has spent $100 million dollars in a massive public relations campaign.The public has the right to know the dynamics.”

It looks like the FOIA targets are doing everything they can to avoid revealing information. According to Wired, “Legal teams at the universities—Nebraska, University of Florida, UC Davis, and the University of Illinois—are currently evaluating the situation, but some scientists have already spoken out against the FOIA request.”

FOIA requests might be one of the greatest threats to corruption and revolving door politics, which explains why those who oppose transparency are doing everything they can to prevent them.

“Open records requests are increasingly being used to harass and intimidate scientists and other academic researchers, or to disrupt and delay their work,” a report from The Union of Concerned Scientists claims.


“Academic institutions and other involved parties need to be prepared to respond to these requests in a way that protects the privacy and academic freedom of researchers while complying with the law and respecting the public’s right to information.”

Kevin Folta did what he could to avoid blame, saying, “I’m just a teacher, trying to distill a controversial literature for the general public.”

“I turned over everything [requested by the FOIAs] immediately,” he said.

There is no such thing as objective science when a researcher receives tens of thousands of dollars from the GM producers themselves, then goes on to promote their financiers’ products. Corporate collusion between government bureaucracies and educational institutions has become a serious issue in the U.S. that has corrupted objectivity in nearly every sector of American life.

If there is corruption in our society that you wish to make transparent, you can file your own Freedom of Information Act request, just like U.S. Right to Know did.

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madcows's picture

sorta like global warming, eh?

lordylord2's picture
lordylord2 (not verified) madcows Aug 18, 2015 9:14 AM

You racist sexist ignorant redneck baby-killing DENIER!!!!!!!  The science is already settled.

Physicist's picture

As a physical competitor, I prove issues both ways, and let management use the results appropriately, since they're the smart people.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Mistrust of genetically modified foods and perfectly safe pesticides and herbicides is founded on junk science emanating from mystics and quacks in the 'alternative health' field. It has been demonstrated repeatedly that genetically modified foods are not only safe, healthy and nutritious, but also the only solution to world hunger. Granted, our world is overpopulated and overindustrialized, but even after we have reduced the population, we still need a way to feed tens of millions of people that is efficient and cost-effective. GMOs and advanced farming techniques are the only answer to this coming food crisis, and if you have any compassion for the third world you will stand with the science and not with the alternative health quacks.

SafelyGraze's picture

the problem is, is that too many plants are given access to the internet where they can read articles like:



A Single Amino Acid Substitutionin the Enzyme5- Enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphateSynthaseConfers Resistance to the Herbicide Glyphosate 


after which they start doing stuff like:


Evolution of a Double Amino Acid Substitution in the 5-Enolpyruvylshikimate-3-Phosphate Synthase in Eleusine indica Conferring High-Level Glyphosate Resistance


TBT or not TBT's picture

Eisenhower also warned of an education industrial complex, in the same speech as hiw warning about the MIC.   

Manthong's picture

Ain’t nothing compared to the graft in the pharma biz.

Calmyourself's picture

I am sure glad all this government money flowing to our global warming heroes, Michael "hockeystick" Mann, James "NASA" Hansen and other sycophants of the Washington suck would never influence their research, right.. Anybody see Flak??

greyghost's picture

this article points out exactly what i tried to point out the other day about the muller's @ berkeley earth. those two are so up the asses of the educational grant, business donation scam they haven't seen daylight in years. a person just wouldn't believe how lazy people are about finding out about the writers on zero hedge. the hedge gave you the link to the muller's "educational" website, which had links to their business partners at another of the muller's websites. would the mullers' tell you the truth for a price? inquiring minds want to know

WillyGroper's picture

That's hysterical.

I know a Phd. in Chemistry that believes that exact load of crap.

Shows to go ya, book learnin' ain't all it's cracked up to be.


Normalcy Bias's picture

It's all (and ONLY) about the money now.

Joe A's picture

Nonsense. Till date there is no long term toxicological and environmental research into the effects of GMO on humans, animals and the environment. In the US biotech is not required to test GMO on lab rats for longer than 90 days. In fact, approval of GMO by the FDA is based on data supplied by biotech companies themselves because the FDA was deregulated. There is a revolving door anyway between board members of biotech companies and the FDA. It has not proven that GMO dramatically increase yields in order to prevent people from starving. Of the so called Golden Rice (with added vitamin A) you'd need to eat huge amounts in order to obtain the daily required vitamin A. People would get enough if they would eat a varied diet of veggies.

Glyphosate -one of the main ingredients of Roundup and used intensely in agriculture in combination with GMO- has been designated as probably carcinogenic by the WHO. In Argentina the stuff is used a lot and ever since cancer rates and birth defects have increased. Weeds by the way become more resistant to Roundup so more of it is needed or even worse herbicides need to be used. Residues of Glyphosate has shown up in mothers milk in the US, surpassing EU water thresholds many many times. It has also shown up in urine samples in Germany and it stays longer in the environment than that biotech companies claim.

There is something called SmartStaxx (or something) which has two herbicides resistant genes and 4 Bt toxins incorporated into it. This stays into the product from the moment it is a seed until it ends up as animal fodder or -god forbid- on your plate. A seed of the stuff already kills a bird. New herbicides developed contain ingredients used in Agent Orange used in Vietnam as a defoliant.

GMO is only good for the biotech companies that make them and the associated herbicides and pesticides. And I was wrong when I said that until date there is no long term research cause they are trying it out, right here and right now, on us and on the environment.

general ambivalent's picture

Some independent researchers have shown that GMOs cause leaky gut, stomach problems, and hormone imbalances. You know they're independent because they're all labelled as quacks and the companies try to slander them and remove all funding.

The GMOs also exchange genetics with other plants and weeds, and many suspect this is responsible for superweeds and the decline of bees. No doubt synthetic biology advances will make this even worse.

ThanksChump's picture

Edison m/l successfully proved that Tesla's alternating current approach to electricity was guaranteed to kill anyone who used it. Edison was selling direct current at the time.

The anti-GMO folks have to make a bilking, but that doesn't mean one should trust them.


French fries are made from a poisonous plant that is a member of the deadly nightshade family. Animals drop dead all the time from eating them.

Cassava (aka yucca) is probably the most-consumed vegetable in the world. It contains cyanide. Just one pound of cassava can kill a cow.

Apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, chocolate, kidney beans, tomatoes... They're all extremely poisonous.

Without the REST of the story, such as "we only eat tomato fruits and they're OK", any sane but gullible person would avoid these common foods like a plague.

Gullible. Cool word.

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Look what happens to you when you do perform a study on rats longer than 90 days.


I find it interesting that researchers did not design their own studies to prove the fallibility of the French study, just attack its methods saying there weren't enough rats to draw adequate conclusions and that the 90 day time frame is industry standard. This in itself is the definition of biased " science". I can't believe they call for a redaction when they didn't prove plagerism or deceit.

Science with an agenda is no science


Joe A's picture

Miffed, the retraction of the Seralini study came AFTER an ex Monsanto man was appointed chief editor at the journal. The retraction was condemned by many scientists. The reason for the retraction was that the study was inconclusive -which it wasn't. Inconclusiveness is never a reason for retraction, period. There was no falsification of data or plagiarism. In the meanwhile the study was accepted by another journal.

As you said the study was attacked because of the small sizes of groups but in the end Monsanto only used half the data they collected on the rats (and probably the favorable one). Another reason was that Seralini used a rat that is prone to developing tumors. But that particular type of rat is used a lot in test because shortens the trial. Another reason was because of the suffering of the rats, that they were not euthanized sooner. I don't think that ethical concerns about lab rats have been much of a worry in trials anywhere.

ThanksChump's picture

MOST people are little more than bone-nostriled cannibals. Some drive BMWs. They know they're smart because they can work an iPhone.

You can't convince these people that genetic modifications made by people (bees are OK) are safe to eat because you "are what you eat", a phrase that most take literally.

Don't even try to fight this. Human ignorance is the only remaining constant revenue stream that I know of. I don't think you can even dent that ignorance, but let's not take chances. Mmmkay?

Zekeman's picture

How does modifying a seed so that a farmer cannot use it to seed for the following year going to solve world hunger? It is not about world food supply, but about profit for the corporation and taking as much as possible from the farmer. Companies continue to GM seeds to so call help the farmer spend less time and money in the field leaving the farmer with fewer choices but to pay the price for the seed that technology has wrought.


Why are EU and other nations not allowing GM seed to be planted?

Sophist Economicus's picture

You don't farm, do you? So why make paper arguments for them

farmerunder's picture

I do farm and can tell you this is not good, we are locked into a system where we are dependant on a few monopolies, whats that saying about oil and food controlling nations? this is another method of control, except they do it at a genetic level

stilletto's picture

The EU is controlled by Greenpeace and other leftwing religious groups. Hence they love 'hippy science'. That is - science that doesnt have to be proved, just believed in. just like the hippies chanting 'love is all you need' has brought world peace.

Macon Richardson's picture

Alternative health quacks? You sound like an establishment health quack. Quack! Quack! Quack!

cooky puss's picture

MDB, you sarc is second to none! There's an award to be given here!

Consuelo's picture


How could you forget to nuke the unborn gay whales...?   For shame...



Sparkey's picture

Perception is reality Lordylord, I think the question should not be; is there Global warming, or climate change, but rather, can paying higher taxes somehow change things, I don't think it can, as things change we must change with them, and things do change, look at all the change you've seen in you life time, change is enivitable, creatures that can adapt to the change survive, those that can't? Well you know the answer to that!

Winston Churchill's picture

I'm still waiting on the mini ice age I was promised in skool.

With the BLS obviously in charge of all temp. recording, who knows it could be happening.

Winston Churchill's picture

I know.

I have a family full of profs.The desperation to get research grants is not new, but it

surely is more frantic these days.Scientific integrity was lost long ago.

Ivory tower whores.

XAU XAG's picture

seems as if everyone is a whore thease days......................one way or another.


Sad how things have gone in western world

lostintheflood's picture

Global Warming Stopped 16 Years Ago

Top 6 Climate Change Problems


greyghost's picture

damn winston....i thought i was the only one waiting and waiting and waiting. somehow i don't think the people bought one.....lol

XAU XAG's picture



Get where you are comming from on the GW


SHOCKED..........................SHOCKED I TELL YER......................WHERES MY MEDS

Joe A's picture

You mean like the Heartland foundation funded by big oil trying to discredit global warming? Climate proponents are mostly funded by governments. Climate skeptics are mostly funded by big oil.

gregga777's picture

The Anthropogenic Global Warming fraud is a wholly government owned and operated fraud. Every single government funded climate model is a fantasy. If you'd know the truth about climate models begin reading at:


Joe A's picture

Every model is as good as its design and models are only an approximation of a very complex reality. But most if not all models that were developed independently show the same trend.

The fact is that the sun has been stable for centuries apart from a period in the late medieval times when there was a pause in solar flares. A 1 degree Celsius drop in temperature then caused what is called 'the little ice age'. Currently apparently there is again a pause in the solar flare cycle so a new period of cooling could be on the horizon. But that does not mean that warming is not happening. And CO2 retains IR, as does Methane, as does water vapor as do a lot of other gases present in the atmosphere that have increased ever since industrialization.

However, CO2 tax, carbon markets, etc. are just scams. What would work are other sources of energy such as solar, hydrogen or nuclear fusion. But that ain't gonna happen cause the world needs to keep on buying that petrodollar baby!

booboo's picture

Yes and there is no way a government could direct the outcome for evil purposes, like taxes, passing legislation controlling peeps etc.

Big guns beats big oil everyday and the government has an unlimited supply of them and forced servitude to pull the triggers.

and by the way, let me help you, remove the mirrors in your home.

Joe A's picture

You think big companies are any different? And has there been any CO2 tax imposed on people? Has any legislation to control population been passed?

Adding Ad Hominem to your reaction only shows you are a weak debater.

ebworthen's picture

Exactly.  The people getting $500K+ grants are mum of course.

Universities are the modern "flat Earth that the Universe revolves around" enclaves of delusion.

The pay is good, always a ready supply of eager young Women worshiping at your feet, and pretty buildings.

Seasmoke's picture

Even worse than Fascism has hit these shores. 

SSRI Junkie's picture

i'm all for the requirement that politicians, authors, journalists and scientists wear logos like NASCAR showing who their sponsors are

Infinite QE's picture

They'd have to make them really small, like all the little flags or whatever they are that generals have on their chests.

Solio's picture

Far too many out there giving up their personal sovereignty to schlep some corporation's schtick for some blood money.

What are the consequences?

WillyGroper's picture

If they're not socio/psychopaths, it will be shame & little else.

gregga777's picture

Folta is employed by the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, not the University of Gainesville.

chunga's picture

moar shit that "might" be bad for health

Book Review - Vaccine Whistleblower - By Kevin Barry, Esq.


From Amazon: Vaccine Whistleblower is a gripping account of four legally recorded phone conversations between Dr. Brian Hooker, a scientist investigating autism and vaccine research, and Dr. William Thompson, a senior scientist in the vaccine safety division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Thompson, who is still employed at the CDC under protection of the federal Whistleblower Protection Act, discloses a pattern of data manipulation, fraud, and corruption at the highest levels of the CDC, the federal agency in charge of protecting the health of Americans. Thompson states, “Senior people just do completely unethical, vile things and no one holds them accountable.”


This book nullifies the government’s claims that “vaccines are safe and effective,” and reveals that the government rigged research to cover up the link between vaccines and autism. Scientific truth and the health of American children have been compromised to protect the vaccine program and the pharmaceutical industry.

Infinite QE's picture

Excellent. Thanks for this. The purge list starts with:

1. Federal Reserve owners and their minions.

2. Execs of Monsatan.

3. Execs of big pharma.

If all their private jets could be downed at once, the world would be a better place.