Penn & Teller claims organic food is "bullshit", fails to mention that their expert is paid by Monsanto

Penn Jillette and Teller, from the Penn & Teller: Bullshit! TV show, calls in the latest episode organic food for "bullshit" (see video below). Penn and Teller's main point why organic food is "bullshit" is simply because it "might mean you're getting your food from giant corporations or China."

But what Penn and Teller fail to mention is that the so called â"Food Policy Analyst Expert", Alex Avery, is paid by the Hudson Institute. The Hudson Institute is an American conservative, religious and free market think tank. Simply put, they are corporate lobbyists. And the prestigious-sounding Hudson Institute is funded by giant corporations such as Monsanto, the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) food.

You also shouldn't forget that Penn and Teller are members of the Cato Institute, which is another libertarian corporate think tank funded by such fine corporations as ExxonMobil. The Cato Institute is known for spreading and funding anti-scientific climate denialism and misinformation.

But this is not the first time Penn and Teller's "Bullshit!" show receives criticism, and especially not when they cover environmental topics. In season one, aired 2003, Penn and Teller claims that the global warming crisis was created by â"hysterical hippies and environmentalists". Their biased and misinformed global warming episode has since then been criticized and debunked. Logical Science has listed and debunked the claims Penn and Teller made in the episode:

"In Episode 13, season 1 of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! they try to prove the global warming crisis, among other things, was created by the out of control imagination of hysterical hippies and environmentalists. This is why the episode is titled "Environmental Hysteria". We would just like to point out that Penn Jillette is a research fellow of the ExxonMobil and Industry funded CATO institute which has strong minarchist leanings. This gives Penn Jillete a conflict of interest when it comes to any topic that might require government regulation. During the show he puts Tobacco and Oil funded lobbyists against hippie college protesters. Â If a fair match was their intent they should have those lawyers up against any of the scientists on this massive list. Granted the show was officially about "hysteria" and not science itself but that doesn't excuse them for grossly misrepresenting a very strong scientific consensus and providing facts thats are demonstrably false. The following is a quoted, sourced, and time stamped point by point analysis of their show. It will focus on the facts presented by Penn & Teller's "experts""

Another debunked claim by Penn and Teller is that recycling paper would pollute more than making new paper. This is a false claim:

"Recycling also helps prevent pollution. For example, recycling paper instead of making it from new material generates 74 percent less air pollution and uses 50 percent less water."

Simply put: Don't trust a magician!


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Simon Leufstedt
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Guest Elizabeth Radley

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food Perhaps instead of reading propoganda by either side you should simply read and make up your own minds.

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Guest confused

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I thought the point of organic food was that it come from a local source something like a 100 mile radius from where one resides. If that is indeed the case, wouldn't food from China in fact not be organic? Just asking a question, don't flame me please.

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Guest Jenson

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Miss-information 101, when you can't refute the facts attack the messenger. Penn and Teller just schooled the organic people and made them look like fools. Deal with it.

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Guest jack_k1

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Just to keep consistent, shouldn't we disregard anything published in this blog as a conflict of interest?

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Guest ThinkTank3000

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That's ironic considering how you act like an rude and arrogant prig that can't look at the whole picture of the argument between organic and GMO foods. You would rather just pick the side you think sounds best while sticking your fingers in your ears when people present scientific facts that show the flaws in organic foods such as that they don't provide enough food for the ever growing world population. You would rather set the world back as far as Ancient Medieval era farming techniques so you feel emotionally pious while people in developing countries such as Tanzania and Ethiopia starve to death because they don't have enough crops that are able to grow in their dry climate.

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His main point was never about giant corporate monopolies or China. I believe his most notable points had to do with the fact that organic farming alone can't sustain 7 Billion (and growing) people.

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Guest cortesuprema

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how hard is it to grasp that it doesn't matter who pays who, as long as the claims are factual? and of course someone who has a certain opinion and/or interest backs the cause they agree with (would you expect a proponent of organic food to argue against organic food?). the exact same thing is the case on both sides of the issue. again, the only thing that matters is the truth. facts don't become less valid just because they are put forward by someone you don't like.

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Penn and Teller are a joke, who would listen to these corporate morons? Anyone who thinks organic is bullshit can go suck Monsanto's dick, most likely they already are.

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Guest C Furr El

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Your mixing several issues here, but the first an largest miss conception is the belief that organic farming is all small farmers. Sorry majority but >90% is just front companies for the big corporate farms. Yep, 'uncle Bobby's all organic treats' or what ever name is on the box, if almost certainly fake. Unless you buying it straight from a farm stand. (even then check labels, lots of farm stands just repackage everything other than the one or two real money crops) The 'Organic' food scam, is biting you both ways. (Remember the label laws are so lax that the vast majority of all manufactured foods could qualify with just the slightest effort, but they won't since they can small the big bucks from fooling the chumps that pay extra to get their processed oats out of brown box, rather than a paper tube)

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