Don Huber: Science still looking for Purdue professor’s GMO pathogen time bomb

July 17, 2018 |

Don Huber
Mesa, Arizona, USA
Activist retired academic

Don M. Huber (born 1935) is a former Purdue University professor who goes on publicity tours sponsored by organic[1], alternative health[2] and anti-GMO interest groups[3] claiming glyphosate and herbicide tolerant GM crops are causing health problems in people and animals. He also claims he discovered years ago a novel pathogenic microbe caused by agricultural genetic engineering–a GMO time bomb that is wreaking havoc on humans and animals.

Huber maintains glyphosate and GMO herbicide tolerant crops are linked to human and animal health risks. He says animals fed GM crops are dying in record numbers and that their is a correlation between GM soy and GM corn with inflammatory bowel disease in humans in the United States. He alleges glyphosate is linked to alzheimer’s disease, gout, diabetes, Parkinson’s, allergies and fertility issues. To support his claims, he cites research by a Maharishi movement expert in yogic flying Jeffrey M. Smith and debunked activist researcher Gilles-Eric Séralini.[5]

Huber has collaborated with anti-GMO activist researchers Judy Carman and Jack Heinemann in support of anti-GMO claims sponsored by extreme organic and biodynamic food and farming products company president Howard Vlieger.


  • Purdue University Department of Botany & Plant Pathology (1971-2002)
  • University of Idaho Cereal Pathologist (1965-1971)
  • U.S. Army Reserves Research (1957-1998) [4]


  • PhD Plant Pathology Michigan State (1963)
  • M.S. Plant Pathology University of Idaho (1959)
  • B.S. Vocational Education, University of Idaho (1957)
  • Meridian High School (1953)


  • Use Facts to Make Glyphosate and Glyphosate Resistant Crop Decisions, by Bob Hartzler and Mike Owen, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State, February 2011. “Information presented recently (by Don Huber) on the Web and in seminars across the Midwest has portrayed devastating consequences due to the widespread use of glyphosate and glyphosate resistant crops. It is important to recognize that there is little data published in refereed journals to support these claims. Data that are available have been taken greatly out of context to support the accusations… Recently, Purdue University faculty members have responded to these claims and using peer-reviewed science, have refuted the statements made by Dr. Huber.”
  • Infecting through misinformation…a new kind of communication pathogen?, by Cami Ryan, PhD, Doc Cami Ryan blog, August 21, 2011. “Huber has absolutely NO peer-reviewed science backing his allegations of the connection between the so-called pathogen and synthetic herbicide… When asked about who pays/backs him, he responded by reviewing his history of research (academic life at Purdue). When asked about the scientific processes that purportedly support his allegations, Huber reverts back to why he sent Vilsack the letter in the first place. He never responds to Olson’s questions directly. In fact, he subverts them. Also, there are no references to peer-reviewed research/science to support Huber’s claims. This link that Huber alleges exists between this ‘pathogen’ and synthetic herbicides is extremely weak and based primarily on conjecture…
  • Some Thoughts About “Cred” and Don Huber, by Steve Savage, Applied Mythology, August 21, 2011. “Don ‘Hubers allegations about a mysterious new super-bug are being widely repeated even though they lack scientific or even practical confirmation’. There are credulous audiences in many “green” or “food movement” circles that are more than “ready to believe” Huber. The more extraordinary the claims, the more credibility they seem to carry for those groups. At the risk of offending my readers, this phenomenon is not limited to those with Monsantophobia. There are audiences that are credulous when it comes to the statements of a minority of scientists who doubt Climate Change or Evolution. There are audiences that are credulous when it comes to “revelations” about Obamas birthplace or religion. There are audiences that are credulous when it comes to “death panels,” “great Right Wing Conspiracies,” “Dirty Dozen Lists” or links between vaccines and autism… In time, it is likely that Dr. Huber’s claims will be fully debunked. Unfortunately, the credulous audiences who believe him now will probably never accept the findings of more traditionally credible sources…”
  • A Generous Offer to Dr. Huber – Turned Down, by Professor Kevin Folta, Illumination, November 13, 2013. “Huber has a pathogen he says causes massive human disease and plant death. He will not release it to the wider scientific community for further tests, even after eight years of no publications or any signs of progress. But he’ll jet set around the nation scaring people into believing his story. This should speak volumes. It did tonight, and in a room not usually warm to biotechnology. What I saw him do tonight was scare people for two hours with frightening slides, no controls, speculation, outright bogus claims, flawed logic and straight-up fear. Concerned heads around me nodded in acceptance, taking his authority as a credible source of information. I was so mad watching him misrepresent science and flat out spread misinformation to an interested audience. It stops here. I want to shine light on his false claims and starting with his pathogen is step one. I’m really angry about the distortion of science and the use of science to build fear.”
  • Don Huber, controversial activist scientist promoting mysterious GMO superbug scare, has no data, by Genes and Science, November 14, 2013. “One problem: there is not a shred of empirical evidence to back up his scare claims, no peer reviewed paper, and he has refused to make this ‘explosive’ data available to any other scientist in the world to confirm–or debunk. The mainstream consensus is that Huber has no data to back up his questionable claims–scientists at his former university have challenged him, writing that there is no evidence to support his allegations, but that’s not stopped activists from featuring Huber at events and promoting his patented scare talk on websites when there is no respectable scientists to engage him. In response to these wild claims, University of Florida scientist Kevin Folta has launched a petition at to demand that Huber either release his study material to the scientific community or stop misinformation.”
  • Deconstructing Don Huber – A Tale of Two Talks, by Organic farming advocate Rob Wallbridge, The Fanning Mill, January 10, 2014. “Huber intersperses, correlates, and extrapolates this valid data with information that has very little, if any, scientific value. He begins by noting that correlation does not equal causation, but then he’s off to the races with a blinding series of correlations, peppered with references to the results of a few real studies, to the point where most listeners lose track of the initial caveat… Huber also isn’t above using discredited science and non-science to bolster his claims and incite fear. The Seralini rat experiments and Carman/Vlieger pig study figure prominently in his presentation… Needless to say, there’s a great deal of skepticism in the scientific community. The claims he makes for this “entity” are simply not supported by our current understanding of the way the world works… To make matters worse, Huber has refused to share his data, the organism, or his methods for culturing the organism with the broader scientific community. He has published nothing about it that could be subject to peer review, and he’s not allowing other scientists access to the information they need to prove or disprove his hypothesis… Don’t be mistaken – whatever has lead him here, his current path is deceptive, misleading, and irresponsible. Unless and until he can stick to the science and offer solid evidence for his extreme claims, he must be called to account for the way he is scaring people, and his tour of terror must end.”
  • Are the Findings of Dr. Don Huber Alarming or Alarmist? – The Farmer’s Life, November 13, 2013. “The claims of Dr. Huber are quite exceptional, but he alledgedly discover this organism 8 years ago, but he seems to refuse to let anyone else in the scientific community help him tackle the issue… Huber is claiming something pretty spectacular, yet no one credible seems to back him up.”

Bibliography & Resources

Sample Publications

  • Huber, D. M. (2003). Bioterrorism against Agriculture. Idaho Home Security Intelligence Workshop, 12.
  • Huber, D. M. (2003). Agricultural Bioterrorism – Threat & Defense. National Workshop.
  • Evans, E. D. S. R., & Huber, D. M. (2003). Copper and Plant Disease. In Nutrient Management and Plant Disease (p. 12). St. Paul, MN: APS Press.
  • Huber, D. M. (in press). Magnesium and Plant Disease. In Nutrient Management and Plant Disease (p. 10). St. Paul, MN: APS Press.
  • Prabhu, N. K. F. S., & Huber, D. M. (in press). Potassium Nutrition and Plant Disease. In Nutrient Management and Plant Disease (p. 12). St. Paul, MN: APS Press.
  • Huber, D. M. (in press). Manganese and Plant Disease. In Nutrient Management of Plant Disease (p. 15). St. Paul, MN: APS Press.
  • Huber, D. M. (in press). Nitrogen and Plant Disease. In Nutrient Management of Plant Disease (p. 25). St. Paul, MN: APS Press.
  • Huber, D. M. (2003). Mangnaese-Glyphosate Interactions in Transgenic crops. Soybean Field Day.
  • Huber, D. M. (2003). Cultural Control of Take-all. Workshop on Take-all, 6.
  • Dodds, M. V. H. M., & Huber, D. M. (2002). Micronutrient uptake by isogenic glyphosate tolerant and normal corn.


Huber grew up on crop and dairy farms in Arizona and Idaho. Contact: [email protected]


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