Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Syngenta’s public-relations team had drafted a list of four goals. The first was “discredit Hayes.”

For years, the agri-business giant Syngenta has tried to discredit a leading critic, Berkeley biologist Tyrone Hayes.  In this week's New Yorker, Rachel Aviv has laid out the astonishing, underhanded strategies that the company devised, including a plan to investigate Hayes' wife.  An excerpt:

"The company documents show that, while Hayes was studying atrazine, Syngenta was studying him, as he had long suspected. Syngenta’s public-relations team had drafted a list of four goals. The first was 'discredit Hayes.' In a spiral-bound notebook, Syngenta’s communications manager, Sherry Ford, who referred to Hayes by his initials, wrote that the company could 'prevent citing of TH data by revealing him as noncredible.' He was a frequent topic of conversation at company meetings. Syngenta looked for ways to 'exploit Hayes’ faults/problems.' 'If TH involved in scandal, enviros will drop him,' Ford wrote. She observed that Hayes 'grew up in world (S.C.) that wouldn’t accept him,' 'needs adulation,' 'doesn’t sleep,' was 'scarred for life.' She wrote, What’s motivating Hayes?—basic question.”

And later:

"In 2005, Ford made a long list of methods for discrediting him: 'have his work audited by 3rd party,' 'ask journals to retract,' 'set trap to entice him to sue,' 'investigate funding,' 'investigate wife.'"

1 comment:

  1. Sherry Ford, you are an unethical vermon. You made your bones sliming a good man.

    ReplyDelete