Weed Killer in Vaccines? No, absolutely not. (Talking Biotech Podcast Episode 51)
Description of this episode:
Today’s episode is born of frustration. Fear-mongering non-experts are abusing improper interpretations from an available herbicide detection kit to make claims that herbicides are now found in vaccines. Namely, they seek to find glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. They use a kit you can buy on the internet, but fail to use it in the way it is designed. Instead of using it on water, they use it on complex mixtures that yield false positives that are interpreted as legitimate signals.
So to push back I want to provide you with the information you need to discuss these topics with confidence. This topic has no guests. I reached out to the folks making the claims as well as the company that makes the product, and nobody wants to join the conversation. It is simply me talking about the claims, the assay, and how you can help debunk the bad information that pollutes this important public discourse.
The Talking Biotech Podcast is done entirely (and funded entirely) by Dr. Kevin Folta, Associate Professor and Department Chair of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. (His "About" page on the podcast website.)
It is worth giving you the mission statement of Dr. Folta's podcast:
The safe and powerful technologies of genetic engineering have had tremendous impacts in agriculture and medicine. However, future innovation and deployment of beneficial technologies are slowed by a lack of understanding. The point of this podcast is to help connect the public to current science and technology, and let scientists tell the stories of how science can help our farmers, industrialized world consumers, the environment, and the Developing World. The hope is that this resource can entertain and explain how new tools can improve food security, reduce poverty, and improve agricultural and medical practices.
Now, the anti-science fear-mongerers, because they seem to be filled with nothing but hatred and anger, have made an effort to smear Dr. Folta with ridiculous slander, which you can find plenty of across the interwebs. (They have also done a lot to try to destroy his life – they like to be destructive in as many ways as they can – and even gone so far as to break into his office.) But having myself spent time in academia and knowing what people in academia are like, and after listening to all of his podcast episodes and interviews of him on other podcasts, I can assure you that Kevin is nothing but genuine and that he is truly a valuable scientist, educator, and communicator, and thus, a valuable asset to the world.