Dear Santa, … I can explain!

Dear Santa,

Please don’t give me a lump of coal for Christmas!

I know there are groups out there who actually think gathering enough signatures will allow them to change scientific facts and I suspect some of these activist zealots have been in non-disclosed contact with a couple of your rogue little elves. There is no doubt they are lobbying to have me moved to your Naughty List for 2017. Once I explain what really happened, perhaps you will agree that these righteous dogmatists going at me are the ones truly deserving of moral shaming.

Please consider this list for your dreaded 2017 “Lump of Coal” Awards.

The 2017 Risk-Monger “Lump of Coal” Awards

As a year in review, the Risk-Monger decided to advise Santa on who should be on the Naughty List! Over the course of the holidays, he will make sure to deliver lumps of coal to the following boys and girls who, in 2017, were not good (for goodness sake!).

lump of coal

Saint Kate of (I)ARC

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has yet to do a monograph showing how coal causes cancer. Perhaps, Santa, you should send a few sample lumps to this rag-tag band of overpaid activist scientists to warm their frigid souls. Particularly deserving of “le charbon” is one Kate Guyton.

GMWatch mail
Kate seems to be friends with a rabid anti-science activist group

Kate is anything but a responsible scientist representing the esteemed office of a UN agency. Far from it, Kate prefers to get in the mud with anti-industry NGOs, yellow journalists and propagandists. She acts as a liaison between activist campaigners and her band of trusted American litigation consultants (sometimes referred to as “independent IARC panel members”).

Last year, Kate sent a message to all American scientists involved in the IARC glyphosate monograph instructing them to not comply with standard transparency disclosure (FOIA) requests. Then she stands up and publicly declares that the IARC approach is much better than EFSA or the BfR because it is just so open and transparent. Really now! As transparent as the soot at the bottom of Santa’s coal-sack, it seems.

This year we also learnt that someone secretly edited the glyphosate monograph draft after the consultation period ended, making the arguments sound just a little more convincing to reach that desired “glyphosate is probably carcinogenic” sweet-spot.  Who could have taken such a secretive, rather unscientific and non-transparent decision? Why don’t we ask the lead author of the glyphosate monograph? … Kate?

Seriously, what a moral train wreck IARC has become! Some trains still run on coal.

Friends of the Halo (and all EU-funded NGOs)

A year ago, I showed how European Commission-funded NGOs were non-transparently milking millions from the EU. When groups like Friends of the Earth Europe were massively under-declaring their income and then non-transparently re-donating their excess public loot to other unnamed NGOs, I merely stated: “Hey, wouldn’t it be a good idea to demand some transparency and perform some basic scrutiny into how European taxpayer euros are managed ex-post?” I showed how the small Friends of the Earth Europe office pulled in €4.8 million in 2014, more than €3 million from government funding and gave away €1.7 million to other non-disclosed NGOs (like those rabid activists at GMO Watch). Certain activist groups and Green Party MEPs thought such a demand for public accountability was a terrible idea (go figure!).

europarl slides
An unreasonable shill attack on NGOs or a common sense appeal for scrutiny?

How does Friends of the Earth spend my (and your) European tax-euros? By holding clandestine meetings in smokey bars in Berlin with European politicians like the non-transparent German Green MEP, Maria Heubuch, on how to try to interfere with the Bayer-Monsanto merger.

After the Risk-Monger spoke in the European Parliament on this matter, Civil Society Europe accused him of trying to organise a Parliamentary motion to ban funding of all European NGOs. In fact, that pesky Monger was even credited with mobilising the European Parliament’s largest party, the EPP, to vote en masse to ban all NGOs. Indeed, from his dusty basement, the Risk-Monger is capable of such impressive influence.

Santa, you may want to send a skip of yellow coal to that activist editor at EurActiv, Fred Simon. Even after MEP Markus Pieper contacted the novice journalist, Paola Tamma, to inform her that the Risk-Monger was not pulling any strings in the European Parliament and that they had indeed never met (I was told this by the journalist), Fred has still not retracted that ridiculous and slanderous EurActiv article.

I’m still waiting for my apology, Fred! May you find integrity in 2018!

Saint Martin of the Transparocrites

If the fires of hell are powered by coal, then Corporate Europe Observatory’s Martin Pigeon is its chief shoveller! Martin is a coal bunker of contradictions:

  • He challenges others on their transparency, but then works with scientists secretly paid by law firms;
  • He vows to fight industry conflicts of interest, but then serves and defends organic industry conflicts;
  • He criticises others for attacking people he likes, but Martin has written the book on argumentum ad hominem.

If people think that EU policy in 2017 was scientifically illiterate (with ignorance on the science of glyphosate as a watershed), they have Martin to thank. Pigeon has spent more than a million euros in the last few years trying to undermine science. He raises unfounded doubts about agencies like EFSA, smears esteemed scientists like Alan Boobis and spearheaded the removal of a scientific adviser at the heart of European policy.  Pigeon, quite simply, has declared war on science-based policy-making in the EU.

What is Martin’s motivation? Because the facts and science disagree with his twisted little ideology and since his revolutionary spirit will never succeed in overturning western institutions, he has decided to content himself with making EU institutions inoperable. Martin has recently been attacking the European risk-assessment process. His objective is to get all industry-related data excluded from regulatory decision-making. The alternative? Some blockchain world of citizen science coming together to remove all chemical substances and ban corporations. Unless debates in Brussels start to get reasonable, he will succeed.

martin tweet
This Transparocrite is blaming industry for the decline in public trust in science? Bullshit! Destroying science was Martin’s strategy all along and he wants to replace expertise with “democracy”: his group of citizen scientists.

The Risk-Monger seems to be the only person in Brussels bothering to stand up to that little anarchist. Martin has access to millions of euros, a political party in the European Parliament and a network of malcontents at his disposal; I have a lap-top in my dusty basement. Although the results in 2017 would suggest it has been a pretty fair fight, Santa, you will have noticed my wish for 2018 is for others to join me in getting that little squirrel to start gathering his nuts far from Brussels. Campaign 2018: #StopTheStupid.

Martin might need a sleighful of coal!

L’Obs Heretic: Caroline Michel

Santa, the state of journalism, especially in France, has gone from bad to pathetic.

One of the most despicable people I met in 2017 was that deceptive little malcontent, Caroline Michel, who poses as a journalist for the French news magazine, L’Obs. I had agreed to meet her next to my university last September when all of Brussels was abuzz on glyphosate. She pretended she wanted to know how glyphosate was used in agriculture. So for more than an hour, I had tried to explain to this cosmopolitan zealot, in my third language, how glyphosate was vital for conservation agriculture.

In the end, it turned out this charlatan was not at all interested in farming or the virtues of a beneficial herbicide. She admitted to me that no other pro-glyphosate representatives in Brussels were willing to speak with her. Caroline Michel was merely looking to tick a box and pretend she had spoken to a Monsanto lobbyist. In that weekend’s feature article, I was portrayed as the Monsanto lobbyist in Brussels, making up a good part of her three-page exposé on how Monsanto was trying to poison the European diet and how I was their chief suppliant. Her only justification to vilify me as a Monsanto shill was to explain that, on that day, I was wearing a red tie.

Ah, the state of French journalism (don’t even get me started on those comic activists at Le Monde!).

Such deceptive little trouble-makers like Caroline Michel should be buried alive in coal, Santa. She had no interest in facts or informing her readers – she wanted to deliver Monsanto on a platter to her readers and I was the only one she could find to be her patsy. While I still remain open to engaging with journalists, I will no longer tolerate any of the liars from L’Obs. That little witch did not even have the decency to follow up or inform me when the article was published.

I suppose she was ashamed of herself.

Saint Christopher of the Divine Litigation

Activists accused me, in 2017, of unfairly smearing the reputation of their only cooperating activist scientist. Well, if Christopher Portier had been behaving as a scientist for the last three years, I would agree. Unfortunately, this little activist has been running around Europe doing the opposite: undermining trust in science, the risk assessment process and European perceptions of farming.

In 2017, I got sick to my stomach reading the Christopher Portier deposition where he acknowledged that:

  • He didn’t know anything about glyphosate before participating in the IARC panel;
  • He signed a contract with two law firms suing Monsanto around a week after the IARC glyphosate publication;
  • He had been paid $160,000 to consult for two law firms suing Monsanto on glyphosate;
  • His objective was to defend IARC by discrediting other scientific agencies;
  • He was not transparent about his funding or objectives.

In a personal email to that dreadful Linda Birnbaum, Christopher Portier referred to this whole disgusting glyphosate episode over the past three years as: “having a bit of fun”.

When American Carpetbaggers come to Europe to upset the EU policy process, and admit it is all “a bit of fun”, the European Commission had better wake the hell up!

I am not sure European farmers who almost had an essential herbicide taken off the market (along with the means to farm safely and sustainably), would appreciate how much Chris was enjoying himself. The fact that Portier openly lied, hid his affiliations, tried to discredit good science on an essential herbicide and cashed in big time while farmers fought valiantly for the right to continue feeding Europeans would turn any decent person’s stomach. Farmers didn’t have fun, at harvest time, fighting to keep glyphosate on the market; the Risk-Monger didn’t have fun facing the bullshit thrown at him by organic industry-funded activists and their indentured journalists. None of us got paid $450 an hour!

In 2017, Corporate Europe Observatory subcontracted this statistician for hire to try to undermine EFSA. On behalf of CEO, Portier charged the salivating slimeball American law firms suing Monsanto a good part of his secret $160,000 slush-fund to create a statistical pseudo-methodology to project a few extra tumours that EFSA could have overlooked. CEO announced this meagre finding with great fanfare. Nobody else cared – the scientific community sifted through their activist drivel and ignored it.

That money could have been spent supporting EU farmers rather than Portier’s expensive Swiss lifestyle. Santa, if you tell the Good Doctor that coal is a precursor to diamonds, he’ll surely say and do whatever you want!

And … Yes … A Big Lump to that Demon Risk-Monger!

OK Santa, fine … put The Risk-Monger on your Naughty List too! Maybe I had said some things about the activists that were not particularly kind in 2017. So you can give me my lumps … but at least let me explain.

Branding the Organic Lobby as Liars
I did indeed refer to the organic food industry lobby as a pack of petty, perjuring prevaricators. I stand by my statement they are lying from before breakfast until after they go to bed (organic industry claims are all pure marketing tricks with no factual support) and I even invited those abominable little liars to take me to court. But that would imply having to prove before a judge how these lobby campaigns were not lies. To date, the Risk-Monger has not been served.

Godwin’s Law on Steroids
I also admit, after the German Green Party stripped naked and jumped in bed with the neo-Nazi AfD party, that I accused environmentalism of being a form of fascism. The ideological and historic parallels were just too strong to ignore. While this might be considered a tad extreme, those who honestly analysed my arguments (see comments section) found themselves agreeing. On twitter discussions, we concluded that, like the German Nazi party in the 1930s, the organic lobby has become an elaborate cult. More on this in a later blog.

Bad language
I’ve used bad language to refer to some really nasty characters. I have called trouble-makers like CEO’s Martin Pigeon or EDF’s Christopher Portier “little shits”, because quite frankly, they are. Perhaps they missed the point – it is  the diminutive that is the insult. I am actually mocking how they think they are “big shits”! And yes, I frequently do refer to US law firms who secretly buy scientists and NGOs as “slimeball” litigators, but again Santa, let me explain. All other adjectives I had tried to use would have had my blogs censored. I must confess that the Risk-Monger survived a very bad health crisis in 2017, but it has left him trying to manage chronic pain issues. Fair warning, I fear his tongue will get sharper as this illness evolves.

If these zealots stopped lying and cheating the system to line their pockets and undermine science, maybe I would stop insulting them.


I am so sorry to have bothered you with all of this nonsense, Santa, especially on such an important night for you. These activists think their issues are the only things that matter. Tonight, as you pass over many countries stricken with so much need and want; when you try to help the lonely and destitute within wealthy western societies; when you see the threats and challenges to feeding a growing global population, you must just be shaking your head, Santa, at these ridiculous campaigns run by such smug, elitist cosmopolitan zealots. I think you are completely entitled to deliver lumps of coal to all of these little activists. A good humbling might do them a bit of good.

And we all know, Santa, how you are a strong supporter of agri-tech. How else after all, could you get your reindeer to fly so far and so fast?

Damn … those plant biologists are impressive!

Merry Christmas!

Disclaimer: Given the contested factual claims about the existence of a certain Lapland resident to whom this letter has been addressed, under Belgian law, this blog must be categorised as “satire”.

Image source

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