If you have ever read one of my articles about genetically modified foods you’re probably familiar with Biofortified. It is an independent, not-for-profit website that is the hub for all scientific information about biotechnology. Its goal, quite like mine, is to educate people about plant science and science technology in agriculture.
The biggest and most profound contribution that the organization has accomplished is GENERA. GENERA is a searchable database which contains over 2,000 scientific, peer-reviewed studies about the safety of genetically engineered crops.
Unfortunately, it was revealed that Biofortified has been the victim of a hacker that is intent on shutting down the organization’s website, including GENERA. For the last three weeks, the hackers have been doing some type of computer trick that overloads the Biofortified servers and makes the website inaccessible.
Biofortified is asking people to help spread the word about the attacks and urges the hackers to engage in discussion about the issues instead of attempting to silence science. The groups has been using #DontSilenceScience to drum up support for its efforts.
Unfortunately, it appears the anti-GMO crowd, or at least this particular hacker, has obviously taken the load road and decided to shut down Biofortified’s voice in this conversation. I wish I could say I was surprised. The anti-GMO movement has been radicalized (come on, Greenpeace is perfectly okay with not giving Golden Rice so little kids don’t go blind…how is that not radical?) and instead of being willing to engage in conversation about the topic, they have decided to engage in what amounts to cyber terrorism.
If the science isn’t on your side, then just destroy it!
Obviously, this is absolutely disgraceful. It makes me sick that these people are too afraid to engage in real conversations about a public issue. They would shut down a website displaying every legitimate study on GE crops available instead of responding with their own proof and evidence (of course, that’s hard to do when you don’t have any). I may have a comments policy that I enforce, and I may monitor my social media accounts for crazies, but I’m always willing to engage in rational and reasoned discussion and questions about the topics that I post. But I’m not sure when we reached the point that we can’t stand the fact that someone else doesn’t agree with us. I’m not going to let someone else use my soapbox, but I’m also not going to attack another’s website.
The Biofortified team is handling the situation with class, however, and put out the following video:
Karl Haro von Mogel says
Thanks for the support and words of encouragement!FYI – currently the public end of the GENERA site only has 400 studies, but we'll probably get to 2,000 eventually!