Hoax: Madagascar Pranks March Against Monsanto

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
Madagascar Against Monsanto: A Hoax to Promote Quality Science Discussions!


Madagascar Pranks March Against Monsanto - What is the difference?

To my new friends from March Against Monsanto:

I apologize, I have tricked you for many days now, and I must now stop because I am getting scared of your community, and even though I do not respect your ways, you are humans and I feel bad tricking you into thinking I am one of your group. You mean well, but you are not using science in a good way to help Madagascar.

There was no March Against Monsanto (MAM) in Madagascar. I made the signs and gave them to my friends to see what your group would say. My teacher (who does not agree with this project because of the trickery) told me that your group will accept almost anything regardless of the scientific process, this was my experiment to see if he is correct. In my opinion, he is correct, and your group should not have the same respect as people who are careful about their science. When we talk about science, we must be very careful how we use peoples emotions, otherwise it is manipulation.

Below I will put the pictures from our fake protest and write my real thoughts. During this experiment I was encouraged and instructed by MAM organizers to destroy or damage golden rice experiments. I was encouraged to allow locusts to eat all our food crops instead of allowing the emergency use of insecticides (this is a very difficult problem for the Malagasy people!). The signs and "memes" below were made to have no factual truth and are very offensive to many Malagasy people, and yet you shared them, you say you will use them in your marketing, and you encouraged me to take more pictures of "people with diseases" to spread your message. You encouraged me to mistrust a man from the USA who starts organic school gardens here, just because he also thinks that agriculture is complicated and biotechnologies might be able to help us. You encouraged me to stop working with this man and focus instead on vandalizing my imaginary gold rice experiments. This was offensive and unpleasant for me to experience.


I had to stop my experiment when I found
this picture at the MAM website - my fake
signs can not get this extreme.
Please stop using this approach.
My experiment was also a failure in another way. I made my signs in a way that I thought was so extreme and offensive that they would be rejected by your community. Instead, all of the signs received compliments, and I could not think of anything more extreme until I searched your own website! My signs were untrue, offensive, and even incoherent or contradictory - but after my experiment, when I look at your websites I ask myself "What is the difference?".

For Madagascar, I think we will be better off if we have nothing to do with March Against Monsanto. I think Monsanto is probably not a good company. I do not know if biotechnology will be good for Madagascar. One thing that I do know is that March Against Monsanto is not an organization that is able to help the Malagasy people learn about the risks and benefits of biotechnology in any meaningful way. Thank you for keeping your signs and "memes" out of our country, we welcome you back when you learn about what science is.

Thank you,
Navid Rakotofala


Photo Expose:

I pretended to have a "special laboratory" at a fake university, and I told MAM organizers that I was testing Madagascar's frogs for heavy metals to check for GMOs in our country where GMOs are not allowed. This disgusting picture is just a butchered frog carcass for meat eating, and it is not good for our environment for reasons different than Monsanto's GMOs.

This is all a terrible joke of course. I think it is clear that any group that is using science in the right way would not allow this kind of imagery combined with nonsense words. For example - one study can never "PROVE" anything.


"Monsanto Tests Agent Orange on Homeless Malagasy"
WOW - that is really untrue, a horrible thing to say about any human
even if they work at Monsanto, and is very disrespectful to any true
historical victim of the real agent orange!

Also, we understand that NaturalNews.com is a joke website for bad science.
My friends are happy to play a trick on people who try to spread lies, even though I still feel bad for what I did here.


"Monsanto Kills & Eats Baby Lemurs for Profit"
This doesn't even make any sense - Monsanto does
not work in Madagascar, and even if they did - what would this mean?


One MAM Organizer said to me that many people really would
rather go blind than eat golden rice. "Its really that important to them" she posted in a
facebook comment. It turns out my teacher is more correct. This man does not want to be blind
and IF golden rice could have helped him as a child, I think he would have taken the risk.

The problem is first we must get all the Malagasy people good education about agriculture so they can make these decisions themselves. March Against Monsanto has nothing to offer us for this need.


This image was liked and shared among MAM organizers.
I was even encouraged to take more pictures of "people with diseases" to support the cause.

This young man survived polio and thinks that Americans who advocate against vaccines are not good people.
He was happy to play a joke on MAM organizers to see if they enjoy using pictures of "people with diseases" to promote bad science.


"HELP!!!! Monsanto is using our Locust Infestation to FORCE Agent Organge into MADA"
One MAM organizer agreed that I should prefer that ALL of the crops in Madagascar get eaten by locusts rather than to spray "ONE DROP" because that will only lead to super bugs.

I am worried about the impacts of pesticides, but in our current emergency of locus infestation, it is important to understand how complicated it is! MAM does not help us with this.

Like I said, this MEME does not make any sense in any way, and is horrible and offensive.

I put the name of #MarchAgainstMonsanto & the Global GMO Free Coalition on the picture and sent it to their leaders to see if they would tell me not to use this.


There are many more things I could tell you about my experiment to see what it is like in the extremist anti-science group #MarchAgainstMonsanto, but I think the examples above give an example of how this group is willing to spread bad information at any cost.
Content from External Source
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
Yeah, that one sort of really hits the first-world privilege guilt button. Wonder how they're taking it.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I've moved this to its own thread, as it's very interesting. I'm generally against hoaxes, as they generally just seem to strengthen the resolve of the people being hoaxed. They take it as an attempt by "them" to trick them. The recent example with Max Bliss shows this quite well.

But being pranked by a student in Madagascar? Interesting - although I think the likely outcome is still going to be them thinking it's a clever Monsanto Psyops.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
I don't like the idea of pulling this kind of hoax on any people, either, but... man, some of those signs are just Poe's Law incarnate. "Monsanto Kills & Eats Baby Lemurs for Profit" is barely a sentence, let alone economically feasible.
 
I can see the downside of pranking people in this way, but must admit to enjoying the lulz. I hope that this is a true story and I'd encourage kid starts up a Madagascar Skeptics group.

"One MAM Organizer said to me that many people really would
rather go blind than eat golden rice. "Its really that important to them" she posted in a
facebook comment."

---Wow. Who's the blind one here?
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
Except you don't have to eat Golden Rice to avoid going blind:

http://goldenriceissue.weebly.com/my-two-cents.html
It is of my opinion is that while Golden Rice may not be the perfect solution the the clinical issue of Vitamin A deficiency in developing countries over a richer and more diversified diet. However, it is apparent that newer strains of Golden Rice contains a significant amount of Vitamin A, this fact is compounded by the fact that in developing countries, including the countries with a clinical level of Vitamin A deficiency rice is a staple food, providing as much as 80% of caloric intake in some areas. Therefore, while Golden Rice will not solve the Vitamin A deficiency, however it will alleviate the problem significantly. Even if it reduces the million children dying or blinded by Vitamin A deficiency per year (Golden Rice Humanitarian Board, 2007-2011) A by a small amount, it would still be a major humanitarian achievement.

Financially, the seeds, provided free of royalties to low earning and sustenance farmers in developing countries will make this appealing the farmers of the communities that needs this the most. Furthermore, the advances and experience gained in genetic modification through Golden Rice and other emerging technologies can be applied to other crops for the benefit of mankind. Studies have shown that GM crops show no invasiveness over the unaltered strain (Crawley, 2001). Therefore it is my view that Golden Rice be introduced with care pending in selected developing countries with a chronic clinical Vitamin A deficiency in communities with lack of alternative Vitamin A sources, this, coupled with public health campaigns advocating a healthy and varied diet, however to solve the problem of malnutrition at the source, poverty must be reduced, which is outside of the scope of this website.
Content from External Source
The blindness is simply the result of a vitamin A deficiency, (Beta Carotene, which gives the golden colour). The main thing is to address the poverty and ensure that vitamin A is available.

There are many better alternatives to Golden Rice for this.
http://www.greenpeace.org/internati...eport/2001/1/vitamin-a-natural-sources-vs.pdf

3) EXAMPLES OF NATURAL BETA-CAROTENE RICH SOURCES
Many natural food sources are rich in beta-carotene. The following list provides some examples:
Food source
β
-carotene concentration
(micrograms per gram fresh
weight)
8
Refined red palm oil*
92,8
Carrot, raw
46-125
Leafy vegetables
(32 types)
10-444
Sweet potato, orange
variety
11,4
Cassava, yellowish
up to 7,9
Mango
up to 6,15
Papaya, watermelon
2,28-3,24

The bioavailability of the beta-carotene in the GE rice remains an unanswered issue. There is no study
yet published about the bioavailability of the beta-carotene in the GE rice.
One of the scientists
involved in the development of the 'Golden Rice' has
stated: "[...] we have no data yet on the
bioavailability and the stability during storage"
11
.
6) HOW MUCH VITAMIN A COULD HUMANS GET FROM THE GE RICE?
The recommended daily nutritional intake of vitamin A for an adult female is 500 micrograms and for a
woman who is breast feeding, 850 micrograms
12
. This translates into 6000 and 10200 micrograms of
beta-carotene respectively, according to the new recommendation of the US National Academy of
Sciences Institute of Medicine (12:1 beta-carotene to vitamin A
Content from External Source
But I guess no one informed the hoaxer about this.

The anti GMO people, are simply normal people, some better informed or educated than others. No doubt there are some people who will make silly remarks and it seems the hoax was aimed at luring such people. It would be very easy to only select the less well thought out comments from the group, rather than the more rational and informed arguments. I wonder if that was the intent?
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
I think the intent was to see if anyone challenged them at all, ie, would the 'better informed' know and challenge obvious nonsense when they saw it if it was still supporting their 'side'?
And the answer was 'no'.

ETA - that phenomenon of course is not exclusive to the anti-GMO movement, it can be demonstrated in any group that having to correct someone is often a form of confrontation and people mostly like to avoid confrontation. Similar 'tests' have been done on science and sceptic-minded groups too (citation needed), but the difference is such groups try to foster critical analysis and encourage corrections (and yes it does happen here despite what you may think Oxy), whereas most other movements are about solidarity against a common goal and critical analysis of their own movement and its facts is somewhat counter-productive to that.

Basically it shows that the bulk of the antiGMO movement is not very science or critical thinking based though it likes to claim it is (not exactly news to most so a demonstration of the obvious).
 
Last edited:

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
I think the intent was to see if anyone challenged them at all, ie, would the 'better informed' know and challenge obvious nonsense when they saw it if it was still supporting their 'side'?
And the answer was 'no'.
How do you know that? It could easily be that the hoaxer decided to ignore the less ill informed responses. In fact it seems highly unlikely that the hoaxer had 'no responsible interactions' from the community, so why not mention those?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
How do you know that? It could easily be that the hoaxer decided to ignore the less ill informed responses. In fact it seems highly unlikely that the hoaxer had 'no responsible interactions' from the community, so why not mention those?

The point of the prank was to expose the unquestioning nature of the MAM people. And that's what it did.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
The point of the prank was to expose the unquestioning nature of the MAM people. And that's what it did.
Exactly, 'That was the point of the 'prank'', what better way to achieve 'the point' than to selectively use responses from a broad section of normal people by using the less informed and articulate responses. Like shooting fish in a barrel really. That's the problem when someone has total editorial control of what responses/comments they choose to utilise. Anything that doesn't 'fit their point' can be hidden away.

Without full disclosure the 'prank' is meaningless at best and at worst, it can be said it was done deliberately to disparage the whole of the worldwide movement, (which includes scientists, politicians and eminent thinkers) by selecting a few badly thought out comments from the fringes.

BTW, bit of an oxymoron there Mick when you consider that these people are being attacked precisely because they do question.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
BTW, bit of an oxymoron there Mick when you consider that these people are being attacked precisely because they do question.

They don't question things that align with their existing beliefs. They question things that they already think are wrong. It's all Monsanto = Evil, GMO = Harmful, Natural = Best. That's not questioning, that's dogma.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
They don't question things that align with their existing beliefs. They question things that they already think are wrong. It's all Monsanto = Evil, GMO = Harmful, Natural = Best. That's not questioning, that's dogma.

It's the difference between "skepticism" and "disbelief." MAM does not question, they state. They do not base their beliefs on evidence, they select evidence based on their beliefs.

(Thought I posted this last night, but it seems my tablet browser can't activate the post button)
 
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