The Atlantic’s February 11, 2015, profile of blogger Vani Hari—also known as “The Food Babe”—highlights the growing rift between the scientific community and consumer activists who position themselves as dietary crusaders, despite having “no training in human metabolism, toxicology, or environmental science.”

Titled The Food Babe: Enemy of Chemicals, the article by Atlantic Senior Editor James Hamblin examines a new crop of writers and activists who have harnessed the Internet to campaign against genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other food ingredients deemed “unnatural.” With a new book and TV show in the works, Hari has evidently mobilized what she calls “The Food Babe Army” to besiege companies that use allegedly suspect substances, in the process drawing the ire of “many scientists who believe her claims are inaccurate or even dangerous.”

In particular, Hamblin speaks to scientists who have found themselves in Hari’s crosshairs for questioning her tactics or evidence. The profile notes that even as Hari has monetized her blog and the “Food Babe” brand, she dismisses most scientists as having financial ties with industry—whether or not that is truly the case. In the meantime, Hamblin suggests, the guarded and “deferential” language used in scientific writing holds little sway in “the emotion-laden mainstream Internet.” As he writes, “Hari is a paragon of opportunism in that way, turning criticism in her favor, incorporating it as part of her outsider identity. Her critics are part of an establishment trying to suppress the truths she holds, the truths they don’t want you to hear… The establishment is the problem, and she is its antithesis. She is at once the victim and the hero.”

“There’s a disconnect between the language of science and the language of common communication,” explains one academic researcher. “You can never demonstrate that something is ‘safe.’ Whether it’s water or sugar; there’s no way… All we can say is, of all the things we’ve looked at, there’s no evidence of harm… Even though her heart’s in the right place, and I understand what she’s going for, you don’t use coercion and intimidation to achieve a scientific end.”