Just when I thought my Twitter encounter with Fran Drescher was over and done (thankfully…), Fran jumped back into it.
Back in July, I had one of my first real celebrity encounters when I engaged in a twitter conversation (er, debate?) with Fran Drescher, the actress most famous for her role on the 90’s sitcom The Nanny. Fran’s husband, Shiva Ayyadurai, had just published an article in which he claimed that GMO soybeans accumulated formaldehyde. When Fran tweeted a link to the so-called study and asked her followers to spread it around, I politely replied that I was the daughter of GMO farmers and I would be happy to answer any questions she had about the technology.
What ensued was a series of back and forth tweets where Fran refused to look at any real scientific data and accused me of being a shill for Monsanto.
At the time, I tweeted a criticism of Ayyadurai’s “study” because he had not submitted it to a legitimate, peer-reviewed science journal. See, when legitimate studies are published, they usually undergo review and evaluation by other scientists in that field, which we call “peer review.” Studies are generally only published after this process is completed. In fact, Ayyadurai’s study was really, really awful and has not been taken seriously within the scientific community (read more about that in my original article about Fran). Instead of undergoing this process, which no doubt would have meant the so-called study would be flagged as bad, Ayyadurai published his study in a journal that was created by his own organization and it was never peer reviewed. For over five months, Fran never responded to this criticism.
Until this past weekend.
To her credit, maybe Fran doesn’t check her Twitter account all that often, though that’s doubtful since she has been tweeting all along since July. Or, perhaps, it took her five months to come up with that brilliant and witty response. (No, seriously, what does she mean by “remove” me? Do I need to hire a security team??)
But was that really the best she could come up with?
The woman is literally accusing US farmers of growing crops that are destroying the health of our families, friends, and neighbors (not to mention ourselves) and yet she has the audacity to accuse me of slandering her husband!?! I presented a legitimate and reasonable concern about his work, one which several scientists have also expressed, and she’s going to accuse me of slander. She wants to “ban and convert” our family farm because we use biotechnology, but gets upset when we question or demand that her reasoning be explained or supported. Sorry, but if your’e going to make such accusations and propose such a radical course of action, then you need to be able to back it up with sound science, reasoning, and proof.
Fran can do none of those things.
Again, here we have a typical Hollywood celebrity entering into a dialogue and world for which she has no reference, no understanding, and no clue. Quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of the anti-GMO crowd – celebrity or not – being allowed to spout these talking points and cite bad claims as if legitimate. If you want to stand against scientific consensus and accuse farmers of horrible vile things, then I suggest you come with some pretty darn good evidence to back it up! And, for the love of everything holy, stop accusing us of being shills just because you can’t defend your positions.
Enough is enough.
After Fran’s tweet, and support from some friends, she was deluged with tweets from pro-GMO supporters (thank you!!). She never responded or commented again. Maybe by the time spring rolls around she’ll come up with a response?