Alex Avery

Alex Avery is the Director of Research and Education at the Center for Global Food Issues at the Hudson Institute.

Avery's father, Dennis Avery is the Center's Director. Much of Alex Avery's time has been spent defending his father's claims, particularly those affecting organic food. Alex Avery is said to be writing a book on 'organic food myths'.

He is a co-author of, 'Organic Industry Groups Spread Fear for Profit' a report launched on September 21 2000. His co-authors included Graydon Forrer, Monsanto's former head of executive communications, although the report did not disclose that Forrer was a former Monsanto employee. The report was launched via - a website which has now been withdrawn but which had as its contact the former Monsanto lobbyist and self-styled 'Junkman', Steven Milloy. The report is still availble via Milloy's current site: which claims to be dedicated to exposing 'examples of false and misleading food and other product labels and their associated  marketing campaigns,' but whose real mission appears to be attacking organic foods on behalf of the biotech industry.

Amongst many other anti-organic pieces, Avery is the author of 'The Organic Food Industry: Smearing The Competition' - a paper published (13 March 2000) on Monsanto's Biotechnology Knowledge Center website, 'The Deadly Chemicals in Organic Food' (New York Post, June 2, 2001), and 'Organic farming caused dust bowl' (The, August 18, 2002). 

A keen supporter of CS Prakash's AgBioView e-mail list, Alex Avery proposed to 'Fellow Agbioviewers' the issuing of a Joint Statement to counter another joint statement criticising the dubious character of the attacks on Quist and Chapela, authors of the Mexcian maize paper published in Nature. Avery claimed the original statement was 'being whored around by the anti-biotech activists'.

Avery dismissed Quist and Chapela's peer-reviewed study as 'junkscience' and argued that the attacks on the researchers were not unethical mudslinging, but 'exactly the type of rigorous debate over the truth that is the hallmark of the scientific process and discourse'. A joint statement duly followed and proved influential in the campaign to force Nature to retract the paper.

The attacks on Quist and Chapela were subsequently shown to have been initiated and fuelled by the biotech industry - in particular, by Monsanto, notably via its 'Andura Smetacek' e-mail front, and by its PR company, The Bivings Group, which operated the e-mail front 'Mary Murphy'. Avery followed 'Murphy' in making specific reference to Chapela's membership of the board of Pesticide Action Network North America and in claiming that this raised questions about Chapela's scientific work.

The Hudson Institute for whom Avery works has received funding from biotech companies Aventis, Dow, Monsanto, Novartis and Zeneca.


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