It can't have been easy for former environmental activist Mark Lynas to change sides. His friends were on the anti-science side, he was a dutiful reader of The Guardian, where activists and environmental trade groups reign supreme, and he was adored there.

But he had an ethical dilemma. How could he talk about the science consensus on climate change, despite generous potential funding by corporations to say otherwise (no, really, anti-science people think that happens), while continuing to deny the science consensus in agriculture. Exxon's revenue was 20X that of Monsanto and yet even with far fewer scientists in climate studies they were not "bought off" as his side claimed about farming.

It defied common sense. It defied logic. Eventually he did what all journalists should do; he took an uncritical look at the data and...changed his mind.

This made him an apostate among European and American activists and their bloggers and former journalists. In America. the attack dog of the organic industry is trade group Organic Consumers Association where, for generous fees from corporations, chief Denier For Hire Ronnie Cummins works with attorneys and public relations groups to claim that organic food is somehow more nutritious (say what?) and better for the environment (he is trolling us, right?) and affordable. But a lot of organic brands sell their wholesome image along with their health halo, and they grew increasingly uncomfortable with the slimy tactics of Cummins. So he grabbed Gary Ruskin, who has no compunctions at all engaging in Karl Rove/Rahm Emmanuel behavior if the check clears, and Ruskin created US Right To Know and promised to act as a junkyard dog for OCA so Cummins could try and appear more ethical.

Ruskin already had a ready assistant in Stacy Malkan, who worked with him in previous public relations campaigns for the Democratic party and against cosmetics. Then he brought in discredited former journalist Carey Gillam, after her unceremonious dumping by Reuters once her suspected advocacy for organic corporations was revealed.


And they have earned their money. Along with a few politically sympathetic journalists, they routinely manufacture conspiracies about "corporate influence" in science, knowing, as Mark Lynas knew, that is isn't really possible or else BP and Chevron could have done it about global warming.

Through it all they have maintained a special hatred for Lynas, because he actually has more credibility among environmentalists than they do, and he does because he embraced evidence and critical thinking over politics. So they have written a new press release about him, doing what they do to me and everyone else: Demanding censorship, that newspapers not carry science that opposes their agenda. They're upset that Gillam can only get published in The Guardian, where conflicts of interest don't matter. The sources in their new press release are just who you expect, even though none of them were interviewed or agreed to be in the latest hit piece on Lynas: Union of Concerned Scientists, of course, and a handful of kooky scientists. Heck, global warming deniers have thousands of scientists on their side, but the anti-GMO side can only summon a few, plus a computer programmer and a swing dancer who claims he can levitate.

It's the same old stuff, the same tactics employed by vaccine deniers, 9/11 Truthers and Obama Birthers.  I am a little disappointed they haven't chosen to overtly libel me in this one, instead they suggest the organization I run, the American Council on Science and Health, is secretly a front group just like them. Because some companies do like that independent organizations defend science and have given us donations in the past.

But their stance is hypocritical. They are 100% corporate funded, and our donations from corporations is 3%. That is the same percentage as Environmental Working Group, even though for EWG the actual money that amounts to is 10X ours. Does US Right To Know and its trade group overlord Ronnie Cummins now insist EWG is beholden to industry too?

No, it's instead just hypocrisy, the kind of framing that public relations people at trade groups do. The anti-science side is 1,000X the revenue of the pro-science opposition, yet they insist if you are a scientist who supports medicine, energy, food or physical sciences, you must be on the take.