Consumers Union knows this anti GMO activist is a “loon”, but keeps helping her

Stephan Neidenbach
Sep 28, 2018 · 4 min read

Michael Hansen is a senior scientist for Consumers Union, the consumer advocacy group that publishes Consumer Reports. He has also been fighting against the use of biotechnology in agriculture for more than twenty years.

An email from Hansen, part of a Freedom of Information Act request, details his encounter with Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt. On May 27, 2014 Hansen went with Honeycutt to the EPA to discuss her organization’s concerns with glyphosate. Specifically they wanted to convince the EPA that breastfeeding mothers were exposing their children to the popular herbicide.

(A peer reviewed study would later discredit the hypothesis put forward by Moms Across America.)

According to Hansen’s email, he is well aware that Honeycutt is not only wrong about glyphosate in breast milk but goes on to refer to her and those like her as “loons”.

In her book, Unstoppable, Zen Honeycutt claims the EPA representatives were “glued to their seats” during the meeting.

Michael Hansen’s email details a different version of events. Not only did some try to leave, but Honeycutt demanded that they remain.

Hansen continued the email by warning about Anthony Samsel, Stephanie Seneff, and Jeffrey Smith (all being described as not scientifically credible). He wanted to make sure that more mainstream anti-GMO scientists like Charles Benbrook and Phillip Landrigan stay away from them, and to have no contact.

Robin Mesnage and Michael Antoniou, other anti-GMO scientists that received the email from Hansen, would go on to publish a report discrediting Samsel and Seneff. Honeycutt thanked Hansen, Antoniou, Samsel, Seneff, and Smith for their assistance in writing her book.

Yet Michael Hansen didn’t take his own advice. According to Honeycutt (also described in her book Unstoppable) Hansen would again assist her in a meeting three years later with the California Office of Health Hazard Assessment. According to Honeycutt he helped her work out the math used to manipulate OEHHA into thinking glyphosate exposure in food was some type of health concern. The meeting took place on July 7, 2017.

Consumers Union claims in their mission statement that they bring:

How can Consumers Union be trusted on anything when one of their senior scientists knowingly assists a “loon” in the propagation of misinformation to consumers? When the scientist who bravely worked to confirm whether or not glyphosate was present in breastmilk suffered a campaign of harassment and intimidation by the allies of Honeycutt, why did they not speak up?

The Method

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Stephan Neidenbach

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Middle School Teacher, Father, Blogger facebook.com/welovegv &Twitter @welovegv. Email: welovegv@gmail.com COI Statement — https://goo.gl/EaSvyX

The Method

Promoting sustainable technology and exposing those who demonize it.