The Risk-Monger

Archives for Food & Consumers

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

The Risk-Monger understands that IKEA is considered one of those sweet, well-loved retail chains that most consumers want to believe does good things. Unfortunately, if IKEA were to be looked at beyond their Allen key PR, their sustainability record would be rather sour. Why don’t we look?

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

The Death of Dialogue

The Risk-Monger spoke at a stakeholder dialogue event organised by PlasticsEurope. Why is industry the only actor trying to engage and reach out to other stakeholders (in keeping with the European Commission’s ideal expressed in the 2001 White Paper on Governance)? Can you have a dialogue when activists are attacking your right to be a player in the process? In my enclosed speech base document, I told them that their public trust has been eroded because they are too nice and too tolerant towards the activist attacks.

Posted by David Zaruk

Whether it is from campaigns in the Philippines against Golden Rice as a solution for Vitamin A Deficiency, which kills hundreds of thousands of children per year, or spreading a culture of activist civil disobedience in non-Western societies, Greenpeace has been spending millions in developing countries to impress its anti-progress, anti-development message on locals a bit too busy for green idealism. This form of neo-colonialism is beginning to draw reactions.

Posted by David Zaruk

The European Commission is proposing to ban certain pesticides under the precautionary principle without adequate consideration of available science or concern for the potential catastrophic consequences of their actions. Why would they do such a thing?

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

Denmark has introduced a fat tax on foods high in saturated fat. It won’t work, sends the wrong message and hurts the poorer population. It is as politically incorrect as taxing fat people, which the Risk-Monger finds more workable.

Posted by David Zaruk