Friday, September 01, 2017 by Isabelle Z.
Freelance journalist Keith Kloor’s penchant for writing pro-GMO articles goes beyond personal bias. In a recent piece for the Huffington Post, contributor Paul D. Thacker shows just how hard the NYU adjunct journalism professor has worked with “experts” on the GMO industry’s payroll to get corporate talking points published as journalism. Kloor has written pro-GMO propaganda for outlets such as Science Insider, Nature, Slate, and Discover.
A slew of documents that have come to light through freedom of information requests and court proceedings show a very coordinated effort on the part of scientists who are secretly funded by Big Ag, corporate front groups, and reporters aligned with them attempting to present themselves as scientific experts.
It’s one thing to parrot talking points, but Kloor’s deliberate attacks on those who disagree with him have earned him a lot of enemies. When journalists critique GMOs even slightly, his aggressive side can come out, and the name calling and smearing begin. Thacker should know; Kloor called him a “sadistic troll” on his personal blog. He has also gone after NYU Food Science Professor Marion Nestle, NYU Science Journalism Professor Charles Seife, and UC Berkeley Journalism Professor Michael Pollan. He called New York Times columnist Mark Bittman’s work “idiotic or utterly disingenuous” and referred to NYU Professor Nassim Taleb as “an angry a—hole”. In 2013, Columbia Journalism Review wrote: “Keith Kloor makes a beat out of policing frightful coverage of GMOs.”
Thacker also presents the case of registered dietician Carole Bartolotto, who drew attention from Monsanto though her writing expressing concern about GMOs for Kaiser Permanente. Monsanto Executive Vice President Robert Fraley invited her to the firm’s headquarters on the pretense of trying to open up a dialogue, but she declined because she worried the firm merely wanted to buy her opinion. After writing in the Huffington Post that GMO advocates have been spreading the false notion that GMOs are proven to be safe, she drew the ire of Kloor, who subsequently embarked on a quest to discredit her.
Kloor has yet to explain his involvement with two highly questionable GMO characters, Kevin Folta and corporate propagandist Jon Entine, even though publicly released documents show a close connection and Entine himself has referred to Kloor as a “very good friend of mine.” Emails exposed by U.S. Right to Know show that Kloor was part of a big group of journalists, academics, public scientists and biotech promoters who aimed to spread misinformation across the media to try to sway public opinion of GMOs in their favor and influence USDA regulators and other public officials. Kloor has published stories that fail to mention the financial and other ties between Folta and Monsanto. He has also dodged questions about whether he received any payments or had any expenses covered in exchange for attending industry-funded conferences.
In addition, he has spoken out against public records requests, calling the requests for the financial information of scientists in the public sector “an attack on science.”
Despite what he would like you to believe, Keith Kloor is not a journalist in the purest sense of the word. You see, journalism is meant to be balanced and show all sides of the issues. Kloor is little more than a biotech industry shill who does his best to steer public opinion in favor of GMOs. One only needs to look at his body of work to see a clear pattern of supporting GMOs and painting critics as quacks.