GM Watch comment: PANTS ON FIRE award winner, Shane Morris seems to be up to his old tricks again.
As you may remember, Morris and his co-authors managed to carry off our PROPAGANDA LAB AWARD for 2006, after New Scientist reported on how a leading researcher into scientific ethics had called for the withdrawal of their paper published in the British Food Journal (BFJ).
This followed the publication on our website of a photograph showing a sign suspended above the non-GM corn during their study of consumer preferences that asked: "Would you eat wormy sweet corn?" The GM corn, with which it was being compared, had been labelled "quality sweet corn". And none of this was disclosed in the published paper !
Despite this, and other instances of glaring experiementer bias, the editor of the BFJ refused to withdraw the paper, which the journal had honoured with an award, saying he'd leave it up to BFJ readers to make up their own minds as to its merits.
Now Shane Morris is claiming on his blog that the GM-free Ireland Network has issued a "correction with an apology" on their website for labelling his scientific claims "fraudulent" in an unpublished letter.
Morris also seems to have promoted this as a news flash, see - "Anti-GM activist group issues a correction with an apology". http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2007/08/flash-ant-gm-activist-group-issues.html
But when we visited the GM-free Ireland website, we found this was simply not true. Although the "f" word had been replaced by XXXXXXXXXXs, following the legal threats described below, we could find absolutely no trace of an apology - in fact, rather the reverse!
We also found that the wording of the supposed correction that Morris had reproduced on his blog had been taken completely out of context, as can also be seen below, in a way designed to put Shane Morris's words in the mouth of GM-free Ireland!!!
All in all, it seems those smoking undergarments were richly deserved.
Canadian Government attacks GM-free Ireland campaign http://www.gmfreeireland.org
The GM-free Ireland Network is the subject of on-going attack by a biotech industry lobbyist called Shane Morris, who is a paid agent of the Canadian Government!
Canada is the world's second largest producer of GM crops. According to the Canadian Government Electronic Directory Services on 22 July 2007, Shane Morris is a Senior Consumer Analyst at the Consumer Analysis Section of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (download proof of employment).
The Canadian government agent's interference in Ireland's GMO policy making process includes:
*A web blog at http://www.gmoireland.blogspot.com designed to discredit Ireland's GMO-free zone policy, the Minister of State for food and Horticulture, the Green Party, the Irish Doctors Environmental Association, and the GM-free Ireland Network;
*persuading Bord Bia to withdraw agreed sponsorship for our Green Ireland conference on branding for food, farming and eco-tourism in 2006; http://www.gmfreeireland.org/conference/trans/bordbia.php
*complaining to the Ireland Funds for their co-sponsorship of the Briefing on Food Safety and GMOs co-hosted by the European Parliament Independence / Democracy Group and the GM-free Ireland Network at the European Parliament Office in Dublin on 15 June 2007;
*defamatory personal attacks on Michael O'Callaghan, Percy Schmeiser and others;
*threat of libel action against the GM-free Ireland Network and our internet service provider in July 2007, unless we agreed to publish the following statement in relation to an unpublished letter* sent to the editor of the Irish Times on 29 June 2007, in which we referred to a controversial scientific paper co-authored by Morris:
Gmfreeireland.org would like to correct a claim previously made that Shane Morris made "fraudulent scientific claims". Gmfreeireland.org acknowledges such a claim has no legal basis and would like to point out that:
- No findings of fraud were ever made by the British Food Journal in regards to the claims in the publication in question.
- The paper in question remains published as a valid piece of scholarly research.
- The academic award for the paper remains valid.
- A letter of explanation on the matter was published in the British Food Journal 2006 Vol 108, Issue 8 [The letter's a long-winded piece of sophistry that, apart from denying the obvious, contradicts Shane Morris's claim that the wormy corn sign had not been present during the data collection period - GMW]
According to Joe Cummins (Emeritus Professor of Genetics, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada):
"I think it is worth reminding people that Shane is a bureaucrat in Agriculture Canada and his views are supported by that Ministry. It is very clear that the Canadian government hired Shane and promote him in the Ministry as a way of promoting GM crops. Shane's attacks may seem like sheer lunacy to most of us but the Canadian bureaucrats think that he is brilliant in damaging the detractors of GM crops. I expect that they will hire other nationals who will attack those opposed to GM crops in their home countries."
* [unpublished letter]
For a photo of the "wormy corn" sign:
For related correspondence in the British Food Journal:
For a GM Watch profile of the paper's lead author: