Sadistic anti-GMO journalist Paul Thacker is retracted AGAIN
Described by NYU professor and journalist Keith Kloor as a “sadistic troll”, Paul Thacker has spent the last several years as a character assassin. Anyone who agrees with the global consensus that GMOs are no more risky than any other breeding method is subject to his wrath.
In one misogynistic rage he even accused a group of scientist moms of being Monsanto shills. As if strong independent women need a corporation to tell them what to do.
Most recently he attempted to use the opinion section of Stat News to go off on a tangent about his targets. While the article was about concerns he has with the pharmaceutical industry, he somehow manged to squeeze in a statement about Genetic Literacy Project being funded by Monsanto. Citing himself as evidence, following enough links eventually would lead the reader to a court document where a lawyer made the accusation.
In Paul Thacker’s world accusations are the same thing as guilt.
I wrote earlier about how the same lawyer was being used by conspiracy web sites such as Info Wars and Natural News to claim that all pro-GMO social media users are being paid by Monsanto.
Fortunately Stat News retracted the statement, claiming an “editing error”. Though emails forwarded to me by Genetic Literacy Project’s Jon Entine reveal that it was no such error, as Stat News editors at one point even used the same lawyer’s accusation in a court document as evidence to defend themselves and Thacker.
Three sentences were deleted from this article because of an unsupported statement about the origin of the Genetic Literacy Project (founder Jon Entine says he created it independently) and an editing error that made it appear the organization has received funding from Monsanto.
It should also be noted that Stat News has the same owner as the Boston Globe, another paper that was used by activists to smear a science communicator in recent years.
Thacker is not new to having his words retracted once evidence has been provided. Retraction Watch covered a retraction of another opinion piece written by Thacker for Plos One in 2015.
The community reaction caused us to reexamine particular assertions made in the piece about individuals and groups. We concluded that some were not consistent at least with the spirit of the guidelines that we apply to all community writing and commenting on PLOS blogs. We want to hold all PLOS blogs to the same standards and after careful consideration we decided it was appropriate to remove the post.
But for all his bluster about transparency and front groups, Thacker himself appears to have undisclosed connections to the organic industry. Emails released from a freedom of information act request show collaboration with the Science Communication Network to smear Bruce Chassy, Professor Emeritus of Food Safety and Nutritional Sciences from the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
The Science Communication Network is an actual front group for the public relations firm Fenton Communications. They ghost write for “anti-chemical” professors, and work closely with Stonyfield Organic’s Just Label It campaign. Fenton’s most well known claim to fame was scaring parents about apples in the 1980s.
Will reputable news outlets continue to allow themselves to be used by individuals like Paul Thacker and their agenda to smear public scientists?
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