Genetic Literacy Project

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The Genetic Literacy Project is a corporate front group that was formerly funded by Monsanto. In a statement to HuffPost in September 2019, Bayer said that the company “no longer provides financial support” to the Genetic Literacy Project.[1]

The Genetic Literacy Project is associated with the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) and the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA).

Its executive director is Jon Entine who promotes GMOs. Bloomberg and The Progressive have reported that lawyers suing Monsanto state in court documents that companies funnel money to the Genetic Literacy Project in order to "shame scientists and highlight information helpful to Monsanto and other chemical producers."[2][3]

In a report that examined corporate attacks on science, Congress found that to discredit the World Health Organization (WHO), Monsanto "turned to industry trade groups, such as CropLife and industry front groups, such as Genetic Literacy Project and Academics Review as platforms of support for industry spokespersons."[4]

The Genetic Literacy Project's website is owned by the public relations company: ESG MediaMetrics.[5] The website for ESG Mediametrics has been removed, but archived versions of the firm's site show that its clients include Monsanto, the Vinyl Institute, and Merisant, a Monsanto spin-off that manufactured artificial sweeteners.[6]

The Genetic Literacy Project has attempted to deny their affiliation with Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) and the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA).[7] However, an archived page of the Genetic Literacy Project list the same address and phone number for Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) and the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA).[8]

In the New York Review of Books, Michael Massing wrote, "[T]he Center for Media and Public Affairs was set up with conservative foundation money in the mid-1980s as part of a growing effort by the right to portray the American press as liberal and out of touch with mainstream America."[9]

Reporters with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that STATS was a stealth defender of the chemical industry that did not disclose funders and was associated with Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA), which had contracted with tobacco companies.[10]

The group regularly denies having any ties to Monsanto. However, in late 2017 documents were released as part of a lawsuit against Monsanto regarding the possible carcinogenicity of the pesticide glyphosate.[11] One document detailed Monsanto's battle plan against the World Health Organization, which was planning to classify glyphosate as a possible carcinogen. On page five, Monsanto's plan listed strategies and tactics for discrediting the World Health Organization before it released its ruling and named several "industry partners" they would work with, including Biofortified AKA Biology Fortified, Inc., Sense About Science, Genetic Literacy Project, and Academic Review.[12]

Employees and Contributors

GLP Executive Director Jon Entine is a former journalist. The Huffington Post released Entine's emails with Kevin Folta where they discussed funding from Monsanto and ways to discredit GMO critics. Folta was later discovered to be acting as a third party scientist for Monsanto.[13] When Folta's emails became public, showing he was being funded by Monsanto, he contacted Keith Kloor to preemptively release the emails, "but selectively." After Kloor wrote the story for Nature, he then warned Jon Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project: "You and I should also talk," Keith Kloor wrote to Jon Entine. "You are in the emails."[13]

The website for the Genetic Literacy Project also has several pages where Rebecca Goldin is called "Research Director for the Genetic Literacy Project and Director of Research for the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University," adding, "She holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Mathematics, and a B.A., cum laude from Harvard University."[14][15]

Archived pages of the website for Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) carry an emblem for the Genetic Literacy Project in the upper left corner.[16]

One of the Genetic Literacy Project's writers is Stephan Neidenbach.

Contact Information

Articles and Resources

Related SourceWatch Articles

External Resources


  1. Paul D. Thacker "Monsanto’s Spies: The agri-chemical giant has a storied history of using shady tactics to attack critics and influence the media." HuffPost September 14, 2019
  2. Peter Waldman, Does the World’s Top Weed Killer Cause Cancer? Trump’s EPA Will Decide, Bloomberg Businessweek, July 13, 2017.
  3. Paul Thacker, Flacking for GMOs: How the Biotech Industry Cultivates Positive Media—and Discourages Criticism, The Progressive, July 21, 2017.
  4. U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Science, Space & Technology, "Spinning Science & Silencing Scientists: A Case Study in How the Chemical Industry Attempts to Influence Science," congressional committee report, February 2018.
  5. ICANN, WHOIS, website registration information, accessed October 19, 2018.
  6. The Three Stooges of Science Denial: The Genetic Literacy Project, Sense About Science, and STATS, GM Watch, October 15, 2018.
  7. Greenpeace, Jon Entine, Polluter Watch, accessed February 2017.
  8. Genetic Literacy Project, Contact, organizational website, archived by the Wayback Machine, accessed February 2017.
  9. Michael Massing, "The Enemy Within: An Exchange," The New York Review of Books, February 9, 2006.
  10. Meg Kissinger and Susanne Rust, "BPA industry fights back, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 22, 2009.
  11. Carey Gillam, "How Monsanto Manufactured Outrage At Chemical Cancer Classification It Expected," Huffington Post, September 19, 2017.
  12. MONSANTO, Monsanto: Glyphosate IARC, internal corporate report draft dated February 23, 2015, released by Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman PC.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Paul D. Thacker, Keith Kloor’s Endearing Love Affair With GMOs, Huffington Post, July 19, 2017.
  14. Rebecca Goldin, Genetic Literacy Project, Bacterial genetics helps defeat antibiotic-resistant "super-bugs," organizational article, February 4, 2013.
  15. Rebecca Goldin, Genetic Literacy Project, Privacy and our genes: Is deCode’s DNA project ‘Big Brother’ or the gateway to a healthier future?, organizational article, June 24, 2013.
  16. Statistical Assessment Service (STATS), STATS, organizational website, archived January 13, 2013.