Drawing on more than two years of Food & Water Watch research, The New York Times has published a damning account of the conflicts-of-interest culture that pervades the National Academies of Sciences’ (NAS) work on GMOs.
The Times notes the deeply one-sided panels of scientists that the Academies convenes to author its GMO reports, many of whom have undisclosed financial conflicts of interest. It also describes a troubling revolving door of staff between the NAS and the biotechnology industry.
This story validates years of Food & Water Watch and other advocates’ efforts to expose NAS’s far-reaching conflicts of interest, which introduce bias into science and also policy making—because the federal government uses taxpayer-funded NAS research to develop “science-based” rules and regulations.
The Times story should spark a Congressional investigation into the NAS and prompt the federal government to avoid utilizing any scientific advice produce by NAS about GMOs. Just as important, it should shape how we view the larger scientific discourse on GMOs, which has long be very heavily influenced by the biotechnology industry—at public universities, academic journals, or prominent non-profit groups.
In the summer of 2014, Food & Water Watch began documenting the outsized role that …