The Risk-Monger

Archives for BioTech

The rise of NITS is a growing problem today and regulators do not know how to control their viral spread across the European Union and the US. Their ravaging of the landscape is threatening areas where economic affluence was once taken for granted. Scientists have tried many measures to control NITS, but this has only accelerated their proliferation. The tools we have to protect society against NITS are inadequate and they are able to adapt, breed, mutate and feed on their surroundings like locusts.

Posted by David Zaruk

Lobbying is unacceptable when an industry or organisation distorts the truth to gain an advantage. The organic food industry lobby has been doing this for years and no one seems to have taken much notice. Their main campaign in the US has 757 organic food interested groups banding together to misrepresent conventional farming and crop protection. This is unethical.

Posted by David Zaruk

Precaution as a policy tool has been manipulated to meet activist agendas. On climate and GMOs, we see two different, contradictory perceptions of precaution applied. How can activists deal with this contradiction?

Posted by David Zaruk

On Earth Day, the Risk-Monger has decided to defend environmentalists. In this blog he will show that they are not criminals but merely social deviants and, unlike many Western politicians, feels that they should not be incarcerated for their campaigns.

Posted by David Zaruk

The recent International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) publication on glyphosate (a chemical found in Monsanto’s Roundup) once again illustrates how international scientific bodies continue to put politics over science, run anti-industry witch-hunts and have become the playground for environmental activist predators using the cloak of an international body to try to give their campaigns a resemblance of credibility.

Posted by David Zaruk

The Logic of Risks

Are Naturalist Nutters showing signs of inconsistency or of a sudden logical outburst when they criticise those who do not vaccinate? Hardly – they are exhibiting a perfectly justifiable illogic that easily harmonises contradictory thinking. We need to accept that there is no logic to risk decisions and learn how to manage risks in an emotional, anecdotal world.

Posted by David Zaruk

Five years ago, the world was on the brink of collapse from catastrophic climate change. As fear-mongers got rich, the Risk-Monger had a rich picking of ridiculous cases of abusive PR and scientific activism. The Environmental-Industrial Complex has evolved over these five years, but is showing no signs of weakening its hold on our media attention, fear levels or pocket-books.

Posted by David Zaruk

What if scientists got caught acting without scientific integrity? What if they formed a group with political ambitions to juice up the science so they could campaign against another group? Would they be credible? Would their science serve as the basis for policy? Only an idiot would accept that. Why then did we?

Posted by David Zaruk

Not all scientists follow standard practices or operate according to agreed upon codes of conduct. Some are motivated by other ambitions. How can we determine who a credible scientist is? Is the science proposed by politically motivated and very vocal activists the best available evidence? Without a chief scientific adviser, how do we know?

Posted by David Zaruk

In Praise of Anne Glover

As activists along the halls of the Mundo-B building smell blood and put their PR machines into high gear, a bit of rationality should be restored to the question of the role of the Chief Scientific Adviser to the President of the European Commission. It is high time to acknowledge the great work that Dr Anne Glover has done. In short, high-level advice must be given to the president in confidence by a single individual.

Posted by David Zaruk

The more the pesticides industry denies safety accusations, the more guilty they look. The erosion of trust is built into the precautionary blacklist game – a game the industry will never win.

Posted by David Zaruk

The Risk-Monger recently spoke at a crop protection industry conference on how to prepare data requirements for implementing the new pesticides legislation. I am not sure they liked my main point: that the data they will generate does not matter … at all. Still, they were polite.

Posted by David Zaruk

In 2013, European science has been weakened by poor publication practices and the infiltration of politics within the production of data. From Séralini to Kortenkamp, activist researchers have used their white coats to whitewash evidence-based policymaking, diminishing the public perception of research. The Risk-Monger fears the politicisation of science will only get worse.

Posted by David Zaruk

Anti-Social Media

The Risk-Monger has seen a lot of narrow, myopic thinking finding reaffirmation on social media sites. As prejudiced thinking surrounds itself in silos that give comfort and support, dialogue and consensus-building suffers. In that spirit, the Risk-Monger has started micro-blogging on Facebook to further reinforce his bad ideas.

Posted by David Zaruk

It has become more common practice for environmental campaigners to “make things up” to increase public outrage and further their activism. The Risk-Monger suggests that there is something wrong with lying and that it is high time for activist NGO groups like CEO, Sum of Us or Greenpeace to consider enforcing internal ethical codes of good conduct.

Posted by David Zaruk

Bjørn Lomborg shows how environmental activist groups like Greenpeace have held up trials on Golden Rice for twelve years for no good reason, arguing they should be held in part responsible for the loss of around eight million lives in that time from vitamin A deficiency. The Risk-Monger has a problem with a basic premise underlying Lomborg’s conclusion: that to blame NGO activists, you would have to assume that these campaigners are in some way responsible for their actions.

Posted by David Zaruk

Mark Lynas, one of the principal strategists and drivers behind the environmental activism against GMOs, admitted that the anti-GMO campaigns he had led were not science-based, often anecdotal, and counter-productive. His recognition of the facts on GMOs, his regret for the anti-science tactics NGOs had used and his sincere apology exhibit an integrity rarely seen today.

Posted by David Zaruk