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In the Vegetarian & Vegan News...
   VegSource Interactive, Inc. | UK Vegan Society Statement

Statement from the UK Vegan Society Regarding Robert Cohen and Stephen Walsh

Comment from Jeff Nelson of VegSource:

February 6, 2002, 10:45 a.m. pst -- The upshot of the UK Vegan Society statement printed below is what we on VegSource already knew: that Robert Cohen plays fast and loose with the truth.

Also, Rob Cohen's notmilk.com site has not been "hacked" by me or anyone else, as Cohen told thousands of people on his yahoo email list. (Cohen knew this, but doesn't want to let a detail like truth get in his way.) You can read below to find out the true facts.

As of today, when Cohen put out on his email list that he had been "hacked" -- when he knew this was not true, we have terminated his free hosting for his abusive and harassing behavior. Read on.


Some background on UK Vegan Society Statement:

Yesterday, I received an email from Dr. Stephen Walsh that Rob Cohen had published a defamatory and libelous article about Walsh on Cohen's NotMilk.com website.

I read the article in which Cohen charged that Walsh is an "infiltrator" and "spy" or "saboteur." Cohen said Walsh was "raving" and behaved like a "lunatic" at an event in London. Cohen said he had information that Walsh is a "destroyer" with an agenda to actively harm veganism. Cohen also claimed that Walsh had "stalked" him during a speaking trip to the UK last year, had been abusive to Cohen and had called Cohen a "liar."


 



Cohen provided this "information" in his article about Walsh as the justification for Cohen's refusal to answer or comment on criticisms which Walsh has made about the scientific accuracy of some of Cohen's work. (VegSource also recently ran an "Open Letter to Rob Cohen" from Walsh where he discussed this.)

An excerpt from Cohen's article making these claims against Walsh is quoted at the bottom of this page.

Cohen had previously made these charges about Walsh in a private email to me, but provided no evidence to back them up, and I did not believe them. I had also read Walsh's account of what had happened during Cohen's talks in London. Walsh's account has since been corroborated by leading vegans in UK vegan groups whom I have known and respected for years, and who wrote to me during the past 24 hours to express shock at Cohen's lies.

Because our terms of service on VegSource do not permit people we host to publish slander or violate copyrights, I removed the article from Cohen's NotMilk website last night, and wrote to Cohen that I had done so and why. VegSource is not unlike any other ISP which reserves the right to take action when standard terms of service are violated.

Cohen had previously refused to remove copyrighted materials from websites he owns after the copyright owner had asked him to do so. Because Cohen had at that time incorrectly claimed he had a right to publish other people's articles on his websites if he wanted, and because Cohen has become unstable and increasingly dishonest, I changed the password for the NotMilk.com site so that Cohen cannot update it further. I informed Cohen last night that I had removed the article and changed the password to access his site.

I did this not only because I can no longer trust Cohen to act responsibly, but because Cohen had told me 16 days ago on January 22 that he would be moving his six websites from my server to another ISP. However, according to Internic records, as of today - more than two weeks later - no change has gone through and his sites are still on my server. It is my hope that he will be motivated to move a little faster in actually taking his sites elsewhere by doing this. I have reprinted below a copy of my email to Cohen last night.

In keeping with Cohen's style of lying and inventing facts, Cohen today put out a release on his email list that he had been "hacked" and the "hacker" had changed his passwords, portraying himself as the victim of some unknown "hacker."

Of course Cohen's site was not hacked anymore than his commercials sites were hacked by the ISP that removed his copyright violations. As they say in the army, that is SOP (standard operating procedures). As Rob knows he was locked out of his site for cause, just as another ISP removed articles from Cohen's sites for copyright violation. That was not a "hacking" either but was that ISP behaving responsibly by enforcing their clearly stated terms of service.

As a result of Cohen's continuing harassment and lies from his yahoogroups mail list, today I terminated his hosting service and put a message to this effect on the front of his website. No files on his site have been destroyed. As soon as he finds new hosting, we will zip his site and send it to him. The other sites we host for free for Cohen have also been terminated.

Perhaps Cohen does not want to relate the true facts of my interactions with him because he knows a lot of his very ugly, despicable behavior toward me and many others will be exposed. This may all come out in any event. We deal with facts, not innuendo.

Today the Vegan Society of the United Kingdom released the following statement in reference to the outlandish lies Cohen has been publishing about Walsh on his website:

STATEMENT FROM THE UK VEGAN SOCIETY

Robert Cohen, author of the publication 'Milk - the deadly poison", seems to have slipped from exaggeration, to poetic licence, to libel.

Since Mr Cohen's visit to London last year, he has consistently refused to address valid criticisms of his claims from Dr Stephen Walsh. Mr Cohen's claims unfortunately are often based on a selective and biased reading of research papers. Inaccurate and untrue claims are of no help to either serious debate or the advancement of veganism.

Dr Walsh's measured critiques at the meetings here and through correspondence have been met with incomprehension and abuse from Mr Cohen, culminating in the bizarre and libellous statements that Dr Walsh is an 'infiltrator' and 'stalked' Mr Cohen and his family.

These statements are untrue. Members of the governing Council of the Vegan Society were present at Mr Cohen's talks and can fully endorse Dr Walsh's account as entirely accurate.

Until Mr Cohen and his campaign 'Not Milk' cease to make unsubstantiated and fanciful claims, cooperation with respected bodies such as the Vegan Society will sadly not be possible.

RICK SAVAGE
Chief Executive
rick.savage@vegansociety.com

The Vegan Society
Donald Watson house
7 Battle Road St.
Leonards on Sea East
Sussex TN37 7AA UK
Tel: 0845 45 88244
Fax: 01424 717064
www.vegansociety.com


Here is an excerpt from Rob Cohen's libelous article about Stephen Walsh:

Every great movement in history has been inflitrated by people wishing to see a particular agenda fail. Those infiltrators are often spies or saboteurs.

I have been told that Steve Walsh is an infiltrator. I have been told that Mr. Walsh works for one of Europe's largest chemical companies. During that recent family trip to England, Walsh traveled the country attempting to sabotage my talks. He was booed off the stage in London by the people who know him best (Regents College), and I admonished the crowd, defending his right to speak. There were three hundred witnesses to his tirade on that evening, and that would be easy enough to confirm by contacting any member of EarthSave London. He went berserk, yelling, "Robert Cohen is a liar," to an extremely technical point in my first book, "Milk-The Deadly Poison" about which he clearly was in error. (Spleen increases of between 39 and 46 percent by injection to laboratory animals, and 8% by oral ingestion of Monsanto's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone).

The next night, 150 miles away, he did the same thing when I lectured before an animal rights group. Both times, this raving man insulted me in the vilest manner in front of my three daughters and wife. He played to the audience with the same exact "routine," after I had set him straight the night before.

His agenda remains clear. He seeks neither truth nor fair debate. He is a destroyer, who has conned his way into Jeff Nelson's graces, and I will never again comment on any of Mr. Walsh's points.


Here is a copy of the email I sent to Cohen and his webmaster last night about the removal of his article on Walsh:

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: removal of article
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2002 17:05:35 -0800
From: Jeff Nelson
Organization: VegSource Interactive, Inc.
To: Robert Cohen
CC: "Dave Rietz (DORway.com)"

Hi, Rob:

I received an email from Stephen Walsh that you have an article on your site in which you call him an "infiltrator." Stephen complained to me that this is false and libelous, and requested that action be taken to remove it. I looked at the article and have, in fact, removed it. I have also changed the password for ftp-ing to notmilk.

You said before to me that you believed Walsh to be an infiltrator, but presented absolutely no evidence to back this up. Regardless of whether Walsh is or is not an infiltrator (and I have no reason to believe he is), in the absence of any evidence I agree that your article is defammatory to him.

When you have a new ISP, it will be their problem and not mine whether you are defaming someone, and you can publish whatever you want.

In the meantime, it has been two weeks since you said you would remove your sites from my server, and checking the internic records it shows no change has been made to move off VegSource. I will not shut down your site at this time because I don't want you to be off the Internet, and I understand from Dave that you have had problems changing the Internic record. But I know from experience that those problems can be handled expeditiously using services like Federal Express, and that Network Solutions has expedited services available for a fee.

Please save any breath in carping or complaining. I've been more than fair in giving you free hosting for years, and I certainly don't deserve to have you telling others I "kicked you off my server" when we all know that's not true -- you chose to leave rather than respecting someone else's rights.

Jeff


Here is a copy of what Stephen Walsh said took place in the UK, which is endorsed by the witnesses who were present at the talk:

I'll send you my detailed response to Robert re the UK visits again when I get home on Sunday evening.

Briefly, the errors in [Cohen's] claims are:

I interrupted Robert Cohen only once to say he was lying: when he said the FDA had dismissed a 46% increase in spleen weight in rats as biologically insignificant when testing rBGH. My basis for saying he was lying was the material in his own book which I had analysed as part of a planned discussion with him (I had sent him two e-mails prior to the meeting explaining why I regarded a number of his claims as ill-founded and unwise). At no point did I "scream" at him. He did not deny he had lied, indeed he said at one point "What does it matter if I lie?".

This presentation and the second presentation I attended were both in London, one on Sunday and one on Wednesday. At his second presentation he did not repeat the statement I had objected to and I simply asked some questions after his talk. He said he would respond to properly when he returned to the US but never did.

His claim that I followed him around the country is false. I live on the outskirts of London and attended his two meetings in London with friends from the Vegan Society and no other meeting.

His claims that I screamed at him and raved and went berserk are false.

I never said "Cohen is a liar", though I did say at the first meeting that he had lied to the audience on two points - which he did not rebut.

I was not booed off the stage at Regent's Park. Several individuals did heckle me vigorously, though one apologised afterwards.

I did not go berserk. Several people congratulated me for speaking calmly and without aggression. I apologised for my initial interruption when I spoke during the break in his talk along with other contributors from the audience.

I was not in error on the point I made: that the FDA always accepted the 46% increase in spleen weight in injected rats as significant - a point Cohen knows well to be true as it is in his book, but about which he mislead his audience on this occasion to make his case look stronger than it was. Cohen never denied that my point was correct but instead accused the FDA of lying on another point, which I did not dispute. I used the stronger term lying rather than being incorrect as Robert was contradicting his own book and therefore clearly knew he was not telling the truth. I regret interrupting, but was stunned by Robert misleading his audience in such a blatant manner.

I did not suggest he was lying at the second meeting (three days later not one day, in London again not 150 miles away) as he did not repeat the claims I had objected to. I simply spoke to Robert before the meeting re some epidemiological evidence and asked a few questions when speaking once at the end of his talk. He said he would follow up my questions by e-mail but did not.

Several members of the Vegan Society Council, including its then vice-chair attended both meetings I attended and can verify what I said. I can send you copies of the e-mails I exchanged with Robert before the meeting.

 

 

 

 
 
 

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