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Professor Sues 'Times' on Portrayal of Monsanto Ties

October 16, 2017

Kevin Folta, chair of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida, is suing The New York Times and one of its reporters for libel in relation to a 2015 article about the professor’s ties to Monsanto, according to The Gainesville Sun. The Times unfairly described Folta, a longtime advocate of genetically modified foods, as a paid operative for Monsanto, resulting in death threats, according to the lawsuit.

Folta, who believes in the ability of genetically modified organisms to help meet global food demands, has said he accepted funds from Monsanto to hold science communication seminars but that the funds had no bearing on his scientific conclusions; he’s also said he probably should not have so readily claimed he never accepted money from “Big Ag.”

“The damage [from the article] is so catastrophic that it serves to silence the other honest scientists for fear of the same fate,” reads the lawsuit. Folta is seeking more than $75,000 in damages. Lawyers for both parties declined to comment, as did Folta.


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