(UR) United States — What is the University of California, Davis hiding from the public about its ties to makers of genetically modified crops and the pesticides so heavily marketed to go along with them?

There is already an email trail proving that the food industry used universities across the U.S. to help promote their lobbying efforts for GMOs, but UC Davis’ failure to answer 17 different public records requests, allowed per the California Public Records Act, seems to suggest some funny business is going down between Monsanto and some institutions of ‘higher’ learning, minimally. Full-on collusion to use taxpayer funds to sway public opinion and alter scientific data is more likely.

Thus far, UC Davis has turned over a measly 751 pages following similar requests made at other Universities which netted thousands of pages, for each single request. Gary Ruskin, the Co-director of U.S. Right to Know, states that a wide-ranging investigation of possible collaboration between the food, biotech, and agrichemical industries and large universities has resulted in little cooperation from UC Davis. The first request was made in January of 2015, and UC Davis has yet to comply, though by law it is required to.

The only report that has been released for public perusal from UC Davis and the multiple requests for information regards the soda industry. Not a single request for financial or others ties to the agrichemical industry has been released.

Ruskin states:

“So far, documents obtained from other universities have shown secretive funding arrangements and covert efforts to use taxpayer-funded university resources to promote the products of various corporations. The public has a right to know what is going on behind the scenes.”

It’s already been divulged that Monsanto gave donations to the same scientific institute that published papers on the safety of glyphosate, issued originally by the World Health Organization, and that the same agrichemical company, among others, discreetly influenced professors and tenured scientists at prestigious colleges and universities to speak favorably of genetically modified crops and the pesticides most often used to grow them.

Meanwhile, our government institutions have chanted the refrain, “there are no safety concerns for genetically modified crops” like a magpie’s song with GM corn stuck in its craw.

Labeling laws, if companies like Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Dow Chemical, and others were to have their way, would leave us in the dark about whether we were eating GM foods at all; but we should be able to trust an ‘unbiased’ university to tell us the truth about our food, right?

Not if your university professor is being leaned into by Big Ag and Biotech to promote their wares. Certainly, there is no trust if the biotech industry is so nervous about releasing records the public has every right to see, it has their law firms, such as Markowitz Herbold, file a public record request for all of U.S. Right to Know’s correspondence with UC Davis, including the responses to all public records requests – as if that will somehow squelch the public’s outrage once they see just how much money is holding up the leaning edifice of faulty science built by Monsanto and their peers.

Ruskin’s complaint on the public’s behalf will be answered. UC Davis is likely just one of dozens of universities that have been tainted with agrichemical funds and political influence.


This article (What Is UC Davis Trying to Hide About Its Ties to Big Biotech?) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Christina Sarich and UndergroundReporter.org. If you spot a typo, please email the error and the name of the article to undergroundreporter2016@gmail.com. Image credit: Flickr/Katie Hetrick.