Biotechnology, Health, News July 1, 2016

107 Nobel Laureate Attack on Greenpeace Traced Back to Biotech PR Operators

by Jonathan Latham

by Jonathan Latham, PhD

Greenpeace was denied entrance yesterday (June 30) to a National Press Club Event in Washington, DC of 107 Nobel Laureates. The event was ostensibly organised by a scientific group calling itself Support Precision Agriculture to publicise a letter, signed by 107 Nobel Laureates, demanding that Greenpeace cease its opposition to “golden rice” and GMO technology in general.

Greenpeace was attempting to attend the event in the person of senior research specialist on GMOs, Charlie Cray. He was accompanied by Tim Schwab, senior researcher from Food and Water Watch. Both were physically prevented from entering the Press Club.

We were told that only credentialed Press were allowed.” Schwab told Independent Science News.

However, says Schwab “I then saw Greg Jaffe from the NGO Center for Science in The Public Interest (CSPI) entering the room.” Informed of this, the security person changed his story: some NGO’s were invited to attend.

National Press Club, Washington, DC
National Press Club, Washington, DC

Afterwords, Schwab told us “Some NGOs were invited: Really?  Why not Greenpeace—the subject of this campaign?

More importantly, the security person was not just anyone. Schwab and Cray recognised him as Jay Byrne, formerly head of corporate communications for Monsanto (1997-2001).

Byrne now heads the biotech public relations outfit v-Fluence and is heavily involved in biotech-academic PR. Typical of his output is his contribution to the book “Let Them Eat Precaution” published in 2005 by the American Enterprise Institute and edited by Jon Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project.

The Genetic Literacy Project promotes biotechnology and is heavily connected to the industry. Its strapline is “Science Trumps Ideology”. Asked by Cray and Schwab why he was minding the door, Byrne claimed he was “strictly a volunteer“.

Charlie Cray, the Greenpeace researcher later tweeted this:

Charlie Cray Tweet re Jay Byrne
Charlie Cray Tweet re Jay Byrne

According to the website GMWatch, there is a further strand connecting the Nobel Laureate letter to the biotech industry, the url has an inoperative sister domain that is traceable back to the Genetic Literacy Project. Oops!

Addendum (12:56 pm): The list of signatories includes Alfred G Gilman, who died last year (on Dec 23 2015).


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Comments 9
  • Is it possible that Nobel Laureates especially if they do not necessarily have a background in genetics can be led by the nose and fall for the oldest trick in the book —– a loss of ethics as a result of such a serious conflict of interest?

    If this is indeed so, as it appears to be we will destroy ourselves.

    • Hi Aruna, this is unrelated – sorry! I just wanted to express gratitude for all the hard work you are doing in India. What happens in India with GMOs has an impact on the rest of the world, I think. Also, I think that your article/report about the precautionary principle and GMOs was one of the best and most important pieces that was published during 2015. “The Precautionary Principle Requires to be Interpreted Critically and Pre-emptively for its Proper Application to the Unique Risks of GM Crops,” By Aruna Rodrigues, Third World Network; March – April, 2015 (59 pages) [ ]
      “This technology is a classic case of ‘unforeseeable systemic ruin,’ which means that we will know we are ruined after it happens. As they say, the dead cannot make a comeback.” (Supreme Court of India Contempt Petition: Aruna Rodrigues vs GE Approval Committee et al, petition for contempt proceedings for disobeying 2007-8 court orders (re: GMO field trials); December 2015).

  • A thought popped up to research the research background of the 107 signatories. It would be good to know who these people are. Could perhaps look to see for what efforts their nobel prizes were granted.

    • Hi Madeleine,
      from GMWatch article here :

      “The laureates’ letter relies for its impact entirely on the supposed authority of the signatories. Unfortunately, however, none appear to have relevant expertise, as some commentators were quick to point out. Philip Stark, associate dean, division of mathematical and physical sciences and professor of statistics at the University of California, Berkeley, revealed on Twitter his own analysis of the expertise of the signatories: ‘1 peace prize, 8 economists, 24 physicists, 33 chemists, 41 doctors’. He added that science is ‘about evidence not authority. What do they know of agriculture? Done relevant research? Science is supposed to be “show me”, not “trust me”… Nobel prize or not.'”

  • Don’t forget the complicity of governmental agencies such as the EPA, Agriculture (USDA), etc. as well as the duplicitous ruling of the US Supreme Court and Obama’s Monsanto Protection Act.

  • Need to teach the european precautionary principle as it applies to EVERYTHING the damn nazis are proposing. See also and Lyle Courtsal,,

  • Does one need to be a genius to recognize the potential danger in eating foods that have been genetically altered? Is it not enough to know that studies influenced by biotech are limited to 4 months because mice develop tumors at a significantly greater rate after 4 months of GMO consumption? At this point do we really give any credence to the Noble Laureates when Obama got one even though he surged into Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria and killing off Kadhafi ? That last adventure in Libya is greatly responsible for the increased terrorism attacks.
    The Noble prize has become a prop bandied about by the elite to manipulate the masses. We need to think for ourselves and consume what is healthy and not what the authorities want to shove down our throats!

  • I was appalled when I heard that UW Madison assisted in deciding that GMOs are safe. I need to know about the funding for this, especially since ROP Governor has slashed so much in our Universities, that outside monies are now speaking. As well as the Koch Bros now attempting to own Universities and their researchers. Now the Laureates… Definitely the research and the funding needs investigating. Thank you for all you do in the name of truth.

  • Trying To 0utbama on his IgNobel Prize $ell0ut !

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