Jon Entine

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Jon Entine
Entine photo.jpg
Born (1952-04-30) April 30, 1952 (age 63)
Nationality  United States
Occupation author, TV News producer, business & sustainability consultant

Jon Entine is an American author and science journalist. Entine is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy at the University of California, Davis[1] and founder and executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, a biotechnology and genetics outreach organization.

After working as a network news writer and producer for NBC News and ABC News, Entine moved into scholarly research and print journalism. Entine has written seven books and is a contributing columnist to multiple newspapers and magazines; he is also a commentator on radio and television news programs.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


Entine was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 30, 1952. He graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut in 1974 with a B.A. in philosophy.

Entine co-directed the 1972 presidential primary campaign for Senator George McGovern in Sullivan County, New Hampshire. After graduation, he became the assistant director for the re-election campaign of Robert Drinan, a Democratic Congressman from suburban Boston.

Entine has won 19 journalism awards, including Emmy Awards for television specials on the reform movements in China and the Soviet Union and a National Press Club award in consumer journalism. He is also a public speaker on genetics and identity for the Jewish National Fund and the Jewish Federations of North America.[8]

He currently lives in Cincinnati.


In high school, Entine worked as a weekend copyboy for the CBS owned-and-operated TV station then known as WCAU. During his freshman year of college, he edited and produced the 11pm news for the local NBC affiliate in West Hartford/New Britain. In 1975, Entine was hired to write for the ABC News program AM America, which was renamed Good Morning America the following year. Entine worked for ABC News as a writer, assignment desk editor, and producer in New York City and Chicago from 1975-1983 for programs including the ABC Evening News, 20/20 and Nightline. He took a leave of absence from ABC News in 1981-1982 to study at the University of Michigan under a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship in journalism.

Entine joined NBC News in New York in 1984 as a special segment producer for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, where he worked until 1990. In 1989, Entine and Brokaw collaborated to write and produce Black Athletes: Fact and Fiction, which was named Best International Sports Film of 1989.[9] From 1989–1990, Entine served as executive in charge of documentaries at NBC News. He rejoined ABC News in 1991 as an investigative producer for Primetime (TV series). In 1993 Entine produced a story with reporter Sam Donaldson on eye surgery clinics that led to a lawsuit against ABC News, Entine, and Donaldson.[10][11] In 1994, Entine produced a prime time special on the Miss America Pageant, "Miss America: Beyond the Crown" for NBC Entertainment.

The Body Shop controversy[edit]

In September 1994, Entine wrote an investigative article titled "Shattered Image: Is The Body Shop Too Good to Be True?"[12] The article caused an international controversy and led to articles in The New York Times and a report on ABC World News Tonight. The Body Shop, the British-based international cosmetics company, which until that point had been considered a model "socially responsible" company, tried to block the story from being published.[13] Following the controversy, The Body Shop's stock suffered a temporary 50% drop in market value.

Entine's writings on the "socially responsible" business movement focused on what he called "reality rather than rhetoric" of ethical business. He is often credited for coining the term "green washing",[14][15] which refers to the deceptive marketing exploits of self-professed "green" companies.


Entine is the founding director of the Genetic Literacy Project (GLP), which operates as part of the non-profit organization the Statistical Assessment Service at George Mason University. GLP focuses on the intersection of media, policy and genetics, both human and agricultural.

Entine has written three books on genetics and two on chemicals. Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics is Undermining the Genetic Revolution examines the controversy over genetic modification in agriculture.[16]

In 2007, Entine published Abraham's Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People which examined the shared ancestry of Jews, Christians and Muslims, and addressed the question "Who is a Jew?" as seen through the prism of DNA.[17]

Entine's first book, Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It was inspired by the documentary on black athletes written with Brokaw in 1989.[18] It was favorably reviewed by The New York Times[19] but criticized by others who claimed that the subject could encourage a racialist view of human relations.[20]

Organizational affiliations[edit]

Entine joined the World Food Center's Institute for Agricultural and Food Literacy (IFL) in September 2014 as a senior fellow. He was previously senior research fellow at the Center for Health & Risk Communication at George Mason University where he has served since 2011[21] and GMU's STATS (Statistical Assessment Service).[22] Entine is also senior fellow and executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, which focuses on the nexus of genetics, media, and public policy.

Entine joined the conservative American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research as an adjunct scholar in 2002, and is now a visiting scholar. His research focuses on science and society and corporate sustainability. AEI Press has published three books written and edited by Entine: Crop Chemophobia: Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution?, which analyzes the impact of chemicals in agriculture; Pension Fund Politics: The Dangers of Socially Responsible Investing, which focuses on on the growing influence of social investing in pension funds; and Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics Is Undermining the Genetic Revolution in Agriculture, which examined the debate over genetic modification (GMOs), food, and farming. He has also contributed to numerous academic books on a variety of subjects, including sports, genetics, leadership, and sustainability.

Entine has faced criticism for his alleged links to various corporate interests, though he denies these accusations.[23]


  • Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It, 2000, ISBN 1-58648-026-X
  • Pension Fund Politics: The Dangers of Socially Responsible Investing, 2005, ISBN 0-8447-4218-X
  • Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health, 2011, ISBN 978-0-578-07561-7
  • Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics is Undermining the Genetic Revolution, 2006, ISBN 0-8447-4200-7
  • Abraham's Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People, 2008, ISBN 0-446-58063-5
  • No Crime But Prejudice: Fischer Homes, the Immigration Fiasco, and Extrajudicial Prosecution, 2009, ISBN 978-0-692-00282-7
  • Crop Chemophobia: Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution? 2011, ISBN 978-0-8447-4361-5


  1. ^ Jon Entine testimony to the National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences, September 16, 2014.
  2. ^ "Contributor Jon Entine". Forbes. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Jon Entine - articles". Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Jon Entine columnist, Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2014.
  5. ^ Authors: Jon Entine, Slate Magazine, November 2014,
  6. ^ Author profile: Jon Entine, Science 2.0, November 2014.
  7. ^ Jon Entine, Huffington Post, November 2014.
  8. ^ "Jon Entine". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Brand NFL: Making and Selling America's Favorite Sport, by Michael Oriard, Univ of North Carolina Press, 2007, pg. 224.
  10. ^ Russomanno, Joseph (2002). "J.H. Desnick, M.D. Eye Services, Ltd., et al. vs American Broadcasting Companies, Inc., Jon Entine, and Sam Donaldson". Speaking our minds: Conversations with the people behind landmark First Amendment cases. Psychology Press. pp. 134–69. 
  11. ^ "Libel suit against ABC’s ‘PrimeTime Live’ dismissed". The News Media & The Law. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Winter 2001. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "The Body Shop File: Beyond "Shattered Image"". Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Dixon, Cyril (28 August 1994). "Besieged Body Shop comes out fighting". The Independent (London). Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  14. ^ SustainAble: A Handbook of Materials and Applications for Graphic Designers and Their Clients, by Aaris Sherin, Rockport Publishers, 2008, pg. 25.
  15. ^ The Virtues of Leadership: Contemporary Challenges for Global Managers, By Arménio Rego, Miguel Pina e Cunha, Stewart R. Clegg, Oxford University Press, 2012 pg.59.
  16. ^ "Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics Is Undermining the Genetic Revolution in Agriculture". Goodreads. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  17. ^ Ostrer, H (2008). "A genetic view of Jewish history. Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People By Jon Entine. Grand Central Publishing, 2007. 432 pp., hardcover, $27.99 ISBN 978-0-446-58063-2". Nature Genetics 40 (2): 127. doi:10.1038/ng0208-127. 
  18. ^ Nobody Does It Better: A journalist looks at the sensitive issue of how black athletes came to rule American sports, by Jim Holt], New York Times, April 16, 2000.
  19. ^ Bernstein, Richard (14 January 2000). "Books of the Times: The race to the swift. Or is it the swift to the race?". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Breaking the taboo on race and sports". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  21. ^ "Founding CHRC Faculty Scholars". The Center for Health and Risk Communication. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "STATS - Staff". George Mason University. Retrieved 30 November 2013. [dead link]
  23. ^ Philpott, Tom. "The Making of an Agribusiness Apologist". MotherJones. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 

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