Dr. Thierry Vrain is pitching his non-science about genetically modified foods and/or glyphosate (as of February, 2018). Guy Dauncey, who describes himself as an “eco-futurist”, announced that he was interviewing him on television for a “Change the World” series on Shaw Cable (available on YouTube). Deja vu, but with a twist. Let’s go back a few years…
In the summer of 2013, I asked Thierry Vrain if he’d be interested in participating in a “town hall” forum where two speakers would discuss genetically modified foods. It would not be a debate, but rather two sides presenting respective positions. He agreed, but later blocked me from his Facebook page when I emailed to tell him that Rob Wager from the Vancouver Island University Biology Department would be the other speaker. (Rob Wager holds a Master of Science degree and has published articles in refereed journals.)
Although other explanations are possible, the vanishing act by Dr. Vrain suggests that he had no desire to defend his claims about GM foods with someone who has a science background related to the topic.
As for Vrain’s academic qualifications, an online search of library databases shows 16 articles where he was the author, or included as one. His last publication was in 2001. According to the Genetic Literacy Project (GLP) which monitors false science information on social media, he has a background in soil biology, but hasn’t published in a peer-reviewed journal in 17 years. There are many other critiques of his qualifications on the GLP. For example, Dr. Kevin Folta (Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, and professor at the University of Florida, Chair of Horticultural Sciences) writes about Dr. Vrain:
“He says exactly what activists want to hear, and does so from the credible platform of a once-published scientist. He is one of the darlings of the anti-GMO movement because he’s willing to look the other way at evidence to push an activist agenda and/or cash a check.”
Dr. Vrain should be prepared to debate others on the topic glyphosate, rather than preach non-science to the converted. By disappearing and hiding from those who actually know something about glyphosate, Vrain’s credibility evaporates quickly.