More on the Problems of Pollanism

For a long time, I've said that Michael Pollan was in over his head. Which was my charitable way of saying that I didn't believe a word he said (or, increasingly, wrote) when it came to agriculture, agricultural technology, GMOs, and the like. 

Omnivore's Dilemma is full of, um, sloppy reporting --- again, my kind way of saying that it's clear to me that he fudged facts when it suited his purpose.

Pollan's occasional forays into Twitter have done nothing to ease my mind or mitigate my suspicions. He routinely links to bad studies that purport to show evidence of, say, the evils of GMOs, and it's clear that he's touting the virtues of whatever study he's linked to --- even though, often as not, those studies are nothing more than total bullshit.

So it was a relief of sorts to learn that my take on Pollan isn't some fiction of my imagination. Read this report from Jon Entine.

Entine, who is criticized as being a "shill" for corporations, directs the Genetic Literacy Project, which is affiliated with George Mason University. Because Entine also writes for mainstream outlets like Forbes and because he's also a fellow at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, many in the food movement have concluded that, well, he's a shill. 

I don't agree with that view and as near as I can tell, the GLP is dedicated to, as its website says,

Agricultural and human biotechnology are reshaping farming, food and medicine. The GLP explores the intersection of DNA research, media and policy to disentangle science from ideology. . . . The goal of the GLP is to promote public awareness of genetics and science literacy.

In any case, Entine's essay contains Pollan's own words about that writer's views on GMOs, science, the food movement, and "objective" journalism (Pollan is a journalist of sorts). So in this case, I think we can set aside questions about Entine and focus on what Pollan himself has said and done. 

And that, friends, confirms what I've long suspected.