Canadian-American musician Neil Young has suggested podcast host Joe Rogan is anti-science, yet the singer has lately been accused of the same as critics dig up his history of advocating against genetically modified crops (GMOs).
Young is among the outraged artists who have pushed to pull their music from Spotify in protest of Rogan and his show, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” remaining on the platform. Critics have accused Rogan, who has a $100 million deal with Spotify, of COVID-19 misinformation.
Several health experts, nutritionists and analyts responded to the Young and Rogan saga in light of the singer’s history of speaking out against GMO foods. GMOs are derived from organisms whose genetic material has been modified in a lab using genetic engineering. Many experts have lauded their benefits, while environmentalists have often expressed concerns.
Bloomberg Opinion columnist and economist Tyler Cowen, who is among those who have defended GMO foods as being perfectly safe, concluded the singer’s scientific record is “far from pristine.”
“Yet Young’s own record in this area is far from pristine,” Cowen wrote Tuesday. “For years, he has spread scientific misinformation about GMO foods.”
The Daily Beast’s Louis Anslow recently highlighted Young’s history on GMOs in a piece titled, “Neil Young’s Record of Spreading Scientific Misinformation.” Like Cowen, Anslow argues Young has contributed to the “anti-vaxx narrative.”
Cowen goes so far as to suggest Young’s skeptical views on GMOs may have even led to today’s distrust in the COVID vaccines.
Young was so opposed to GMOs that he asserted on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” that they can cause “terrible diseases.”
“He was wrong about that,” Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel told Fox News Digital.
“Neil Young is a social political songwriter, and he’s often wrong,” Siegel later said.
But in the case of COVID-19 vaccines, Siegel said Young “is right.” He noted how Young and fellow artist Joni Mitchell, who has also publicly scorned Rogan, are likely adamant about the vaccines because they both have struggled with polio.
“They have a right to dissent based on their history of having had polio and their obvious belief in the polio vaccine,” Siegel surmised, saying it was “too much of a coincidence” that the songwriters have pushed for the COVID vaccine.
Registered dietitian Samantha Keller said she had “several issues” with the Young-Rogan debate, focusing on the popular podcast host.
“The most important, and the only one I am addressing is, that Joe Rogan is spreading lies about COVID and vaccinations and is putting people’s lives at risk, if not actually killing them,” Keller said. “This has absolutely nothing to do with GMO foods or Neil Young’s understanding of GMOs.”
Other health experts like Erin Kenney, MS, RD, LDN, HCP, CPT, registered dietitian and CEO of Nutrition Rewired, zoomed out of the debate between Rogan and Young to tout the benefits of GMOs.
“If we are strictly speaking about science, there is very little evidence to date that GMOs negatively impact human health and generations thereafter,” Kenney told Fox News Digital. “GMOs offer many benefits such as increasing the food supply and the use of fewer pesticides, which we do have research on in terms of negative health implications. As a dietitian, I do have concerns about GMOs as well as conflict of interest when research is presented and believe that foods should be labeled giving consumers a choice.”
Young’s anti-science hit on Rogan has also prompted his critics to surface how he attacked the gay community in the middle of the AIDS epidemic by suggesting anyone can catch the disease at the grocery store and using a homophobic slur.
“You go to a supermarket and you see a f—-t behind the f—in’ cash register, you don’t want him to handle your potatoes,” Young said in a 1985 interview with Melody Maker.
CNN accused Rogan of using “horse dewormer” to treat his COVID last year after the podcast giant told listeners his doctor had prescribed him ivermectin. Rogan invited CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta on his podcast to confront him about his network’s accusations.
“It’s a lie,” Rogan said to Gupta. “It’s a lie on a news network … and it’s a lie that they’re conscious of. It’s not a mistake. They’re unfavorably framing it as veterinary medicine.”
Rogan asked on an earlier podcast if he should “sue CNN.”