An American public interest attorney has hurled a bold challenge at Monsanto, demanding that it try to find any inaccurate statements of fact in the new book he has written exposing the substantial risks of genetically engineered foods (GE foods; GM foods; GMOs) and the multiple misrepresentations that have enabled them to permeate world markets. He asserts that if the company cannot prove that his book is essentially erroneous, it will entail that these controversial products are unacceptably risky and should be promptly banned. 

Listen to the Speaking of Green interview with Steven Druker

The attorney is Steven Druker, who came to prominence for initiating a lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that forced it to divulge its files on GE foods – which revealed that the agency had covered up the extensive warnings of its own scientists about their abnormal risks and then repeatedly lied to the public. The book is titled:

Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public

It features a foreword by the renowned primatologist Jane Goodall hailing it as “without doubt one of the most important books of the last 50 years”; and it has been praised by several other eminent scientists as well, including David Schubert, a Professor and Head of Cellular Neurobiology at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, who has called it “incisive, insightful, and truly outstanding” – and also commended it as “well-rea­soned and scientifically solid.”

The book and the challenge were sent to Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer, and delivered on May 20ths to the company’s St. Louis headquarters. Fraley previously sent Dr. Goodall an email attempting to sooth her concerns about GE foods – and declaring that he would be “very pleased” to provide additional information. She passed that email on to Druker so that he could respond as he saw fit, resulting in the challenge – which stipulates that the additional information comprise a list of every inaccurate assertion of fact that Fraley and his colleagues can find in the book, along with a citation to evidence that conclusively confirms its erroneousness.

Inviting Broader Participation and Highlighting the High Stakes
Druker has also invited the other proponents of GE foods in industry and academia to assist Monsanto so that the response it submits will represent the best collective effort of the products’ supporters. He has allotted them two months and set a deadline of July 20th. He asserts: “If by that date Monsanto and its allies have not been able to refute the essential factual accuracy of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, the world will have a right to assume that it is as sound as the experts who reviewed it have affirmed – and to conclude that the GE food venture is a reckless gamble that must be quickly brought to an end.”

A Quest to Restore Clarity and Accountability
In his challenge, Druker pledges to publicly acknowledge any genuine errors that Monsanto can demonstrate and to correct them in the book’s next printing. Moreover, he demands that Monsanto display reciprocal responsibility. The challenge notes that a Monsanto brochure sent by Fraley to Dr. Goodall contains several misleading statements, and it decisively demonstrates the falsity of two of the biggest deceptions: the claims (a) that “every respected organization that has examined the evidence” has concluded that GE foods are safe and (b) that “there have been no documented safety issues.” Further, it insists that Monsanto promptly acknowledge the misrepresentations and set the record straight.

Druker asserts: “The proponents of GE foods have been passing off disinformation as scientific fact, and my challenge can restore the truth.” As the challenge declares: “Monsanto and its allies have been propagating a distinctly different set of facts than are delineated in Altered Genes, Twisted Truth. Both versions of reality cannot be correct, and people have a right to know which one is valid and which is fictitious.”  

The challenge is posted at: