Monday, September 14, 2015 by Carol Young
In January 2015, Lisa Drake of the Monsanto Company wrote Professor Kevin Folta a conspiratorial email, asking for a little favor that would involve doing a blog on biotechnology (GMOs) for WebMD. Her email said, “that won’t stop me from asking another favor.” This favor was just one of many from the Monsanto Company, which donated large sums of money (upwards of a million) to the university where Folta is a professor. Drake continued with her request, “This one relates to Web MD. Over the past six months, we have worked hard through third parties to insert fresh and current material on Web MD’s website relating to biotechnology health and safety, especially since before that, the material popping up on relation to the topic dredged up highly negative input from Organic Consumers Association and other anti-GMO critics.”
Drake suggests here that, instead of the voices of “negative” critics of GMOs, Monsanto should infiltrate WebMD, a self-described “leading source for trustworthy and timely health and medical news,” with Monsanto-approved articles. She surmised that recruiting a scientist and professor would add credibility to their side. Folta, Monsanto’s lapdog, responded just as a shill would. He said, “Can do! My pleasure.”
Drake then instructed Folta on exactly what he needed to write for the WebMD article, specifically asking that he “insert the word ‘labeling’ somewhere in the content in order to get search algorithms to pick it up.” In this way, not only did Drake ask Folta to write an article on GMOs, but she also conspired with him to game the search engines to ensure that the article got a lot of notice.
Folta let Lisa know that he was “glad to do this” and even wrote, “Let me know when it needs to be [first priority].” As his signature quote states, “Don’t tell me what can’t be done. Tell me what needs to be done, and let me do it.” Folta certainly let Drake tell him what needed to be done, and he would follow through, just as a shill would.
Folta is clearly eager to please Monsanto and their ilk. In one email, he joked, “I was hoping for a GMOAnswers.com coffee cup or baseball cap, but I’ll take a conference call. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” Folta, in light of the emails released, maintains that his relationship with Monsanto was not influencing his research, yet he was clearly interested in swaying public opinion to fit Monsanto’s agenda. In a 2013 email to a Monsanto employee named Eric, Folta wrote:
These labeling initiatives are close to passing. We need to take action from the science side to shape this discussion.
If mediated by academics with no financial interest we can add cred and maybe produce a politically neutral, scientifically accurate plan.
I have the plan in my head and we CAN do it and it WILL work!
Hardly a neutral source, Folta is clearly more involved with Monsanto than he lets on. Folta actively worked with Monsanto to pump WebMD with pro-GMO articles, he conspired with Lisa Drake to get these articles visible on search engines and he even colluded with Monsanto employees to appear genuine and reliable, using his background in academia and scientific research as leverage.
Learn more about Kevin Folta’s shameless promotion of GMO poisons at TruthWiki.org.