Michael Fumento

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Michael Fumento is an author, journalist and lawyer specialising in science and health issues. He received his undergraduate degree while serving in the Army, where he achieved the rank of sergeant. In 1985 he was graduated from the University of Illinois College of Law and is currently a member of the Pennsylvania bar. In both 2005 and 2006 he was an embedded journalist in Afghanistan and Iraq.[1]

Fumento is the author of BioTech: How biotechnology is changing our world, Science Under Siege, Polluted Science, The Fat of the Land, and The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS. The latter was widely criticised by Aids activists and public health officials.[2] Fumento has also been widely criticised for coining the term "tampon terrorism" to attack women's groups that have raised concern about dioxin in chlorine-bleached tampons.[3] In 2000, Fumento was one of the authors of the "Fear Profiteers" report on the nomorescares website of tobacco-hack and junkman Steven Milloy.[4]

He is a regular contributor to Tech Central Station.


Fumento has been a nationally syndicated columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service, a legal writer for the Washington Times, a science correspondent for Reason Magazine, editorial writer for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, and was the first “National Issues" reporter for Investor’s Business Daily. He embedded four times in Iraq and Afghanistan. His research and reporting from Ramadi was praised by Gen. David Petraeus who called it “Great stuff with a great unit in a very tough neighborhood!"[5]

Monsanto controversy

On January 13, 2006, Scripps Howard announced it would terminate its business relationship with Fumento and cease carrying his column. At issue were opinion columns Fumento had written concerning the biotechnology firm Monsanto while working at the Hudson Institute. The connection between Fumento and Monsanto was first revealed by investigative reporter Eamon Javers in Business Week.[6] General manager Peter Copeland explained that Fumento

did not tell SHNS editors, and therefore we did not tell our readers, that in 1999 Hudson received a $60,000 grant from Monsanto. [...] Our policy is that he should have disclosed that information. We apologize to our readers.[7]

After the story was published, Fumento acknowledged that he benefited from Monsanto's grant to Hudson:

It was a $60,000 book grant to my employer, solicited back in 1999, which was applied to pre-established salary and benefits.[8]

However, Fumento said Scripps Howard had no such policy and that the syndicate canceled his column upon receiving a phone call from Javers, without consulting him. Moreover, such a policy wouldn't make sense, he said, because it presumes once you’ve benefited from a grant you are considered forever in the donor's debt.[9]

Fumento wrote that he didn’t begin the Scripps column until four years after getting the grant,[10] had been writing pro-biotech pieces since six years before receiving the grant, and that shortly after receiving it he had published a piece criticising Monsanto for being "chicken-hearted" for “caving into environmentalist demands.” Moreover, he wrote, of the approximately 100 columns he published only three so much as mentioned Monsanto, one in a single sentence.[11]

But Fumento's defence over the Monsanto revelation is disingenuous to say the least, since the notion that Monsanto had ever caved into environmentalists' demands is the kind of publicity that Monsanto would arguably find very useful.



  1. Michael Fumento Biography, Accessed 27th August 2007.
  2. Washington Monthly The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS, Accessed 27th August 2007.
  3. PRWatch Terrorism as Pretext, Accessed 27th August 2007.
  4. CGFI Do Socially Responsible Businesses Sow Health Scares to Reap Monetary Rewards?, Accessed 27th August 2007.
  5. Michael Fumento, Biography, undated, acc 30 Apr 2013
  6. Eamon Javers, "A Columnist Backed by Monsanto", Business Week, January 13, 2006.
  7. Eamon Javers, "A Columnist Backed by Monsanto", Business Week, January 13, 2006.
  8. Michael Fumento, "How the Conservative Columnist Witch Hunt Burned Me", Townhall.com, January 19, 2006.
  9. Fumento, "How the Conservative Columnist Witch Hunt Burned Me".
  10. Michael Fumento, Michael Fumento defends book grant, Rocky Mountain News, February 11, 2006, acc Apr 30 2013
  11. Michael Fumento, Michael Fumento defends book grant, Rocky Mountain News, February 11, 2006, acc Apr 30 2013