[UPDATE: After an outpouring of support, and an article in the Charlotte Observer confirming my statements in the previous article, I have decided to repost it. You can view it here.]
Last week I posted an article about Food Babe‘s bullying tactics against major food producers, including Subway. If you remember, Food Babe made a huge fuss over Subway’s bread containing an ingredient that we have used to make bread since 1927. However, even when Subway got rid of the chemical in their bread, Food Babe still complained that their food was full of “GMOs and chemicals” and warned her followers not to eat there.
She’s used this tactic against many companies that have given into her.
You may notice that the particular article about Food Babe is currently missing from my blog. That’s because I ended up taking it down the same day I published it….because that’s what Food Babe requested.
Imagine my shock when I looked down at my phone and saw the Facebook notification that I’ve received a message from Vani Hari (Food Babe’s real life name) herself. This is what Ms. Hari had to say:
Now, for the time being I have taken the article down. I strive to make sure everything I post is factually accurate and supported by valid sources. Everything. That even includes an article about Food Babe’s bullying tactics. The article is currently down and will remain down for the time being, though nothing in it was inaccurate or defamatory. Quite frankly, it wasn’t worth the fight.
However, I simply cannot pass the opportunity to comment on Food Babe’s obvious hypocrisy.
Her gig is to accuse food companies of putting dangerous chemicals and other additives into the products they sell and she does it without a single shred of evidence (science or otherwise). She tries to create a media storm with false information. Yet she didn’t like it when my article about her tactics of threatening these companies with bad publicity, because she thought it was false and inaccurate.
Pot, meet kettle.
At least what I said about her was accurate.
But I’m not here to get into a personality fight or social media war with Food Babe. I could not care less about who it is telling the lies – Food Babe, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Oz, or whoever else; I care about what they’re telling people.
My goal is to promote conventional agriculture because I think it is the best way for us to feed the world with environmentally sound practices. She wants to scare people and sell a few products.
That’s totally fine. I’ll continue to call her bluff.
You ROCK! As a professional in the food industry in nationally known snack food corporation, and a self-proclaimed foodie, gardener and home cook, I love what you stand for and love how you state the facts Rock on!
I know it an easy thing for me to say because I am not the one having to do the fighting, but I would give your article a good fact checking, site your sources and put the article back up.Hari and "army" think they have power because with a single Facebook message, you took down an accurate article that exposed a fraud. I guarantee that you were not the first, nor will you be the last to receive such a message from this snake oil salesman. They have no facts, only fear.When accurate information is willfully censored, or food that has been shown to be safe is changed, the cyber bullies like Hari win.
Don't back down. Nine times out of ten (maybe ten out of ten), you are going to have the FACTS on your side. There is an army of advocates supporting you. Keep up the good work!
Don't back down. Your posts are always fact based. As advocates I think we are more aware of the fact-piece than an activist. Thanks for your good work and know you have support in your efforts.
David Smith says
Agree totally with what Richard said. These people need to be called out at every opportunity,and you have the clarity, the platform, and growing influence to make this happen. Please reconsider putting the article with citations back up, and perhaps get some people like the Genetic Literacy Project to work with you in supplying the research links. Your voice is important. Please reconsider.
Yes! Put it back up! Then get every blogger you know (me included) to post about her bullying tactics. Let's call her out on what she is: and anti-science bully.
If she hasn't been sued, you certainly won't be. Put that bad boy back up. Nothing you said was inaccurate so there would be absolutely no legal reason to come after you. Lawyer "friends" will often send letters as favors, knowing full well there is absolutely no standing for a suit, but other than that, you should have nothing to worry about. Get it, girl.
Wanda Patsche says
Awesome! Keep it up! I support you as I know many other agvocates do also. We have out own army to keep the pressure on these fear mongerers.
Thank you for what you are doing for the agriculture industry! We need more people like you who are willing to stand up for farmers. Most of them are too busy putting food on American's plates to stand up to the Food Babe. Keep up the good work!
Love your blog! So glad I found it when trying to help a friend understand "organic" foods. She thought she was providing healthier (safer) foods for her kids but in actuality she was mostly just spending way more money than needed by buying "organic"! Having worked for a nonprofit in the food world I seriously love reading your blog! Your info about conventional farming practices is very helpful. Keep up the fabulous job!
I just found your blog recently. Thank you so much for what you do! It is refreshing to find some sanity online. Keep it up!
I'm a farmer and never heard of her until now.
A google search with "foodbabe extortion" shows a fundraising campaign to send her to chemistry class. hehehe
Charles McCarville says
Calling the Babe a consultant is both incorrect and too kind. Consulting is at least semi respectable – she and I both used do it with Accenture. I would describe her business now as a racket. First, create or exaggerate some problem. Food is perfect, we all need it. Then find a way to monetize it. The Amazon store works great for that, you can buy all the stuff she uses "on a daily basis", and she gets a nice cut.So there is no way she would ever say the food we eat is totally safe and GMOs are a boon to mankind, that would ruin her business.Maybe she believes what she says, maybe she's a total cynic, but either way she's smart enough to capitalize on all of the people who have more dollars than sense.
She is also a hypocrite based on the transparency she demands from corporations, yet when asked to be transparent with Food Babe LLC it's very selective, if at all.
Just remember, calling someone an asshole and saying they're full of bullshit? Safe. Calling someone a liar and a quack? Instant lawsuit. It's all in the language. Things I learned from being friends with Penn Jillette. I posted your blog over at my page, facebook.com/sciencebabe. I'm an analytical chemist who does research at a pesticide company. You're getting a lot of support over there. I'd love to have you!-Yvette, aka Science Babe
This a why we need a national anti-SLAPP law.
You put that article back up. You don't pamper a waste of oxygen like that blackmailing vindictive spoiled quack.
Ha, what if all the farmers and food producers did the same to her. That would be really interesting. The name "babe" just says it all that she has no substance.
Charles McCarville says
I would suspect the Babe would be even more upset about this in Advertising Age: http://adage.com/article/news/activist-capitalist…
“Page Not Found” when I clicked on your link. Hmmm. Apparently she DID get upset and bullied them into taking it down.
Should be fixed now. Didn’t transfer properly when I transferred my blog to a new host. And there is only one of me, I’m not a “them.”
Cindy Bryan says
I would put the article back up. If you did your homework, checked the facts and confirmed everything, why back down? Every time I have been threatened in a similar manner, that is exactly what it has been- a threat! I don't even panic when I receive a letter from their attorney as they have never done more than that. Letters are inexpensive, litigation is not! And, it would be a cold day in hell that I would let someone silence me, particularly when I am speaking the truth!
Fraud Babe is a scientifically illiterate bully whose army of censors delete and ban even the most reasonable science-related objections and inquiries on her page. Now she's trying to do the same to you. I love your blog and I often use it as a source to rebut urbanite anti-science Luddites who don't understand agriculture, but for some reason think they're qualified to dictate it. I would hate to see you cave to Fraud Babe, who is the queen of the above category of people.
I understand why you backed down, that would take me by surprise too. And she is totally the type of person who would use a SLAPP suit on someone, just to give them a major headache and cost them tons of money. She's a bully. She has never let facts stop her, and her vanity is on levels of cult leadership. That said, I am all for you putting it back up. These things need to be said and said often and loudly. In the off chance she does decide to sue you despite having no case, please know that myself and your readers and the whole network of people with rational thought would have your back and support a legal defense fund on your behalf. We've done it before, we'll do it again. Never stop speaking the truth.
joanna spellman says
I found this interesting and thought you might like to check it out since you seem to have some common ideas regarding FB's illogical and irresponsible nature http://www.reddit.com/r/skeptic/comments/1xafd5/f…
joanna spellman says
I thought you minght be interested in reading this as it seems you share similar views regarding FB's irresponsible and illogical posts http://www.reddit.com/r/skeptic/comments/1xafd5/f…
Sundee Campbell says
Keep calling it like you see it. The political middle seems to rule, and common sense is winning, but we have to make sure to expose people who prey upon the average Joe by posing as experts. In your position, you have power to do this. You're the farmer, she's an urban computer tech who knows nothing, except what she reads on Natural News.
I found your website from a link from a cattle website. I think you are great for spreading facts not fear. When i read up on food babe i can understand her side a little. Please let me explain. I saw she had asthma. my sisters both have serious asthma and attacks for them are triggered by food. Or rather food additives. Things like dough condiitioners. My sisters have a long list of things that trigger attacks. Most people including me do not. But increasingly they find these additives creeping into their food. So we cook most of our own food from scratch. Bake our own bread etc. When you have spent 40 years of your life reading labels sometimes you get a little panicked, like food babe. But she is making a living off that panic. Unfortunately there is a need for someone to say “some people are allergic to soy please don’t add it to everything” I had a big argument with a nutritionist at Whole Foods 15 years ago over this. She came up to me as i was reading the bread labels to see dough conditioners or soy. She tried to tell me that women could not be allergic to soy. in fact every woman needed it. Now we find alot of people allergic to soy. Unfortunately companies have added soy to up the protein on the label of so many foods. I am not sure about the dough conditioner used by subway but i imagine it was the one used in frozen bread dough. While it is fine for the population at large, there are people allergic to it. I wish there was someone who could rationally discuss problems with changes in the food we eat. My family raises grass fed cattle. we have ever since we could not afford to creep them.Grass is cheaper not better.
Dr. Charles Payet says
Hi Amanda, and definitely keep up the good fight! I have a couple of questions: (1) I tried following the link to read the re-posted article but still don’t see it. Are you sure you linked it? (2) Do you also have a link to the Charlotte Observer article? I’d love to read that, too.
Anyway, I did want to stop by and add my voice of support. I really appreciated all the agvocacy that you were doing that helped me feel more confident in conventional agriculture (and that article I wrote on my blog with that info is still the most popular one I’ve ever written, so thank you for that, too!). Keep up the good work, and don’t give Vani even an inch, because she doesn’t deserve it.
Sorry! The links must not have migrated properly when I moved my blog. They should be fixed now so you can read them. I actually do not have the link to that original Charlotte Observer article. It appears it has gotten lost in the vastness of the internet. :-/
And thank you – hearing that always makes this worth it. 🙂
Put it back up!! Don’t let her bully you too!!! Taking it down let’s her think she has won.
It’s back up. 🙂