In my previous post, I reported on legal threats recently made by Mike Adams against Forbes and one of its contributing writers, Jon Entine, who oversees the Genetic Literacy Project. Entine is hardly the first science writer/blogger to shine a spotlight on Adams, whose penchant for raw foods, alternative health treatments and various outlandish conspiracy theories enables him to straddle multiple fringe-dwelling worlds. So before my post was published, I emailed Adams to ask if he has ever pursued legal action against any other writers who had written similarly unflattering articles about him. He never answered that specific question, but he did send a long response, which I post below in its entirety. *** It's great to hear from you, Keith! I always appreciate hearing from journalists who are passionate about what they cover, and I especially appreciate those who take the time to check facts and reach out to those they're covering. You may be surprised to find out I'm not the person described by the likes of Mr. Entine whose articles can only come from a deep-rooted hatred rather than anything resembling legitimate journalism. Much of the information written about me by Mr. Entine and others is blatantly fictional, distorted or wildly exaggerated. None of it offers a fair representation of my true beliefs and positions on issues concerning science, medicine and the environment. For example, I am not opposed to the theory of immunization. My concern is with the continued use of toxic adjuvants and preservatives in vaccines. In reality, I am a proponent of "clean vaccines" or what are called "single-dose vaccines" that lack mercury or other chemical preservatives. What I find especially fascinating about the attacks on me by Entine and others is that after I was accused of being "anti-science" a couple of years ago, I took it upon myself to become well-versed in a particular branch of scientific study. I read academic textbooks, hired high-level analytical chemists and built a university-level laboratory where I'm personally running the ICP-MS instrumentation. This food contamination research has already achieved some extraordinary results in the interests of the public good and environmental protection as well. Scientific papers stemming from this research are in process right now and I hope to have some published this year. I'm finding this scientific route to research very rewarding and eye-opening. Yet when people like Mr. Entine learn that I have embraced a scientific discovery methodology, instead of being welcomed for pursuing scientific research, I am unfairly mocked for it. In Entine's case in particular, I believe he referred to my laboratory work as "a joke." Such a conclusion is grossly unfair and entirely without basis. There is almost nothing that sets my lab apart from university labs or even the FDA's lab. We use the same instruments, methodologies and tools. In fact, I have collaborated with a university ICP-MS lab to validate many of my findings. I attempted to engage with Mr. Entine in a polite conversation to explain some of this, and after a few emails back and forth, he abruptly stopped communicating for reasons that only he can possibly explain. Although I cannot comment on the legal proceedings against Mr. Entine and Forbes.com, in particular, I can acknowledge that such actions are underway but that they were pursued only as a last resort. By default, I prefer to engage with people in a polite manner to discuss not only differences in views but even possible collaboration on projects such as article debates or quoting each other in our stories. I'm still looking for a rational, polite, science-based person who could offer me quotes for a number of stories on GMOs, vaccines, global warming, etc., but so far I cannot seem to find a reliable person who isn't engaged in closed-minded hate speech (which itself is a disturbing realization). If you have suggestions on such a person who might be a reliable source to offer opposing views on such matters, I'm open to learning more about them. Possibly YOU might be interested in such a collaboration? I would be open to exploring the idea of offering you quotes for your stories and simultaneously publishing quotes from you or others you might recommend in our stories. One of the most important messages I would personally ask you to share with people like Mr. Entine is that my own current opinions on matters are never cast in stone. In the spirit of true science, I am constantly reevaluating and seeking to expand my knowledge, beliefs and online coverage of the issues. Honestly, the smartest thing people like Entine could do would be to engage with me in intelligent, rational, polite conversation. The tactic of public character assassination only results in a deepening of the divide and justified mistrust. I am genuinely curious to discover your journalism approach from here forward, come to think of it. I recall you were an editor for the Audubon Society, and if so that means we have a lot of common ground from which to carry out a discussion. I am a strong advocate of environmental protection, wildlife habitat preservation and conservation, for example. In fact, I am currently setting up a greenhouse laboratory, where one my next projects is to study and document the uptake of heavy metals from soils to plants, using my ICP-MS lab combined with aquaponics. This research may lead to very valuable breakthroughs on the phytoremediation of soils as well as learning which plants resist lead uptake, for example. Would you be interested in covering this research when it's ready? You may not be aware that I've already documented high levels of the heavy metal tungsten in organic rice protein products. In fact, I am now the one person within the natural products community who has spearheaded the scientific scrutiny of organic products for heavy metals contamination. Because of my work, all the top protein manufacturers are reformulating right now to ultra-low metals products. I would invite you to consider the importance of that position for a moment: an activist-turned-scientist going public with explosive revelations about the dangerous contamination of organic products. That certainly doesn't sound like someone who is "anti-science." It sounds like someone who has embraced science for the public good. Honestly, I think I deserve a little credit from the scientific community on this. Why is no one from Slate saying, "Great job with the lab!" and encouraging me to apply the same scrutiny to other issues? It is baffling to me that the "science" community often seems more interested in badgering opponents than furthering the cause of science itself. The way to win allies, in other words, is to identify those people moving in the direction of solid science and encourage them, not harass them. Lastly, would you reciprocate this email and tell me a little more about yourself, your interests and passions, etc? I would like to learn more about you and your focus. You never know where all this might lead. We might end up wanting to co-author an article of some kind. And that would be very valuable to the public, I think. Feel free to share this email with Mr. Entine if you would like, and I would ask that if you make any of this public, please have the courtesy of quoting it in context. Thank you, - Mike
I prefer to let this response speak for itself, but I'd like to clarify one thing: I was an editor at Audubon magazine (from 2000-2008), not the actual organization. On the same day Adams sent me his response, I saw that he tweeted a link to an article he had just published at his Nature News site.
I don't envision having a fruitful exchange with someone who thinks the U.S. Department of Agriculture is turning into a paramilitary outfit. But I'll keep you abreast of wherever this conversation with Adams leads.