Those are strong words, and not written lightly. However, when a journalist carries the imprimatur of the world’s most influential newspaper, he/she has standards to uphold, not the least of which is to know the basic facts about what one writes about. Bittman freely and often engages the debate over GMOs in food, from lobbying for government-mandated labeling to, most recently, attacking the biotechnology industry in a piece on the so-called Monsanto Protection Act (the debate about which the GLP deconstructed).
Like a climate-denying archconservative, Bittman and hasn’t altered his views for years even as science has long since passed him by. As Keith Kloor, one of the world’s sharpest commentators on the politics of agricultural biotechnology journalism, recently noted in a response to Bittman’s latest, he couches his nutty views in reasonable-sounding verbiage that disguises the reality that his opinions are almost fact- and science-free.
Bittman and his ilk may score points at foodie dinner parties, but increasingly they are becoming the butt of jokes in science circles. Even worse, their shrill but influential voices are making it increasingly challenging for federal and state regulatory agencies to follow the science when it comes to promoting good nutrition and public health.