The Young Turks are Morons of the Highest Calibre

The Young Turks are morons of the highest calibre who believe it would be a crime not to publish every thought that tumbles through their head. I have never made my views on them public before, but what they have published recently online pushed me over the edge. They posted a video titled ‘Monsanto Giving People Cancer?’ (because protecting yourself from a lawsuit with that question mark, despite in the video saying their products are giving people cancer, shows how much of a backbone you have) where the Turks stumbled their way through a CNN blog post by vomiting out the text practically verbatim the whole time with an undeserved grin of unwarranted self-satisfaction as they say that people like me who see the potential of GMOs are either paid trolls by Monsanto or gullible fools who have been taken in by the evil corporation.

The video begins with the Turks talking about a class action lawsuit filed against Monsanto by people claiming the company failed to warn consumers about the risk of cancer associated with their herbicide, Roundup. The man representing these people is Timothy Litzenburg, who is an attorney at the Miller Firm and has spent most of his career representing people who have been injured by dangerous chemicals. Whilst attending the Tribunal for Monsanto, a fake trial that was clearly designed to mislead the public, Timothy stated with some confidence that Roundup and other products containing glyphosate (the active ingredient) cause non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and specifically mentions Christian Sheppard, who is the sole focus of the CNN story the Young Turks practically plagiarize.

As you can imagine, covering an emotional story like this that involves so many people who are suffering from cancer, as well as a technology that is so misunderstood and opposed, and a company as hated as Monsanto, will take effort to make sure that the facts are verified and reported correctly and to make sure that the person reporting the story isn’t letting their own bias creep in. However, right off the bat, you get a feel for the calibre of people the Young Turks are and the lack of research or critical thought that went into their video when one of the Turks, Ana Kasparian, talks about why she is super suspicious of Roundup.

“Monsanto genetically modified crops in order to withstand Roundup and that was always super suspicious to me because – It’s not about genetically modifying plants or crops, it’s about why you would want to do so? Why would you want to use a product that’s so freaking toxic that you would have to go out of your way to genetically modify it”

Do I really need to say anything?!?! Do you even think she stopped to think about what she was going to say before she sat down to record this video? Because I don’t, and I am stunned by the arrogance of this woman who believes she is more than qualified to cover a story like this when she can’t even wrap her head around the basics like why people would want to engineer a plant to be resistant to a specific herbicide. She also seems to be blissfully unaware that just because something is toxic to a specific organism doesn’t mean that that toxicity is universal across all living things. Has she ever taken an antibiotic? How does she think that works? Has she heard that you should not feed chocolate or ibuprofen to dogs?

When it comes to evidence of Roundup and other glyphosate-containing products’ carcinogenic potential, the Turks quote the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2015 report that claimed that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to Humans”. To be blunt, the IARC’s report misrepresented the science in the papers they were referencing. For those who are interested, myself and fellow co-host of The League of Nerds, James, made a video where we discuss the IARC report and show how embarrassingly void it is and talk about how it was tarnishing the reputation of the WHO.

We also had a League of Nerds episode where we talked about conflicts of interest that could explain the working groups’ choice to class Glyphosate as a possible carcinogen.

This report is also where I believe Timothy is getting his evidence linking Monsanto herbicide to non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma as it states…

To quote fellow nerd James, “To say this evidence is limited is to do it a great service, it is as barren as a garden managed by Vandana Shiva.” James goes into detail on TLoNs blog about the research quoted in this IARC report and how it is not badly done or inadequate, but instead, it has been forced to do a job it was never designed to do. He later quotes a much larger study by The Agricultural Health Study (AHS) investigating glyphosate exposure on over 15000 people compared to the 36 people over 3 papers quoted by the IARC report and states that they were unable to find any significant increases in risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma from exposure to glyphosate.

However, when confronted with a report by the Environment Protection Agency’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee that shows that there is no proof that glyphosate is carcinogenic, the Turks go down the conspiracy path and say something that would not be out of place coming from the mouth of Alex Jones.

“Keep in mind that someone who was working within the EPA at the time that that statement was released had very cosy ties to Monsanto”

Cenk Uygur (the other Turk) later goes on to say…

“Look if you are a rational human being and a giant multi-billion dollar corporation says ‘don’t worry I have a bunch of scientists and they agree with me’, You know to discount that, right? Please tell me you know to discount that.”

No! Just because research comes from a large multi-billion dollar corporation does not mean that you should automatically discount it. Yes, you should be skeptical of research coming from a company that is set to benefit from said research, but to promote the blanket boycott of a specific source of research shows a deep lack of understanding of how scientific progress is made. Should we discount all research looking into vaccine safety from large pharmaceutical companies? What about research looking into climate change from environment agencies? According to Cenk only neutral scientists should be trusted and their findings should be debated in court.

“If they have neutral scientists that have reports saying it’s not carcinogenic well that’s interesting, and that’s why we go to court and figure it out”

Once again, NO! Science Is not debated in the courtroom, it is debated in the literature where the consensus is that glyphosate is not carcinogenic. However, let’s not forget that seconds early Cenk was confronted with an independent agency whose purpose is to protect human health and the environment, the EPA, who said there was no proof of carcinogenic potential and he dismissed it with some Alex Jones-esque logic.

“Do think there is any chance that the scientists that Monsanto hired were going to come out and go, ‘Oh my god, it’s really carcinogenic, you guys have got to stop this’, you would stop making all those hundreds of millions of dollars off this product.”

YES!!!! Do you really think so little of scientists that you believe we can all be bought? As if we are not human and we don’t care about our fellow man or the environment. Do you really believe that the kind of people who work for Monsanto would not be out of place at SPECTRE, Umbrella, Soylent or Weyland-Yutani? I know I have said it multiple times so far, but this video is incredibly similar to those that Alex Jones produces – it’s undeniable and it gets much worse.

Towards the end of the video, the Turks turn the conspiracy dial up to 11, as they say that the reason why they get negative backlash whenever mentioning Monsanto and GMOs is because Monsanto hires professional trolls and bots who “attack people who have the audacity to criticise them [Monsanto] and the behaviour we have just played out”. They later go on to say that they are surprised that people feel so passionate about the subject and the only reason can be because of these paid shills, or that you are so weak-minded that you have been persuaded by the propaganda. The thought that people and real scientists like myself, who have actually read the research they are quoting and disagree with them, never crossed their mind.

Although fascinating to watch these two idiots embarrass themselves online, nothing they said so far boiled my blood until at the end Cenk tells his audience to beware of people who say that the true scientific position is to be pro-GMOs, pro-Monsanto, and pro-these chemical that causes cancer. He then later goes on to say that anyone who disagrees will be harassed by paid Monsanto trolls.

I am one of these people who Cenk warns you about, who are pro-GMO, but I am pro-GMO much in the same way I am pro-electricity or pro-welding. I know I sound like a broken record here, but the ability to genetically modify something is a tool and not the final product. By not only lumping all GMOs in one group but also conflating Monsanto with GMOs Cenk shows us how little research he has done on the topic he is covering.

Unlike The Young Turks’ deranged paranoia suggests, I have never been paid by Monsanto, nor will I harass people who believe this herbicide or GMOs, in general, are dangerous. Instead, I have produced blog posts, videos, and podcasts going after the scientific cornerstones of the anti-GMO movement and have almost 6 years of content showing that those who spout this kind of lazy ill-informed bullshit have no leg to stand on.

But hey, what would I know? After all, I am just some troll who is paid by Monsanto.

About Myles Power (714 Articles)
My name is Myles Power, and I run the educational YouTube channel, powerm1985. I spend what little free time I have sharing my love of SCIENCE! through home experiments, visiting sites of scientific interest, and angrily ranting at pseudoscience proponents. I am also one of the founding members of the podcast 'The League of Nerds' - which I co-host with James from 'The History of Infection'.

19 Comments on The Young Turks are Morons of the Highest Calibre

  1. The worst part about their various anti-science bits is that they’ve had people like Cara Santa Maria on as regular guests. How can they still be so uninformed when Cara has been on to explain GMOs, etc?

    Like

  2. It was Alex-Jones level crap. Truly dreadful, and ironically enough, sourced hook/line/sinker from *actual* paid organic industry trolls.

    But the part about how they were saying –oh, no, we’re not anti-science– while simultaneously calling anyone who actually reads and understands the literature in this field as paid off and saying they should be summarily dismissed is completely…oh, I don’t know, what’s a good phrase for that…? I wish I had an English or journalism degree instead of all these science ones, I’m sure I could turn a phrase better.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was just thinking about the accusations of how everyone who is anti-Trump (including, apparently the TYT) are accused of being paid by Soros.

      They’ve just done the same exact thing to scientists. That’s really shameful. They should know better than that, being victims of the same kind of thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That notion that whoever disagrees with you must be paid off, goes back a long way. Back in 2006, Jason Bermas, one of the men behind the 9/11 Truth ‘documentary’ Loose Change stated in response to a question about why the firefighters who went into the twin towers had not spilled the beans, that they had been “…paid off…” to keep silent. Needles to say the NYFD was not impressed.

      http://screwloosechange.blogspot.com.au/2006/11/

      Like

    • What is really amusing on this one is that right now, Buddy Roemer, a well-known right-winger, is bankrolling The Young Turks.

      Not to mention Cenk Uygur has been an Armenian Genocide Denier in the past. And his very show is named after those who committed the genocide.

      Like

  3. madman125 // May 29, 2017 at 3:47 pm // Reply

    I’m seeing monsanto ads below this post! You don’t fool me shill! Everyone knows that Roundup is sprayed in chemtrails to fluoridate the water to turn the freakin’ frogs gay!!!!

    Like

  4. Oran Juis // May 29, 2017 at 5:11 pm // Reply

    TYT just spouts their opinions on news that other people have already covered…they’re news-media critics who don’t seem to realize that they don’t produce anything but views on the views of others. They don’t do any reporting on events, at all. I don’t think they’re evil or something, but I do think they’re not very bright and don’t realize that they’ve become a digital misinformation fountain of un-self-aware views drenched in bias and desperation…”over-opinionated while underinformed” could be their tagline. But people still watch them. I don’t get why.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Myles, I agree with most of what you’ve written here, but it should be pointed out that agro-chem companies have hired scientists in the past to dispute results that they didn’t like and I am sure you are aware of instances of this type of behaviour with fossil fuel companies

    An example is the story of Tyrone Hayes who studied Atrazine for Syngenta:

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/02/10/a-valuable-reputation

    To quote from this story:

    > In another paper, in Policy Perspective, Jason Rohr, an ecologist at the University of South Florida, who served on an E.P.A. panel, criticized the “lucrative ‘science for hire’ industry, where scientists are employed to dispute data.” He wrote that a Syngenta-funded review of the atrazine literature had arguably misrepresented more than fifty studies and made a hundred and forty-four inaccurate or misleading statements, of which “96.5% appeared to be beneficial for Syngenta.” Rohr, who has conducted several experiments involving atrazine, said that, at conferences, “I regularly get peppered with questions from Syngenta cronies trying to discount my research. They try to poke holes in the research rather than appreciate the adverse effects of the chemicals.” He said, “I have colleagues whom I’ve tried to recruit, and they’ve told me that they’re not willing to delve into this sort of research, because they don’t want the headache of having to defend their credibility.”

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  6. I should clarify that Tyrone Hayes was an honest scientist in this case who found that atrazine might impede the sexual development of frogs.

    Naturally Syngenta didn’t like this and hounded him while attempting to discredit him and destroy his reputation. They also hired teams of scientists to publish studies disputing his results. In this case it looks like those papers published by Syngenta scientists were suspect.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In 2010, Hayes published research in PNAS describing laboratory work showing how exposure to atrazine turned male tadpoles into females with impaired fertility.

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its independent Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) examined all available studies on this topic and concluded that “atrazine does not adversely affect amphibian gonadal development based on a review of laboratory and field studies.”.The EPA and its SAP made recommendations concerning proper study design needed for further investigation into this issue. As required by the EPA, Syngenta conducted two experiments under Good Laboratory Practices (GLP) and inspection by the EPA and German regulatory authorities. The paper concluded “These studies demonstrate that long-term exposure of larval X. laevis to atrazine at concentrations ranging from 0.01 to 100 microg/l does not affect growth, larval development, or sexual differentiation.” A report written in Environmental Science and Technology (May 15, 2008) cites the independent work of researchers in Japan, who were unable to replicate Hayes’ work. “The scientists found no hermaphrodite frogs; no increase in aromatase as measured by aromatase mRNA induction; and no increase in vitellogenin, another marker of feminization.”

      In 2010, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) responded to Hayes’ 2010 published paper,by stating that his findings “do not provide sufficient evidence to justify a reconsideration of current regulations which are based on a very extensive dataset.”.
      https://archive.apvma.gov.au/news_media/chemicals/atrazine.php

      After last years concerns that there might be some truth the his claims, the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Panel is set to determine whether the conclusions are sound. So its not like some huge one sided attack or conspiracy, as Hayes wishes it to seem.

      Hayes’ published emails also show him in a negative light as he responds to their inquires with arrogant and delusion retorts. With the EPA’s former directer even suggesting he was confrontational with them and not willing to submit the necessary data for them to review his work.

      There was even an article published on the nature of subjectivity in research using Hayes’ experience and his interaction with Sygenta, that explores the bias on both sides.

      Of course, even if for some weird reason Hayes was in the ‘right’, its really a cherry picked event that shouldn’t be used to validate the the Monsanto based conspiracy theories.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You have every right to voice your opposing view on the opinions expressed by tyt although it may serve you better to watch programs more suited to your scientific expertise. My mom just went through 6 rounds of chemo for non-hodgkins after using round up for years thinking it was relatively safe. But you’re the smart scientist guy. Oh, one more thing. Go fuck yourself.

    Like

    • “My mom just went through 6 rounds of chemo for non-hodgkins after using round up for years thinking it was relatively safe.”

      What does this have to do with anything discussed here? I don’t mean to be rude, especially on such a sensitive subject, but I really don’t understand what you’re trying to say.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m guessing your mom breathed air for years before developing non-hodgkins lymphoma as well. Did the air cause her cancer? Correlation does not equal causation. This is literally the exact sam argument used by anti-vaccine people who claim their children developed autism after getting vaccines, this vaccines caused autism. The best available science says your assumption that an herbicide caused your mother’s cancer is wrong. Your feelings do not trump science.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Anonymous // May 30, 2017 at 7:02 pm // Reply

    TYT might have their own problems but this joke of an article you just wrote to defend Monsanto is amazingly hillarious. How much did they pay you to write such an emotionally retarded piece?

    Like

  10. Reg Bennett // May 30, 2017 at 10:34 pm // Reply

    I’ll just leave this here… http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/2/2125

    Like

    • This comes from MDPI which was at the time of publication of this article at worst possible predatory publisher and at best an extremely poor publisher with journals with very deficient peer-review practices.

      Second thing to take into consideration is that the authors admit that they are proposing a hypothesis, in a very speculative sense of the word. A question we could ask is why are the symptoms present in Sri Lanka, but not anywhere else in the world where glyphosate is used. It seems to me that the hypothesis they propose is just as speculative as all of the alternatives they say that scientists are speculating on. In short, again, they have zero evidence that glyphosate is the cause. If they do clinical studies on glyphosate-metal complexes and their effects on health, the article would have been more interesting. Yet, this is still removed from the subject of this blog post, on the supposed association between glyphosate and cancer … none.

      Like

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