|Kevin Folta of the University of Florida|
In response to the revelations about his $600/hour consulting for Bayer--at the same time as he posed as a neutral scientific arbiter on the safety of Bayer's products, from glyphosate to GMOs--Folta has told anyone who would listen that this cannot be a conflict of interest because it supposedly did not affect his scientific judgement. In other words, Folta has abused the confidence of his followers and other members of the public, and essentially gaslighted them about basic understanding in the scientific community of the need to avoid conflicts of interest and engage in full transparency. As I wrote in the previous commentary, this is a real disservice to the public understanding of science and an assault on scientific integrity itself, in the interests of his personal gain.
I and others have also reported allegations that Folta abused his wife during their marriage (they are now divorced.) In the previous report, I quoted at length from a letter written by the director of a women's community attesting to that abuse, including an incident in which Folta kicked his wife in a brutal and unprovoked fashion. (To protect her privacy and spare her further pain, I will just refer to to her as "R" in this post. However, some of the details of this incident and related matters were published by GMWatch last year.)
In response to my last post, Folta, on Twitter, asked me if journalists had stopped using the word "allegedly." I pointed out to him that I did not use that word if I believed that allegations are fully confirmed (and added that the word "allegedly" is most often something that lawyers require reporters and publications to use, even when it suggests there is doubt that does not actually exist.)
One reason I knew that the word "allegedly" was not necessary is that in addition to the letter referred to above, I was in possession of two other letters by witnesses to Folta's abuse of his ex-wife. I am now authorized to quote from those, and I will do so, but without identifying the individuals who wrote them.
The first letter describes an incident in 2009.
The writer was visiting Folta and R. at their home in Gainesville. Folta was planning to leave on a work-related trip. R. was suspicious about Folta's relationship with a female South American student, and so asked Folta who was traveling with him. While Folta was in another room, R. looked through the phone and text messages on his phone. According to the letter writer, she "discovered a text in which Kevin addressed the South American female student. Kevin advised that she and her girlfriend get a room next to his because they were going to 'party like rock stars.'"
"[R] then proceeded to the bedroom to confront Kevin. I went to the guest bedroom that is on the other side of the house. The next morning, [R] showed me a bruise on her arm and a bump on her head. She told me Kevin was trying to take the phone away from her and they wrestled to the floor where her head was bumped and her arm twisted behind her back until she released the phone."
The second letter describes an incident in 2012 that is particularly troubling.
This letter was written in March 2018. I am quoting it in full to make the meaning clear.