Monday, December 08, 2008

The birth of a "fact"...

Jeffery Smith at Huff Po may be engaging in the supreme blogging skill - the invention of a fact.  At least, I can't find his substantiation for the following post:
I don't know Barack Obama's position on GMOs. According to a November 23rd Des Moines Register article, "Obama, like Bush, may be Ag biotech ally", there are clues that he has not been able to see past the biotech lobbyist's full court spin.
- His top scientific advisers during the campaign included Sharon Long, a former board member of the biotech giant Monsanto Co., and Harold Varmus, a Nobel laureate who co-chaired a key study of genetically engineered crops by the National Academy of Sciences back in 2000. - [Obama] said biotech crops "have provided enormous benefits" to farmers and expressed confidence "that we can continue to modify plants safely."
On the other hand, Obama may have a sense how pathetic US GMO regulations are, since he indicated that he wants "stringent tests for environmental and health effects" and "stronger regulatory oversight guided by the best available scientific advice."
There is, however, one unambiguous and clear promise that separates Obama from his Bush and Clinton predecessors.

President Obama will require mandatory labeling of GMOs.

Favored by 9 out of 10 Americans, labeling is long overdue and is certainly cause for celebration.
(I am told that now Michael Taylor also favors both mandatory labeling and testing of GMOs. Good going Michael; but your timing is a bit off.) [Link] [My emphasis]
I've been searching for over an hour - my legal limit for fact checking -  and cannot any verification of this promise.  It may be there, but it's not easily found. (Please point me if you can.)

But I suspect this assertion is about to take on a life of its own.

If true, it could have considerable ramifications.  Most of those, I think, would not be what the food movement expects.


Anonymous said...

john--enjoy your comments, but am disappointed that you get so much of your reading from Huff po---that's as biased and twisted reporting as it comes.

John Phipps said...


Your reply surprised me, so I checked my Firefox. HoffPo is not in my 50 most visited sites. I rarely go there, but it is one of the most linked to sites. Other than this post, can you find any many links back to them?

Besides, did you read my comment? I point our Smith seems to have invented an Obama stance on GMO labeling.

Regardless, if you follow the links (admittedly few do) you will notice I try very hard to provide substantiation for my positions. Discounting posts because of their political leaning makes no sense. I prefer to do the homework and point out my disagreement.

FWIW, do you have any idea how popular HuffPo is? In the blogosphere, there is clear evidence when a blog is doing something right. And as much as I disagree with them, they are.

Claiming they are biased is easy. Providing evidence to back it up is a little more difficult.