Sources in the Conspiracy-Pseudoscience category may publish unverifiable information that is not always supported by evidence. These sources may be untrustworthy for credible/verifiable information, therefore fact checking and further investigation is recommended on a per article basis when obtaining information from these sources. See all Conspiracy-Pseudoscience sources.
- Overall, we rate GMWatch a moderate conspiracy website and quackery level pseudoscience source based on the consistent promotion of anti-GMO propaganda that does not align with the consensus of science.
Factual Reporting: MIXED
Country: United Kingdom
World Press Freedom Rank: UK 35/180
Founded in 1998 by Jonathan Matthews who is affiliated with Maharishi International University, which is a part of the transcendental meditation (TM) movement, that some have called a cult. According to their about page “GMWatch provides the public with the latest news and comment on genetically modified (GMO) foods and crops and their associated pesticides.” They further state that they “seek to counter the enormous corporate political power and propaganda of the GMO industry and its supporters.” Put another way, GMWatch is a news and information hub for Anti-GMO propagandists.
Read our media and government report on the United Kingdom
Funded by / Ownership
According to the GMWatch about page they “accept donations from individual supporters as well as NGOs, charitable foundations, and trusts. In 2015–2018 GMWatch received funding from Friends of the Earth Europe, the Sheepdrove Trust, and the JMG Foundation. In 2018–2019 GMWatch received funding from the Sheepdrove Trust.”
Analysis / Bias
In review, “GMWatch’s stated goal is to eliminate all genetically modified crops and foods and slow down the progress of biotechnology and advanced genetic research.” It does this through the publication of news regarding GMOs and Biotech that is consistently negative such as this: New GM techniques and their products pose risks that must be assessed – scientists and this Why are we being fed by a poison expert?. The website also promotes the debunked 2012 study by Gilles-Éric Séralini, which was retracted from the Food and Chemical Toxicology Journal the “following year after a detailed review following criticism from scientists and regulatory bodies, which found a pattern of bias and design flaws. The study used cancer-prone rats, shoddy controls, and the data cherry-picked (e.g. data showed some rats fed glyphosate had few tumors, which the authors did not highlight in their commentary).”
Although there are numerous positive studies that support the benefits and minimal risk of GMOs, GMWatch never publishes them, which leads to a website that is highly misleading and biased.
Overall, we rate GMWatch a moderate conspiracy website and quackery level pseudoscience source based on the consistent promotion of anti-GMO propaganda that does not align with the consensus of science. (D. Van Zandt 11/24/2019)
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