ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

9 January 2002


2. Dotty Stotty deeply dotty about Beeb's Alex Kirby
3. Latest issue of PAN North America's journal
4. Organic foods increasing in popularity: study
5. Melchett still topping the bill on AgLioView: 'Melchett's New Role As Blackmailer'


1. exposed as tobacco front group

The Wall Street Journal recently gave a plug to, a new website that claims to expose where "activists get their money." attacks environmental, health and animal rights activists as "nannies," "anti-choice zealots" and "hypocrites" who pretend to represent grassroots citizens while taking money from foundations. According to Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel, ActivistCash is needed because activist groups "have been reluctant to let anyone see their records." But ActivistCash keeps its own finances hidden, so PR Watch investigated and found (surprise, surprise) that its funding comes from the very industries that share a vested interest in attacking activists, specifically the tobacco and alcohol lobbies, as well as restaurant chains and taverns that want to keep employee wages low, avoid paying health insurance, and drive up sales of their high-markup products: booze, soda pop, fatty foods and cigarettes.
More web links related to this story are available at:


2. Dotty Stotty deeply dotty about Beeb's Alex Kirby

There are several items of interest in John Vidal's 'eco-soundings' column in Guardian Society today - not least a piece on "Dotty Stotty" in which Vidal notes how, having retired from SOAS, Prof Philip Stott "has been busy filling his website with wacky philosophical essays about global warming" written for a "rightwing/libertarian website in the US".

Having run our eye over the news section of Dotty Stotty's newly made-over website (it was The ProBiotech Website; now it's reverted to 'AntiEcohype': a Cure for Ecochondria), we can't help but wonder if there isn't something we should also be told about 'BBC Science' man, Alex Kirby.

Back in early 2000, Kirby did a decidedly suspect Radio 4 "Costing the Earth" programme trashing organic farming via the likes of Philip Stott's close friend and collaborator, Julian Morris of the Institute of Economic Affairs. NGIN commented at the time, "It is obviously no surprise that the likes of (Richard D) North or Matt Ridley (a Research Fellow at the IEA with 2 volumes of his anti-environmentalist pieces amongst the Institute's publications) should be pleased to publicise the IEA's disinformation campaign. What is more revealing is the way in which the BBC's science and technology unit and senior academics like Prof Hillman or Prof Anthony Trewavas... have apparently been happy to promote such views without serious critical scrutiny of the evidence on which they are based." []

If this suggests that Alex Kirby might have been getting his info in all the wrong places, then it could explain the fulsome cascade of congratulations to be found directed towards Kirby in Stotty's news section. []

A sample:

*Nice piece from Alex Kirby: 'GM foods safe say supporters', BBC Science Online, 7th December:

*Excellent report from Alex Kirby on an important story... 'Japan cools on climate pact', BBC Science Online, 3rd January

*Excellent balanced reporting once more from Alex Kirby: 'Nuclear power may rise again', BBC Science Online, 13th December: In a section headed 'Nuclear power - keeping the option open', it says: 'The need now is to ensure that, should there be a commitment to nuclear in the future, the lead-time to implementation of projects is reduced.' (13th December).

*Another outstanding piece of balanced reporting from Alex Kirby (no wonder BBC Science Online won an award last year): 'UK "sees poor as victims" ', BBC Science Online, 7th January

It should, of course, be remembered that when Stotty talks about "balanced" reporting, it is in a context in which he speaks with equal enthusiasm of "Balanced and sensible comment from CropGen".

For more on Stott's Rot see:



January 8, 2002
Pesticide Action Network Updates Service

Global Pesticide Campaigner December 2001. Latest issue of PAN North America's journal. Includes excerpts from Sandra Steingraber's recent book "Having Faith" and articles on organic farming in China, Plan Colombia fumigations, Bt corn re-approval in the U.S. and the recently-publicized genetic pollution of native Mexican corn varieties. Also includes brief resource pointers, news notes and a detailed factsheet on the herbicide atrazine. Available on the PANNA Web site,


4.  Organic foods increasing in popularity: study

Tuesday, January  8, 2002
ABC Online
A new study has dispelled the stereotype that only yuppies, greenies or health nuts buy organic foods.

The Central Queensland University surveyed 1,200 people across Australia to find out who buys organic food and why.

Dr Stewart Lockie says there are only small consumption differences between low and high income earners.

He says many of the concerns motivating people to buy organic foods are widely shared in the community.

"Concern over chemical residues, over consuming genetically modified organisms (GMOs), about food treatments like irradiation.

"Those concerns aren't unique to people buying organic food."

"They're very widely shared over the population, so the implication there is that the mainstream industries also need to be taking that on board."

Biological Farmers of Australia says organic food has become more popular because the quality has improved over the last few years.

Chief executive officer Andrew Monk says growing community concern over farming techniques has also helped make organic production a success.

"In all of this age of clean and green talk at the labelling level certainly organic carries a label I suppose that covers non-GMO, animal welfare aspects, as well as that clean product, so clearly it's targeting into those markets and having a benefit."


5. Melchett still topping the bill on AgLioView

Subject: Lord Melchett
Date: 9 Jan 2002 17:20:51 -0000
From: "AgBioView from" <>

From: Mary Murphy [
Sent: Wednesday, January 09, 2002 8:32 AM
Subject: Melchett's New Role As Blackmailer

Lord Melchett, after successfully suing a Scottish newspaper for printing a letter to the editor about his hypocrisy has now found an even better form of Greenmail.

By joining Burson Marstellar, he says...), he will advise companies on "commercial practices that benefit the environment." Does this sound familiar, anyone? Does it remind you of Starbucks, Trader Joe's or any other companies who caved in to Greenpeace demands?

Don't be surprised when more companies this year begin to give in so that they can appear to be good guys in the eyes of the wacktivists, while at the same time lining Melchett's pockets for this wise advice.


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