US “Right to Know” (US-RTK) is a lobby group opposed to genetic modification (GM), and with the mandate to implement mandatory labeling of foods produced using GM technology. The organization has requested public records (such as emails) going back to 2012, from public university scientists who are engaged in educating the public about GM technology. Dr. Kevin Folta, a professor and researcher at the University of Florida, is one of the 14 scientists the group has targeted. The following is from a conversation with Kevin regarding the RTK tactics, as well as his thoughts on the role of the scientist and public perceptions about genetic modification.
AWB: What are your thoughts regarding the Right to Know demand
KF: They are using important transparency mechanisms to intimidate scientists, and dissuade others from participating in the discussion. It’s an enormously expensive endeavour. Everybody has been completely cooperative and excited to provide this material. I know I don’t have anything to hide – I’m happy to talk about it. It takes two things to show that there’s corporate influence in my statements. One is you have to show a connection. Two, you have to show that something was said that would not have been said if it wasn’t for that influence. I think that’s where US-RTK fails. Scientist opinions, and our discussions of the scholarly literature, would be exactly the same if those companies never existed……To Read More…..