Greenpeace Financed Scientist Wins Defamation Judgement in France

Greenpeace-financed anti-biotech researcher Gilles Eric Seralini just won a libel judgement in a French court against pro-biotech researcher Marc Fellous. Briefly at issue is a study done by Seralini financed by Greenpeace in which he claimed to have found that a variety of Monsanto's biotech enhanced corn caused liver and kidney damage in rats. This claim was widely broadcast and Fellous, president of the French Association of Plant Biotechnology, published a letter arguing that considering the source of his funding for the study, Seralini's independence as a researcher should be suspect. Fellous also suggested that Seralini is a "poor scholar," a "merchant of fear," and a "militant." 

For what it's worth, the scientific panel of the European Food Safety Agency reviewed Seralini's work and declared it statistically flawed:

In the absence of any indications that the observed differences in test parameters are indicative of adverse effects, the GMO Panel does not consider that the publication by Séralini et al. (2007) raises new issues which are toxicologically relevant. Therefore, the GMO Panel sees no reason to revise its previous opinion that the MON 863 maize would not have an adverse effect on human and animal health or the environment in the context of its proposed use.

Nevertheless, Seralini sued Fellous for libelously suggesting that his funding source might be relevant to his scientific credibility. The French court has just awarded Seralini a symbolic 1 euro and levied a 1,000 euro fine. 

Is this now a trend? Environmental activists dragging scientists into court to "settle" scientific disputes? As evidence for a trend, consider the infamous case against "skeptical environmentalist" Bjorn Lomborg in which activist critics managed to get a Danish scientific kangaroo court to declare his work "dishonest." That decision was later overturned and the committee that made it rebuked by the Ministry of Science. And there is the more recent criminal defamation case against biologist Ernesto Bustamante in Peru. Fortunately Bustamante's conviction for "defaming" an anti-biotech researcher was just overturned. 

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  • ||

    Is this now a trend? Environmental activists dragging scientists into court to "settle" scientific disputes?

    You bet your ass it is. When the religious envirozealots can't prove their dogma and faith through science, the obvious next step is to prove it through "law".

  • ||

    only zeelots here r u and ur paymasters exxxon adn monrapeto

  • ||

    "Exxxon adn monrapeto."

    My Latin is a little rusty. Does that mean "People called trolls, they go, the house?"

  • ||

    But, "Trolls, go home" is an order. So you must use...?

  • QuietDesperation||

    Screw it. Just get to the part where we cut his balls off.

  • ||

    No, it doesn't. What's Latin for 'troll'?

  • sevo||

    asshole

  • ||

    Now, now. Looks like it might be troglodyta ("cave dweller").

  • Brett L||

    I think monrapeto is the Agricorp/STEVE SMITH collaboration to rape both hikers and the environment.

  • STEVE SMITH||

    NO PANARAMIC ENVIRONMENTAL VIEW TOO LARGE FOR RAPE. STEVE SMITH SWING MIGHTY PIPE.

  • Sleeping Dog||

    Okay, when you swing said "mighty pipe", do you mean as in a hunk of lead upside a skull or is that a kind of "goatse" euphemism?

  • STEVE SMITH||

    WAS HOMAGE TO DENNIS KUCINICH (ALSO< NOTICE SHEEP ON BACKDROP).

    http://www.strangepolitics.com/images/content/132663.jpg

  • ||

    I love that scene, and the fact that something so specific to Britain's public schools can be universally appreciated.

  • ||

    Latin is violent.

  • ||

    It is not specific to Britain's schools. My Latin teacher was just like that...because they all are.

  • ||

    It's a Roman thing. Inherent in the very structure of the language itself.

  • ||

    You linguistic relativist. You sicken me.

  • ||

    Relativist? Where did you get that from? Latin is all about the absolutes of Roman character--order, dogma, service to authority, stoic virtue, and, above all, granting to the teacher of Latin total and absolute vitae necisque potestas over his students.

  • ||

    Look here, you disgusting relativist.

  • ||

    I knew it! You're Chomsky!

    I demand the ban hammer of righteousness!

  • ||

    Just so you know, Virginia gave me vitae necisque potestas over the comments section when she left. I was supposed to hand it over to Nick, but that formality was neglected during the interregnum.

  • ||

    fake post

  • Hugh Akston||

    You have no proof of that.

  • ||

    u proof of that i have

  • Pip||

    Jesus what a useless cunt.

  • ||

    thx now i know

  • sarcasmic||

    Once Congress repeals the law of gravity we can get down to the business of curing our obesity problem.

  • Billy Shakespeare||

    When the science is settled, it's time to sue.

    Makes perfect sense.

  • ||

    "Is this now a trend? Environmental activists dragging scientists into court to "settle" scientific disputes?"
    _
    course here in the states let the largest magazine win!

  • sevo||

    As in asshole ^

  • ||

    magazine as in magazine lil sevo. doo try to keep up darling

  • Pip||

  • sevo||

    As in asshole Real 00. Do try to keep up.

  • ||

    awh soo cute

  • ||

    Your commentary reminds me of a baboon trying to communicate with humans.

  • ||

    Your commentary reminds me of a baboon trying to communicate with humans.

  • ||

    what?

  • ||

    what? what?

  • cynical||

    By circulation, dimensions, or average number of pages in each issue?

  • ||

    What damage did Seralini claim existed because he was called a "poor scholar"?

  • JD||

    I believe the technical term is "butthurt."

  • ||

  • ||

    Presumedly punters who don't cum are subject to fine and subsequent specimen acquisition.

  • Hugh Akston||

    What exactly is a punter? I've never been able to figure that out, and I'm far too lazy to check Urban Dictionary.

  • ||

    Customer. Generally of a gambling/betting establishment or a prostitute/strip-club/dominatrix etc.

  • ||

    I thought a 'punter' was a professional bettor (usually at a racetrack.)

    Or is this one of those words that has different meanings depending which side of the Atlantic you are on?

  • ||

    I thought a punter was the guy who pretends to tackle the returner by falling down in front of him.

  • Warty||

    So, officially, Gilles Eric Seralini does not fuck sheep. Got it.

  • ||

    certainly not in a professional capacity.

  • ||

    As an attorney who consistently watches judges bungle Daubert rulings, the thought of courts settling scientific disputes is frightening indeed.

  • Brett L||

    I've seen attorney billing math. Please don't let them near my science.

  • ||

    Seriously, who do you think runs science now?

  • ||

    facts r science that why u wrong

  • cynical||

    Sure, in the same sense that automobiles are car manufacturing.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Or in the same sense that letters are language.

  • ||

    Who run Bartertown?

  • ||

    If you read the novelization of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, you learn the back story for many characters. Auntie was a former personal injury attorney (locally famous for her commercials); Master was a patent lawyer (with an EE B.S.).

    It's possible I just made all of that up, too, but it could just happen to be true.

  • ||

    You think that's bad? That's nothin'!

    My homie Urbie 7.0 dialed me up for a show? I come up, I'm like, "Wazzup Urbie, my brother!" He looks at me an sayz, "You too ugly to be my brother".

  • ||

    I'd translate the word "militant" as "activist" here. It's still a fighting word for a scientific discussion, but it's not a "cross-hairs-level" rhetoric.

  • ||

    How is this any different from republican politicians using congressional committees to “prove” climate change is not happening?

  • Brett L||

    Citation, please. The only committee hearings I recall were held by Democrats. Waxman and Gore. Gore was at least smart enough to hold his in mid-summer and turn off the A/C. For the last couple of years, the House hearings are always scheduled for February and get snowed out.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Legal decisions can be used as precedent is future cases. Congressional hearings are not law but rather self-righteous witch hunts.

  • ||

    That's an insult to those engaged in the relatively honorable profession of rooting out witches from our society.

  • ||

    It's not a popular position here (and I'll add that, like Ronald Bailey, I'm skeptical about the extent to which humans contribute to global warming AND the future impact thereof), but I agree that the manner in which some reject science supporting anthropogenic global warming is at odds with libertarians' general embrace of science (see, e.g., evolution).

  • ||

    Sorry, I phrased that really awkwardly but I'm too lazy to clarify what I meant, so I'll just let people agree or disagree with their respective interpretations of what I wrote (if they're so inclined).

  • ||

    ok sod off then

  • ||

    So you don't know what a punter is, but you use the phrase "sod off"? I smell a rat...

  • Hugh Akston||

    See, when you use idiotic phrases that no self-respecting English speaker would like "sod off", then nobody is going to buy that this is me.

    Also when you use your own email address. Retard.

  • ||

    There's always "bugger off."

  • Brett L||

    Actually, "Sod Off, Swampy" works really well as the London Mercantile Exchange boys used that as their rallying cry when they beatdown a bunch of watermelon types who decried their capitalist waste of resources and tried to disrupt the Exchange.

  • Brett L||

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t.....515384.ece

    I tried to post it as a link, but apparently its my day to be fucked with by the server squirrels. Sod off, squirrels!

  • Ted S.||

    So what you're saying is that you fuck server squirrels, but not sheep?

  • ||

    I've often noted that many of our fellow libertarians have a hard time separating the scientific pursuit of climate models from the politics of global warming.

  • ||

    I've often noted that many of our fellow libertarians have a hard time separating the scientific pursuit of climate models from the politics of global warming.

  • ||

    I've often noted how politicians have a hard time seperating the pursuit of fucking the general public over with the politics of actually running a real country.

  • ||

    I've often noted that many of our fellow libertarians have a hard time separating the scientific pursuit of climate models from the politics of global warming.

    We wouldn't have nearly such a hard time keeping them separate if so many "climate scientists" could do the same.

  • Zeb||

    Indeed. It seems that a lot of people on both sides of this argument have made up their minds about AGW and will not change their minds based on any evidence. We have a lot yet to learn about how climate works.

  • ||

    I don't see politicians suing you or anyone else to take away your right to question their motives. That's what is happening here.

  • ||

    They tried to silence critics who said the famous video of the palestinian boy who was shot in his father's arms was probably shot by palestinians. The courts did rule on the right side though, saying they had a right to say it was probably palestinians who shot the kid, and to imply French newspapers were not being completely honest.

    So, usually at least the headline -grabbing ones get decided correctly, i.e. no libel. Hopefully this will get overturned. Because even if your opponent is right you should still be able to question his character. It is ad hominem but still silencing those questions gives an even greater appearance of impropriety.

  • ||

    It's only an ad hominem if the character of the homo in question is irrelevant to the truth of his argument. The results published by a dishonest scientist really are less likely to be true than those of an honest scientists.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    There really should be an international Ministry of Scientific Doctrine, to oversee the various claims made by these so-called "researchers" who step outside the established articles of faith and put forth their own wild theories. The Ministry should have the power to levy fines and even imprison those who would try to confuse and defraud the public by putting forth new and conflicting data and analyses.

    In an ideal world, the MSD would be empowered to compel public policy across borders in accordance with settled scientific fact. (Fuck, I just came in my pants.)

  • Bingo||

    It's always funny how quickly the technocrats go from using science to create policy to using policy to create science.

  • ||

    Come see the bias inherent in the system!

  • Brett L||

    Yup. The technocratic (wet) dream.

  • Max||

    You have to wonder why libertoid assholes think they have a dog in all these fights. It doesn't fucking matter what science ultimately demobstrates, you mindless dickheads will stick to the party line anyway. Why keep telling each other as much? I mean, fuck, don't you ever get bored with this shit?

  • ||

    demobstrates

    Edward, in his retarded impotent way, has created a wonderful new word to describe "mass-consensus" science.

  • ||

    Or, perhaps, moburbates.

  • Tim||

    Woof!

  • cynical||

    "You have to wonder why libertoid assholes think they have a dog in all these fights."

    We care about scientific truth. It's our Principle. Presumably jingoist conservatives get Courage and bleeding heart liberals get Love. And proggie technocrats get Hubris.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Eh, I'm more interested in fweedom than troof. I'm not going to deny a man's prerogative to live his life as though the earth is flat.

  • cynical||

    It's a very broad generalization, and as much of a comment on personality as politics. It's probably more accurate for the people with objectivist tendencies (actual randroids being the extreme, however), though I suspect even the anarchists here have more of that in them than they would care to admit.

    But, I'll admit that having a theory of politics rooted in the Ultima series is perhaps not terribly realistic or sophisticated. It's actually sort of not-cynical, insofar as it looks at three broad political affiliations as each tending toward a particular virtue (but, in the near-absence of the other two, that can still get quite ugly).

  • ||

    You have to wonder why libertoid assholes think they have a dog in all these fights.

    If people weren't scheming to take my money and control my life under the cover of "climate change", then my dog would stay on the porch.

  • Tim||

    Auto Da Fe!

  • ||

  • sevo||

    Max|1.19.11 @ 2:55PM|#
    "You have to wonder why libertoid assholes think they have a dog in all these fights...."

    Is this thing working?
    All I seem to get out of it is random word-salads as if some ignoramus is poking at a key board.

  • FreeLibertine||

    Why does Monsanto have former CIA members working for them? I wouldn't eat their "enhanced" corn if you paid me.

  • cynical||

    That's where they put the antidote to the nanovirus they're spraying in chemtrails. They're using evolution to breed good customers, and you're a dead-end.

  • ||

    Chemtrails!

  • Brett L||

    Do you burn Gregor Mendel in effigy, too?

  • ||

    What I find funny about all of this GMO corn bullshit is that ALL corn varieties are freaks of genetic engineering. Early natives of Mexico bred corn from the wild grass Teosinte.

  • ||

    I wouldn't eat their "enhanced" corn if you paid me.

    Unless you consume only foodstuffs that you grow personally, you have eaten their corn.

  • Bingo||

  • Bingo||

  • Bingo||

    Even if we assume the higher end of the current warming rate, we should only be 0.2C warmer by 2020 than today," Mandia wrote.
    "To get to +2.4C the current trend would have to immediately increase almost ten-fold."

    Mandia described the mishap as an "honest and common mistake," but said the matter would certainly give fuel to skeptics of humans' role in climate change.

    "More alarmism," said Mandia. "Don't get me wrong. We are headed to 2.4, it is just not going to happen in 2020."
  • ||

    "More alarmism," said Mandia. "Don't get me wrong. We are headed to 2.4, it is just not going to happen in 2020."

    If we hit 2.4C in 2100, I think I'm substantially convinced that further reduction is not necessary. If we're not going to hit 2.4C until 2250, I think I'm going to smack the next enviro weanie I see. If we're not going to hit 2.4C until 3000, masssive violence against enviroweanies will ensue.

  • Hugh Akston||

    He'll have the last laugh when the sun goes red giant and engulfs the planet.

  • ||

    Even if we assume the higher end of the current warming rate, we should only be 0.2C warmer by 2020 than today," Mandia wrote.
    "To get to +2.4C the current trend would have to immediately increase almost ten-fold."

    Excuse my math, but how is a 12-fold increase "almost ten-fold?"

  • Brett L||

    "Marshall Hoffman of the public relations firm that issued the report on the UEF's behalf said the group stands by the study.

    'Earlier, NASA and NOAA estimated that the global temperature increased one degree from 2005-2010. If this stays on the same path, that will be two degrees by 2015. We see that path increasing more rapidly,' Hoffman said, in part, in his explanation.

    Asked for comment on Hoffman's response, Mandia told AFP: 'He is still confused.'"

    Top. Men.

    "Scientist Osvaldo Canziani, who was part of the 2007 Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was listed as the scientific advisor to the report"

  • Bingo||

    No biases influencing results here folks, move along.

  • Bingo||

    I want to know how these guys stay employed after consistently fucking up numbers that they researched themselves. Every inquiry into climate research has shown that these guys aren't scientists, they're a bunch of hacks who ignore and even try to hide contrary evidence. You would think they would be goddamn embarrassment to the scientific community, but instead people defend them to the hilt.

  • ||

    I know you know how grants work, so stopping playing coy with us.

  • sevo||

    "...the matter would certainly give fuel to skeptics of humans' role in climate change."

    Uh, yeah, I'd say that might be the case. Sorta like the claims that the Himalayan glaciers were going to instantly disappear.
    You'd think this stuff and that ten years (and counting) temp decline would cause a bit of humility, wouldn't you?

  • Brett L||

    Its the Office Space bug. "I think I misplaced a decimal somewhere. Shit. This always happens."

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Nevertheless, Seralini sued Fellous for libelously suggesting that his funding source might be relevant to his scientific credibility. The French court has just awarded Seralini a symbolic 1 euro and levied a 1,000 euro fine.

    Oh come on now. We know the only way any scientific experiment is manipulated to produce a specifically desired outcome is when Big Oil is footing the bill. Greenpeace's money is holy and sanctified and the result of the studies and experiments they pay for is above reproach.

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