Welcome to our latest Review, covering a lot that has been happening on the LOBBYWATCH front, including yet more evidence of corporate capture of governments, ministers, regulators, and academic institutions, not to mention more attempts to indoctrinate influential professionals, in this case medical practitioners and the judiciary. We also have the latest on scientists whose findings are considered inconvenient to industry facing censorship, defamation, threats and intimidation. Our other sections are on HUMAN GM and COVID ORIGINS, with the latter including explosive new revelations that have led to accusations of scientific fraud.
SCIENTISTS UNDER ATTACK
Since the launch of a Monsanto-initiated smear campaign, Prof Gilles-Éric Séralini has repeatedly had to take to the courts to combat accusations of fraudulent research. Prof Séralini has already won multiple libel cases and is now taking on three more of his attackers. That case began in a Paris court on Friday September 1. Séralini, who has been a professor of molecular biology at the University of Caen since 1991, has published over 150 scientific articles, and among his multiple awards is the Order of Merit, given by the French government for his successful career in the field of biology. The retraction – under industry pressure – of his 2012 paper, which revealed toxic effects of Roundup, has been called “a chilling moment in the history of scientific publication”. The paper was subsequently republished by a different scientific journal. There’s more on the Monsanto-orchestrated campaign against the study here.
A neurologist who raised concerns about an increasing number of young patients with rapidly developing neurological symptoms was allegedly threatened with discipline by his employer, internal government correspondence obtained by CBC News reveals. The neurologist, Dr Alier Marrero, wrote a letter earlier this year highlighting elevated levels of certain compounds found in herbicides, such as glyphosate, in some of the patients’ blood work. But when he asked for help with the large volume of paperwork his rapidly growing case load was generating, he received a letter “threatening discipline” and accusing him of not respecting the requirements of the Public Health Act. One of those who gave him a less than helpful response is New Brunswick’s chief medical officer. Her predecessor was fired while investigating glyphosate, then paid $720,000 in what a political scientist described as “hush money”. Internal Monsanto documents released during litigation revealed that after she had been sacked, an industry-friendly toxicologist, Len Ritter, was contracted “to assist” with completing her glyphosate report. Ritter is well known for downplaying the dangers of pesticides. He even vouched for the safety of 2,4,5-T – the most controversial component of Agent Orange. Ritter’s assistance was not acknowledged in the report that was finally published, which, needless to say, gave a clean bill of health to glyphosate.
Videos and PowerPoints are now available for the talks given at the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility’s two-day Integrity of Science conference in Edinburgh on the conflict between public policy and independent science, in honour of Dr Árpád Pusztai (1930–2021). One of the speakers at the conference was the journalist and author Andy Rowell, and his definitive written account of the whole extraordinary drama of Pusztai’s groundbreaking GMO safety research and the attempts to destroy Pusztai’s reputation is available here.
Another of the speakers at the ENSSER conference (see item above), whose talk is now available on YouTube, is Prof Larissa Bombardi from the Department of Geography in the University of São Paulo in Brazil. Prof Bombardi’s work has exposed the severe impacts of the use of pesticides in Brazil, from harming babies and children to the death of one person every two and a half days. After her “atlas” mapping these damaging impacts began to gain attention in Europe, Prof Bombardi started to suffer threats and intimidation. Eventually it escalated to the point where, for the sake of her own safety and that of her family, Prof Bombardi took the advice of the Dean at the University of São Paulo and left the country. There’s more on the global pattern of intimidation of researchers who challenge the pesticide industry here.
Dr Virginia Aparicio was due to present the results of her latest research, which was going to reveal disturbing data on the number of pesticides in the blood, urine and faecal matter of inhabitants of rural towns surrounded by heavily sprayed monocultures. But six days prior to the presentation, Dr Aparicio received a letter from the director of Argentina’s National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), where she worked, instructing her to suspend the presentation of her report. The letter also warned her that INTA was analysing her performance within the organisation because the “human biological mapping” she had done was not within its institutional responsibility. This is despite the fact that INTA had approved the work she had undertaken, as well as the wider project of which it formed part. One of the participants in the study, an environmental lawyer, has said that more than 40 different pesticides were found in her biological samples, and that the censorship of such findings is scandalous.
Syngenta is demanding the private files of a neurology expert who wrote a journal article about the link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease. The chemical giant is publicly accusing Dr E. Ray Dorsey of co-authoring his article not as a scientific commentary but as part of a conspiracy to engineer evidence for litigation targeting Syngenta – litigation that Dr Dorsey says he has no connections with. Now Syngenta is going to court to try to force him to turn over his emails, notes, article drafts and other records. This is not the first time Syngenta has been accused of trying to intimidate researchers.
CORPORATE CAPTURE: AFRICA
AGRA, until recently known as the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and notorious for its promotion of corporate-led industrialised agriculture, is holding its annual Summit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 5-8 September. Branded as “the Africa Food Systems Summit”, the event brings together agribusiness leaders, experts, policymakers, and representatives from various sectors of the food industry. AGRA’s “partners” for the event include Bayer, Corteva, Syngenta, USAID and the US Dept of Agriculture, among others, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AGRA’s principal backer. Representatives of several of these organisations are also speaking at the event, including Erik Fyrwald, the CEO of Syngenta, who has called for organic farming to be abandoned, claiming “people are starving in Africa because we're eating more organic products”.
The Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) and its collaborators, representing hundreds of small-scale food producer groups across Africa, have rejected the validity of the AGRA Forum (see item above). They highlight the silenced narratives of those at the heart of Africa’s agriculture: its farmers. “Concentrated power and profit in the hands of a few corporations is not the way forward for a sustainable and inclusive African agricultural future,” AFSA says. There’s more on AGRA and its damaging obsession with corporate-led industrialised agriculture here.
Lady Justice Mugure Thande is among several judges being relocated after their rulings contradicted the policies of the Kenyan government. Justice Thande blocked the Kenyan government’s lifting of a decade-long ban on GMOs.
CORPORATE CAPTURE: GOVERNMENTS AND REGULATORS
In an article for CounterPunch, Mitchel Cohen reminds readers that Julian Assange, the founder and publisher of Wikileaks and currently a political prisoner, didn’t only expose war crimes. A slew of cables Assange published revealed US officials applying financial, diplomatic, and even, Cohen says, military pressure on behalf of Monsanto and other biotech corporations. The cables showed how officials in the Obama administration, particularly in Hillary Clinton’s State Department, intervened at Monsanto’s request “to undermine legislation that might restrict sales of genetically engineered seeds”. In a State Department cable marked “confidential”, Craig Stapleton, then US Ambassador to France, even advised the US to prepare for economic war with countries unwilling to introduce Monsanto’s GMO corn seeds. The ambassador called for retaliation against the EU, to “make clear that the current [precautionary] path has real costs.” In another cable, this one from Macau and Hong Kong, a US Department of Agriculture director requested $92,000 in US public funds for “media education kits” to combat growing public resistance to GMO foods. The cable portrays attempts to mandate the labelling of GMOs as a “threat” to US interests. WikiLeaks also published the unabridged text of the secret Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). By publishing the secret text, Mitchel Cohen says, Assange yet again exposed the extent of the US government’s pressure on other countries to purchase and plant Monsanto’s patented GMO seeds and associated pesticides. All of this adds context to the US government’s current campaign of escalating pressure on Mexico to back down on its GMO corn ban.
You might think a former US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee would gravitate towards continued work in conservation, says Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America. But the opposite is the norm: leaving public service for a lucrative career in extractive industries is practically tradition at the agency. Since 1974, all seven of the EPA pesticide office’s directors who continued to work after leaving the agency went on to make money from the pesticide companies they used to regulate. Other EPA officials have left the agency to work directly for the agrochemical industry. This flow of experts from the EPA to pesticide companies doesn’t just enable dangerous chemicals to evade regulatory scrutiny, it also shapes the culture within the agency, and helps explain why regulatory problems have persisted through changes in presidential administrations.
“Serious and systemic issues” in Australia: CEO and board chair resign amid scathing review of pesticides regulator
The board chair and CEO of Australia’s agricultural and veterinary chemical regulator have resigned after an independent review found “serious and systemic issues” within the organisation. The federal minister for agriculture, Murray Watt, said the government would take “firm action” to ensure the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority’s integrity after the review’s findings. Law firm Clayton Utz carried out the review at Watt’s request after allegations were raised that a senior member of staff at the APVMA had urinated on other staff members at a Christmas function. The minister said, “Concerningly, the review also includes allegations of industry capture of the APVMA. It appears to have played a key role in the APVMA not performing its full regulatory responsibilities.”
Millstone and Lang paper on conflicts of interest in food advisory committees in UK now available on Research Gate
An important paper (originally published in Nature Food – the highest ranking journal on food science and technology), which found extensive conflicts of interest in UK regulatory committees on GMOs and other food safety issues, is now available on Research Gate. Among Erik Millstone and Tim Lang's striking findings was that only one of the seven current members of the UK GMO regulatory committee ACRE declared no conflicts of interest in 2022. The other six (86%) owned up to having conflicts of interest with 16 different corporations! We wrote about this and the paper’s other findings, as well as findings from our own research in this area, here and here.
Thérèse Coffey, the UK’s Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, says she is keen to get gene-edited plants and animals approved “as soon as possible”. Coffey, who previously worked in a number of roles for the American multinational food conglomerate Mars Inc, calls the development of gene-edited products “a massive commercial opportunity”. As well as wanting to press ahead with gene editing, the minister has also declared glyphosate “perfectly safe” and an aid to regenerative agriculture. The minister was already a well-known glyphosate fan, as a result of publicly endorsing Roundup just after Monsanto was ordered to pay $289 million for causing a man’s cancer. Amidst the welter of bad publicity generated by a US jury deciding the company knew Roundup was dangerous yet failed to warn its customers, Coffey pushed back by tweeting a photo of a Roundup container with the message, “Getting ready to deploy the amazing Roundup!”
The US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) has engaged almost 100 members of the Philippines judiciary in its biotech outreach. Joining the USDA in delivering a forum for judges and lawyers was the biotech industry front group ISAAA – funders have included Bayer, Monsanto, and Syngenta. According to ISAAA executive director Dr Rhodora Aldemita, “Activities like this keep the Philippines’ standing as the premiere country in biotech adoption, biosafety regulation, and communication in the Asia Pacific.”
In Nigeria, GMO-promoting officials at the National Biotechnology Development Agency, (NABDA) are running “sensitisation” workshops for medical practitioners on the “safety and benefits” of GM crops, so that doctors can reassure the public and “disabuse their minds from wrong information”. The training is targeting medical practitioners because their “strategic position” makes them “very important to make Nigerians understand the numerous benefits of GMOs”. The training once again involves industry/US front groups – in this case the Program for Biosafety Systems (PBS) and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF). The AATF is Gates-funded specifically to promote the public acceptance of GMOs in Africa, as well as their regulatory approval and commercialisation. Nigeria's former chief biosafety regulator openly acknowledges that his appointment was due to opportunities facilitated by AATF.
In recent years there has been growing interest in so-called biologicals – living microorganisms added to the soil to naturally improve soil health and nutrient cycles, as part of good soil stewardship and as an alternative to synthetic chemical inputs. As such, the hope has been that biologicals could play a significant role in helping farmers transition to organic and other ecologically regenerative and resilient farming systems. But a new report from Friends of the Earth warns that Bayer and other agrochemical giants, like BASF, Syngenta and Corteva, are busy hijacking “biologicals” in the same way as they are doing with “regenerative agriculture”. These companies have been spending millions acquiring biologicals companies. Their interest is not in replacing agrochemicals but in genetically engineering biologicals as add-ons rather than replacements to their toxic products. For instance, BASF already has a product on the market that combines a GMO biological that aims to improve plant health with a neonicotinoid insecticide.
AGRA and Alliance for Science claim to support “regenerative agriculture” – despite pushing GMOs and agrochemicals
The Gates-funded organisations AGRA (see CORPORATE CAPTURE: AFRICA) and the Alliance for Science are following in the steps of corporations like Bayer by claiming to be big supporters of “regenerative agriculture”. An AGRA tweet declares, “AGRA encourages regenerative farming in order to ensure a sustainable future of healing the earth and harvesting hope”. The Alliance for Science, funded to promote GMOs particularly in Africa, likewise recently tweeted, “Let's promote agroecology, conserve biodiversity, and prioritize regenerative agriculture”. What makes this particularly shameless is that the Alliance previously published a vicious attack on agroecology. The article, by its comms and research lead Mark Lynas, backfired badly, however, as it was widely panned by experts.
In another cynical attempt at greenwashing, AGRA, whose acronym stands for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, has rebranded itself by only using its AGRA acronym, rather than its full original name, in order to distance itself from the increasingly damaging associations of the green revolution. But although AGRA has adjusted its name, it hasn’t changed its disastrous policies promoting industrialised agriculture.
THE BILL GATES PROBLEM
Piercing the blinding halo that has for too long shielded the world’s most powerful (and most secretive) charitable organisation from public scrutiny, Tim Schwab’s new book The Bill Gates Problem shows how Gates’s billions have purchased a stunning level of control over public policy, private markets, scientific research, and the news media. Whether he is pushing new educational standards in America, health reforms in India, global vaccine policy during the pandemic, or Western industrialised agriculture throughout Africa, Gates’s heady social experimentation has shown itself to be not only undemocratic, but also ineffective. In many places, Bill Gates is hurting the very people he intends to help. No less than dark-money campaign contributions or big-business political lobbying, Bill Gates’s philanthropic empire needs to be seen as a problem of money in politics. It is a dangerous model of unconstrained power that threatens democracy and demands our attention.
In 2016, the American honey industry faced a crisis: The US Food and Drug Administration had found high levels of glyphosate, a herbicide linked to cancer, in honey samples from Iowa. The FDA detected the weedkilling chemical at up to 653 parts per billion (ppb) in honey – more than 13 times the limit allowed in the European Union. Consumer groups filed at least two lawsuits against the honey industry. Internal documents, obtained by US Right to Know, shed light on what happened next. The National Honey Board (NHB), a honey industry-funded agency of the US Department of Agriculture, hired crisis management PR firm Porter Novelli to downplay the risks of glyphosate in honey. Porter Novelli later worked with the NHB to deflect concerns about honey containing neonicotinoids. At the same time, Porter Novelli was working for Bayer, a leading manufacturer of glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The PR firm’s work for Bayer included promoting the use of neonicotinoids and opposing regulations that would safeguard honeybees.
The pro-GMO, pro-glyphosate group, the Genetic Literacy Project, is hosting an article defending PFAS “forever chemicals”. It is by Hank Campbell, the former president of the corporate front group, the American Council on Science and Health, who has stirred controversy by posting racist, anti-Semitic, and eugenic propaganda on his Science 2.0 blog. The Bayer-funded GLP also defends neonicotinoid pesticides (banned in the EU) and atrazine (banned in the EU).
In April 2023, the National Academy of Sciences held a three-day workshop titled “In Vitro Derived Human Gametes as Reproductive Technology: Scientific, Ethical, and Regulatory Implications”. Stuart Newman, Professor of Cell Biology & Anatomy at New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York, and Tina Stevens, Lecturer Emerita, Department of History, San Francisco State University and Director, Alliance for Humane Biotechnology, provide a critique of the workshop and the technology itself. They also identify the sometimes surprising individuals and institutions who are smoothing the path towards industrialised gamete production and fertilisation. These developments are happening regardless of safety and other concerns, say the authors – in particular, the eugenic aspects of overtly controlled fertilisation.
Biden probe censored expert claims that COVID virus was likely genetically engineered in a laboratory
US President Joe Biden’s 90-day probe into the origins of COVID-19 censored the input of intelligence agency scientists who concluded the virus was most likely genetically engineered. When the report was published, it concluded that most intelligence agencies assessed the virus, even if it had leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), as natural rather than manipulated in a laboratory. But this was not the assessment made by the four groups within the intelligence agencies that actually engaged in scientific analysis, who concurred that there was either a highly likely or reasonable chance the virus was genetically engineered. One of the scientists at the Defense Intelligence Agency’s National Centre for Medical Intelligence (DIA NCMI) discovered that the size and location of a fragment of the COVID-19 virus resembled the same fragment in WIV research from more than a decade earlier, in 2008. It was the same technique that the WIV had used in grant applications to make chimeric viruses. “This paper is the smoking gun of everything. When the team reviewed this data, they thought, ‘This is created in the lab. It’s a reverse genetics construct’,” a source said. But their input into the 90-day origins probe was censored. Sources close to the inquiry estimated about 90 per cent of the DIA NCMI edits were deleted, censored, or simply weren’t included. There is a more detailed report on how this group of eminent scientists within the US intelligence agencies were censored here.
New documents show scientist calling lab leak “highly likely” – after drafting a paper claiming the opposite
Damning new documents show scientist Kristian Andersen calling the lab leak origin theory for SARS-CoV-2 “highly likely” – after writing the “Proximal Origin” paper in Nature Medicine saying the exact opposite! The paper was the subject of a hearing on Capitol Hill, which coincided with the release of a report by the subcommittee devoted to the “Proximal Origin” paper. It contains limited screenshots of emails and Slack messages among the authors, laying out its case that the scientists believed one thing in private, that lab escape was likely, while working to produce a paper saying the opposite in public. After having put together the first draft of the paper, Andersen responded to two colleagues who wanted to conclusively rule out the lab scenario: “The main issue is that accidental escape is in fact highly likely – it’s not some fringe theory.” But the paper they were drafting argued the opposite and would be used to label the possibility of a lab leak as a fringe conspiracy, confidently asserting, “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.” See comments by science journalists on these revelations here and here.
“Proximal Origin” author had major grant proposal on Anthony Fauci’s desk while writing a paper exonerating NIH-funded lab in Wuhan
Kristian Andersen, first author of the “Proximal Origin” paper (see above), had a major grant proposal on Anthony Fauci’s desk while writing a paper exonerating a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded lab in Wuhan, documents show. And Andersen and a fellow author, who testified before the House subcommittee investigating the origin of the COVID-19 virus, misled Congress about the nature of the multimillion dollar grant, which was still pending at the time they joined a critical conference call with Francis Collins, the head of the NIH, and Anthony Fauci in February 2020, according to NIH documents. Andersen told the Congress committee he had no live fundraising requests before Fauci’s agency at the time of the call. But newly uncovered messages revealed in the hearing undermine Andersen’s claim. It is true that by November the grant had cleared the independent review process, but it was still pending final approval from the director, Fauci. The grant wasn’t finalised until May 21, 2020. In other words, it was on the desk of this key NIH official at the time of the conference call. For Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist and critic of Andersen’s, the timing put Fauci and Collins at an extraordinary advantage in their interactions with the scientists: “Andersen and Garry had a proposal for a center grant in the post-Council administrative-review stage in January-May 2020, making them maximally susceptible to pressure from Fauci and Collins.”
An influential British scientist played down the COVID lab leak theory to avoid angering China, newly released messages suggest. Prof Andrew Rambaut, professor of molecular evolution at the University of Edinburgh, was one of the authors of the "Proximal Origin" paper. Private messages released by the US Oversight Committee, which is investigating the origins of COVID, show that in the weeks before publication the authors had acknowledged that a lab leak was a possibility but were concerned about upsetting the Chinese. In a conversation with first author Prof Kristian Andersen, on 2 Feb 2020 Prof Rambaut wrote: “Given the s---show that would happen if anyone seriously accused the Chinese of even accidental release, my feeling is we should say there is no evidence of a specifically engineered virus, we cannot possibly distinguish between natural evolution and escape, so we are content with ascribing it to a natural process.” Prof Andersen replied: “Yup, I totally agree that that’s a very reasonable conclusion. Although I hate it when politics is injected into science – but it’s impossible not to, especially given the circumstance. We should be sensitive to that.”
The “Proximal Origin” paper is the product of scientific fraud and misconduct, says Richard H. Ebright on Twitter. To understand why, see the table accompanying his tweet (linked above) of private comments made by the “Proximal Origin” authors that show they did not believe the conclusions of their own paper. Prof Ebright also notes that their private messages show that even a full month after the publication of their paper ruling out any possibility of a lab leak, the lead author Kristian Andersen was still admitting privately, “I’m still not fully convinced... no [laboratory] culture was involved,” and that “We also can't fully rule out engineering” – i.e. that the virus not only came from a lab but had been genetically manipulated there. A satirical 90 second animation has captured the extraordinary gap between what the “Proximal Origin” authors said in public and what they said in private. Down at bottom left of the video it even specifies the sources (their emails, Slack messages, etc.) for the specific things they're shown as saying.
Internal communications showing that virologists did not believe the conclusions they published in a prestigious journal have led scientists to circulate a petition calling for Nature Medicine to retract the influential “Proximal Origin” paper that denied the possibility of a lab accident in Wuhan, China, and misled the public during the pandemic’s first crucial years. Within days, the petition garnered over 1,300 signatures and set the hashtag #RetractProximalOrigins trending on Twitter. The scientists’ letter to Nature Medicine can be read here.
The Royal Society has awarded Eddie Holmes, a British virologist who co-authored the “Proximal Origin” paper, the Croonian Medal and Lecture, considered one of the most prestigious prizes in the biological sciences. The Royal Society said the award was given to Prof Holmes for “being a global authority on virus evolution and emergence, who played a key role in the discovery of SARS-CoV-2 and was the first to publicly release the genome sequence.” But Richard Ebright accused the Royal Society of endorsing “scientific fraud” (see items above). Other critics also noted that Holmes had been slow to publicly release the genome sequence of SARS-CoV-2 after it became available. He has said, “We got the sequence on the 5th of January and released it on the 11th... essentially there were instructions that there's no publicizing the outbreak, so we kept it to ourselves, we told the key people in China… but we were told not to release the data.” He says pressure to release the sequence then grew online until it became “untenable” to continue to keep it private. This sounds close to collusion with China in obstructing transparency, slow-walking reporting, and impeding the global response to a rapidly spreading danger.
President Joe Biden has cut off US government funding for China's Wuhan Institute of Virology after a review found the facility non-compliant with federal regulations. For many observers, especially those favouring the lab leak COVID origin theory, it was long overdue. “This is a step forward toward acknowledging that COVID-19 likely originated from US-funded gain-of-function research at WIV and toward taking steps toward preventing a future lab-generated pandemic,” said Rutgers University professor Richard Ebright. But Ebright, a chemical biology professor, also complained the move was insufficient to fully address the problem. For one, EcoHealth Alliance, a US-based organisation that conducted coronavirus research at the lab, is still receiving federal dollars and has not been disbarred. Ebright also says former National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins and former National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases leader Anthony Fauci were not held accountable for their role. He’d also like to see a full ban on gain-of-function research.
Last March a string of high-profile news reports claimed research had shown that raccoon dogs had played a part in the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Strongest Evidence Yet That an Animal Started the Pandemic,” declared a headline in The Atlantic. “New Data Links Pandemic’s Origins to Raccoon Dogs at Wuhan Market,” announced the New York Times. And Eddie Holmes, one of the “Proximal Origin” authors who was also involved in the raccoon dog study, even claimed the new research meant, “The COVID lab leak theory is dead”. But in late April a prominent American virologist published a preprint that completely demolished these claims. Jesse Bloom, a computational virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, had analysed the raw genomic data used to advance the racoon dog theory. It came from hundreds of environmental swabs that Chinese scientists collected in January 2020 from cages, carts, and other surfaces at the Wuhan market. In his sequencing, Bloom found that out of about 200 million “reads”, or discrete viral samples, on the swab on which the raccoon dog claims were based, only a single one was positive for the coronavirus. That did not suggest raccoon dogs were infected, not least given that material from many other species that certainly were not infected, such as fish, were far more consistently co-mingled with SARS-CoV-2 in the data. The obvious conclusion, given that the coronavirus had already spread throughout Wuhan for several weeks, and probably months, by then, was that the single particle was far more likely deposited by an unsuspecting human than a sick animal. Now Bloom’s analysis has been published in the peer reviewed journal Viral Evolution. The paper says, “(T)he inability of the environmental samples to inform on the origins of the virus is unsurprising. These samples were all collected on 1 January 2020 or later, which is at least several weeks after the Huanan Seafood Market became a superspreading site for human infections (Li et al. 2020)”.
A 194-page analysis by Gilles Demaneuf, a data scientist and part of the DRASTIC research team and the Paris Group, provides the most detailed analysis yet of China’s highly skewed and incomplete reporting of the earliest COVID cases. The science journalist Michael Balter explains that these major flaws are important because what zoonosis proponents consider their most important evidence for their theories relies almost entirely on this data reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Beijing authorities ordered an early crackdown on information about the coronavirus pandemic, forbidding the sharing of viral samples outside of government sanctioned labs in the name of “biosafety”, a secret order obtained by US Right to Know shows. The destruction of early samples slowed global response to the pandemic and reportedly constrained the US intelligence community’s ability to assess the pandemic’s origin. The order is dated 3 January 2020, two days after the world was made aware of the novel coronavirus. Some details about the order have been reported previously but USRTK is now publishing the entire document for the first time.
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