California veterinarian Ena Valikov is an outspoken anti-GMO crusader. If you’ve ever clashed with her on social media before (I have), it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Valikov often commits the argument from authority logical fallacy, falsely implying she’s a medical doctor while doling out her opinions on GMOs and vaccines. A common reply to any factual challenge to Valikov’s claims is “post your medical degree or shut up”:
Veterinarians undergo rigorous training and often display excellent scientific literacy. I hope that my attacking Valikov’s howling errors in this blog will not be taken as a slur against vets in general. I have the highest respect for what this group of professionals does. What sticks in my craw is a member of that profession misrepresenting her expertise, making unscientific statements under the guise of a medical doctor, and trying to shut down discussion via the argument from authority fallacy. This is particularly dangerous when she commits a sin common to the anti-GMO unwashed: not checking their sources.
Your honor, I’d like to submit the following Valikov Facebook post into evidence:1
I’m almost embarrassed for Ena. Rule #1 for sharing anything on the internet: check the source:
World News Daily Report is a well known fake news/satire web site. They tell you so themselves:2,3,4
“All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.” 1–World News Daily Report
For your entertainment pleasure (and in case there’s any doubt about Valikov’s research skills), recent WNDR headlines include:
- Flock of Man-Eating Butterflies Kills Dozens in Malaysia
- Star Wars Episode VII: Disney to Cut All “Sexually Implicit” Scenes Between Chewbacca and C3P0
- “I fell pregnant during an alien abduction” claims Michigan woman
- Woman Falls Pregnant After Cavity Search, Blames ‘Dirty Gloves’
- Dead cow brought back to life by lightning bolt
Given the wonderful imagination of J.J. Abrams, I have to I was a little disappointed to realize #2 was fiction.
The danger is that someone like Valikov is misrepresenting her expertise and making ridiculous claims about GMOs–and an unsuspecting bystander might believe her.
Witnesseth a comment on Ena’s Monsanto post:
And there you go. Another anti-Monsanto zombie is now wandering the streets, warning his friends about genetically modified bees. Because a “doctor” told him so.
And, Ms. Valikov, before you get your panties in a wad, let me head you off at the pass and warn you that the following WNDR story on Monsanto is a fake:
(23 Nov 2015) A kind reader pointed out that the original version of this story could be seen as an attack on the training and scientific literacy of veterinarians. Upon re-reading it, I agree. My intent was to comment solely on Ms. Valikov’s misrepresentation of herself as a human medical doctor and her well-known propensity to demand anyone debating her either post a medical degree or “shut up”. I’ve reworded the relevant section and offer an apology to any vets who may have been offended.
Ena Valikov and World News Daily Report screen snapshots are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.
(1) Ena Valikov on Facebook
(3) World News Daily Report Disclaimer
(3) Nine Worst Fake News Sites
(4) Guide to Fake News Sites