December 4, 2015
This week, the CBC released a sensational story insinuating a connection between the sudden leave of absence of Dr. Eilish Cleary (New Brunswick's Chief Medical Officer of Health), a study of glyphosate, and two companies in New Brunswick. CBC presented an unsubstantiated conspiracy theory as fact. The 500+ comments from listeners and viewers indicate that many believed the CBC story to be true. It is not.
The story falsely implied that J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) is or was involved in some sort of conspiracy against Dr. Cleary because JDI uses glyphosate. CBC perpetuated this conspiracy theory by only broadcasting the innuendo and allegation. CBC never once called JDI to verify the accusation or provide us with an opportunity to comment. CBC’s conduct is completely unprofessional and inappropriate.
JDI holds itself and its staff to a high standard of ethics and uses peer-reviewed science to guide its forest management activities. Had CBC called, we would have told them we fully support the Province's Chief Medical Officer’s desire to develop a deeper understanding of the use of glyphosate with peer-reviewed science.
As a public broadcaster, the CBC should deliver a higher standard of reporting and not promote baseless conspiracy theories. CBC should deal in known facts and balanced investigative journalism to inform the people of New Brunswick.
We ask that the CBC immediately remove the story from their website, publish a full retraction, and apologize for their appalling behavior.
Vice President, Communications
J.D. Irving, Limited