As a journalist who has covered the big business of corporate America for more than 30 years, very little shocks me about the propaganda efforts companies often wage. I know well the pressure companies can and do bring to bear when trying to effect positive coverage and limit reporting they deem negative about their business practices and products. All’s fair when it comes to the pursuit of profit, it sometimes seems.
But when I recently received close to 50 pages of internal Monsanto communications about the company’s efforts to target me and my reputation with its propaganda machine, I have to admit it was a bit shocking.
I knew the company did not like the fact that in my 21 years of reporting on the agrochemical industry – mostly for the international news outlet Reuters – I wrote stories that quoted skeptics as well as fans of Monsanto’s genetically engineered seeds. I knew the company didn’t like my reporting about growing unease in the scientific community regarding research that connected Monsanto herbicides to human and environmental health problems. And I knew the company did not welcome the 2017 release of my book, “Whitewash – The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science,” which revealed the company’s secret actions to suppress and manipulate the science surrounding its herbicide business.
But I never dreamed I would warrant my own Monsanto action plan.Read More
As a journalist who has covered corporate America for more than 30 years, very little shocks me about the propaganda tactics companies often deploy. I know the pressure companies can and do bring to bear when trying to effect positive coverage and limit reporting they deem negative about their business practices and products.
But when I recently received close to 50 pages of internal Monsantocommunications about the company’s plans to target me and my reputation, I was shocked.Read More
How much is your child’s health worth? The answer coming from the leadership of the US Environmental Protection Agency is: not that much.
The EPA administrator, Andrew Wheeler, this week confirmed what many Americans already know: when the Trump administration weighs the competing interests of corporate profits versus public health, the corporations win, hands down.Read More
A 12-year-old boy suffering from cancer is among the newest plaintiffs taking on Monsanto and its German owner Bayer AG in growing litigation over the safety of Roundup herbicides and Monsanto’s handling of scientific concerns about the products.
Lawyers for Jake Bellah were in court Monday in Lake County Superior Court in Lakeport, California arguing that Bellah’s young age and diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) qualified him for “trial preference,” or a speedy trial. In their motion, lawyers for the Baum Hedlund law firm of Los Angeles asked for a trial that would begin before the end of this year, within 120 days after a judge’s order if their motion is granted.Read More
A federal judge has slashed the punitive damages a jury ordered Monsanto to pay to cancer victim Edwin Hardeman from $75 million to $20 million, despite the judge’s description of Monsanto’s conduct surrounding questions about the safety of its Roundup herbicide as “reprehensible.”Read More
With legal and shareholder pressure mounting, Bayer AG on Thursday was preparing to launch an initiative to “regain public trust” after its acquisition last year of Monsanto Co. brought Bayer thousands of lawsuits filed by cancer victims and damning revelations of corporate deception surrounding years of health concerns about Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup herbicides.
The plan calls for seeking a new alternative for glyphosate, the chemical herbicide introduced by Monsanto in 1974. Monsanto pushed the chemical to such pervasive use that glyphosate is considered the most widely used herbicide in history and residues of the weed killer are commonly found now in food, water, and human urine. Despite Monsanto denials of adverse human health and environmental impacts, scientific studies have tied Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide products to a range of disease and illness and have documented weed resistance problems, pollinator declines, soil degradation and water contamination issues, among other concerns.Read More
After three stunning courtroom losses in California, the legal battle over the safety of Monsanto’s top-selling Roundup herbicide is headed for the company’s hometown, where corporate officials can be forced to appear on the witness stand, and legal precedence shows a history of anti-corporate judgments.
Sharlean Gordon, an cancer-stricken woman in her 50s, is the next plaintiff currently set for trial. Gordon v. Monsanto starts Aug. 19 in St. Louis County Circuit Court, located just a few miles from the St. Louis, Missouri-area campus that was the company’s longtime world headquarters until Bayer bought Monsanto last June. The case was filed in July 2017 on behalf of more than 75 plaintiffs and Gordon is the first of that group to go to trial.Read More
After less than two full days of deliberations, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay just over $2 billion in punitive and compensatory damages to a married couple who both developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma they say was caused by their many years of using Roundup products.
After listening to 17 days of trial testimony, jurors said Monsanto must pay $1 billion to Alberta Pilliod, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma brain cancer in 2015, and another $1 billion to her husband Alva Pilliod, who was diagnosed in 2011 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma that spread from his bones to his pelvis and spine. The couple, who are both in their 70s, started using Roundup in the 1970s and continued using the herbicide until only a few years ago. The jury also awarded the couple a total of $55 million in damages for past and future medical bills and other losses.Read More
Internal Monsanto records just filed in court show that a corporate intelligence group hired to “to take the temperature on current regulatory attitudes for glyphosate” reported that the White House could be counted on to defend the company’s Roundup herbicides.
In a report attached to a July 2018 email to Monsanto global strategy official Todd Rands, the strategic intelligence and advisory firm Hakluyt reported to Monsanto the following:
“A domestic policy adviser at the White House said, for instance: ‘We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation. We are prepared to go toe-to-toe on any disputes they may have with, for example, the EU. Monsanto need not fear any additional regulation from this administration.”Read More
Newly released internal Monsanto records show fresh evidence of the measures the company has taken to influence scientific literature as part of a strategic defense of the safety of its line of weed killers best known by the brand name Roundup.
Some evidence of what Monsanto’s own scientists called “ghostwriting” has already been revealed in documents presented as part of ongoing court proceedings against Monsanto, but several pages of email correspondence made public late Wednesday show both the company’s motivation and internal employee celebrations of the actions.Read More