Keith Kloor is a freelance reporter and part time journalism professor at New York University. He has written for Discover, Slate and other outlets. He has promoted "clean coal" and is a regular defender of Genetically Modified Organisms or foods (GMOs) who has attacked the industry's critics as unscientific and "politically stupid."
When journalists writes even slight critiques of GMOs and biotechnology, Kloor tends to react swiftly and aggressively. Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) wrote in 2013, "Keith Kloor makes a beat out of policing frightful coverage of GMOs."
Kloor's recent targets of criticism include:
• New York University Professor Marion Nestle
• UC Berkeley journalism professor Michael Pollan (describing the renowned writer as “irrational”)
• New York University Professor Nassim Taleb (maligning the professor by calling him “an angry asshole”)
• Mother Jones reporter Tom Philpott (“climate skeptic of the Left”)
• New York Times reporter Michael Moss ( calling Moss an “anti GMO activist”)
• CNN’s Jake Tapper (describing the CNN work as “FrankenJournalism”),
• New York Times columnist Mark Bittman (decrying Bittman's work as “idiotic or utterly disingenuous”)
• Reuter’s reporter Carey Gillam (claiming Gillam's reporting exhibited “false balance”)
• Reporters Paul Thacker and Charles Seife (attacking their investigation on claims of “selective omissions and misrepresentations”)
Kloor disputes a statement by the European Network of Scientists for Safety and Environmental Responsibility that "no scientific consensus on GMO safety" exsists, after it was published in a peer-reviewed journal. Kloor's main argument is that the statement was signed by mostly "known opponents biotechnology," and that many who signed have no relevant scientific expertise, despite having no such scientific expertise himself.
Kloor has repeatedly decried public records requests, some of which include his communications with GMO interests, by organizations exposing conflicts of interest between corporations and scientists. Kloor calls the requests for financial infomation on publicly-employed scientists "an attack on science," comparing the tactic to coal and oil industry attacks on climate scientists. More background at Corporate Crime Reporter.
The Cornell Alliance for Science
After writing a piece in February 2015 in Science Magazine criticizing the group U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) for using Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to uncover ties between 14 pro-GMO scientists' ties to Monsanto and the GMO industry, Kloor spoke in April 2015 at the Cornell Alliance for Science (CAS), a pro-Agriculture business think tank. Kloor was introduced at the event as the reporter “breaking the issue of attacks on ag-bio scientists for Science Magazine.”
The Cornell Alliance for Science was launched in 2014 with a $5.6 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, purportedly to "depolarize the GMO debate." GMO watchdogs noted that from its inception that CAS "partners" included groups like the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications, which has taken funding from by Monsanto, CropLife and Bayer. The Gates foundation has invested in Monsanto, and food justice activists say the foundation's approach to solving hunger in Africa involves GMOs and other high-tech agricultural approaches that benefit multinational corporations like Monsanto. Bill Gates is himself an outspoken proponent for GMOs.)
The 14 scientists targeted by US Right to Know's FOIA request are associated with the industry-funded web site GMOAnswers, which was created for Monsanto and 5 other biotech producers by the PR firm Ketchum Communications. (For more about Ketchum's work for GMO companies, go here. In "Spinning Food," Friends of the Earth reported that Ketchum developed GMOAnswers.com to shift the story about GMOs on social media. A Ketchum video bragging about the campaign was taken offline after U.S. Right to Know called attention to it.)