Monsanto spends Millions to promote Pesticides, GMO Lies

(March 22, 2019)  Monsanto spends millions of dollars to promote pesticides like Roundup, spread GMO propaganda, and attack organic food choices with paid shills posed as disinterested scientists or honorable academics.  The good news is that more and more of the truth is emerging daily.  Much of that truth has come to light from legal “discovery” which has given us The Monsanto Papers.

11,000 Lawsuits

The truth about Monsanto is being unearthed by lawsuits filed by more than 11,000 people now suing the biotech giant for giving them non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  The lawsuits all allege that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide (classified by EPA as a pesticide) caused them to develop lymphomas that include chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

The Monsanto Propaganda Money Trail

Discovery in recent Roundup lawsuits has unveiled the propaganda money trail.  It shows just how Monsanto fools some of the people some of the time.  The money trail shows how Monsanto assembles front groups seeded with morally bankrupt scientists.  The money trail shows us how Monsanto runs astroturf organizations with payrolled employees disguised as normal citizens with some talent for the truth.  The Monsanto money trail shows us how the company hires professional bloggers to poison the blogosphere, just like Monsanto poisons the earth – a definite theme emerges here.  Monsanto’s bloggers flat-out lie about organic foods and Monsanto’s own products.  They also use click bait to draw unsuspecting people into “discussions” about pesticide-laced, genetically modified foods being superior to organic food, or foods not genetically perverted and loaded with pesticides.

How else could a company that sells the poisoning of the natural world itself as a virtuous act defend itself without hiding behind ostensibly third-party “scientists” and bloggers?  Monsanto has a long history of lying to the public and being the darling of government “regulators” like the Monsanto-captured EPA and the Monsanto-captured FDA.  In a blatantly illegal act, the latter broke the law in allowing genetically modified foods to be unleashed on us all in the first place.

Center for Food Integrity / Monsanto Partnership

Witness just one blinding glimpse of Monsanto’s duplicity in setting up dummy groups to hoodwink people and then hide behind those groups as honest arbiters of “science.”  Ever heard of the so-called, “Center for Food Integrity”?  Monsanto has. It owns the organization, which poses as an arbiter of good science.

Stacy Malkan reported for US Right To Know in May 2018:

“The Center for Food Integrity (CFI), formerly the Grow America Project, is an industry-funded 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that conducts research, lobbying and public relations campaigns to “earn consumer trust” for food and agrichemical companies, including DowDuPont, Monsanto, Cargill, Costco, Grocery Manufacturers Association, Hershey, Kroger and trade associations for meat, dairy and soybeans.”

In the five-year period from 2012-2016, CFI spent $23,225,098 on various marketing and messaging programs to promote industry messaging to build trust in genetically engineered foods, pesticides, food additives and antibiotics in meat”

The Center for Food Integrity has zero interest in integrity.  For $23 Million, you can get almost any morally-bankrupt person (or maybe just a morally-compromised person who needs to pay his rent) to say just about anything.  (Right, Mr. Miller?)

Monsanto “Industry partner” attacks IARC Cancer Panel

Ms. Malkan wrote:

“This internal Monsanto document identifies the Center for Food Integrity as an “industry partner” in Monsanto’s public relations plan to discredit the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), to protect the reputation of Roundup weedkiller. In March 2015, IARC judged glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, to be probably carcinogenic to humans.

Monsanto recognized that the WHO’s pronouncement of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen could be the beginning of the end for Roundup, and maybe even for the company itself.  And so Monsanto set its attack dogs to work at “The Center for Food Integrity,” and in many other dark fouled corners of the earth where the light doesn’t shine, but where money doesn’t just talk; it screams.

Monsanto money is still screaming in a  California court where a jury of six this week unanimously ruled that Monsanto’s Roundup was a substantial factor in a man’s developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Monsanto’s attempts to geofence the sequestered jury over the “safety” of Roundup didn’t work, thankfully, and the trial has now entered its second phase.

The jury is now being allowed to hear about some of Monsanto’s behind-the-scenes efforts to manipulate public opinion and federal regulators, though the judge in the case — who formerly worked in a law firm which represented Monsanto – continues to keep a tight rein on just how much of Monsanto’s manipulations he is going to allow the plaintiff’s side to share with the jurors.

Meanwhile, all the rest of us can do is pray that the truth will out, that common sense will reign, that more and more people will come to understand the painfully obvious, that nothing good can come of us poisoning our own food and land and water.

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Down goes Monsanto!

 (March 20, 2019 Like the underdog Muhammad Ali shocking the giant George Foreman in 1974, plaintiff Edwin Hardeman knocked biotech monster Monsanto to the canvas yesterday.  In a unanimous decision in a California court room, a jury of six declared that Monsanto’s Roundup caused Mr. Hardeman’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The trial will now move to a phase two, a “damages” phase, which will somewhat untie Mr. Hardeman’s attorneys’ hands.  In this first phase which the plaintiff won yesterday with the unanimous decision, the plaintiff’s attorneys were allowed only to present evidence proving Roundup can cause cancer, and that it likely caused Mr. Hardeman’s cancer.

Attorneys not allowed to share evidence

Mr. Hardeman’s attorneys were not allowed to show any of Monsanto’s ongoing efforts to –

Monsanto has taken all these actions which the jury was not allowed to hear about in phase one.  (Hence the Foreman analogy; the behemoth Foreman appeared unbeatable, especially as he had youth and raw power on his side, just as Monsanto had the bifurcation power of the court on its side, as well as a judge who had once worked for a law firm which defended Monsanto.)

Some of Monsanto’s Machinations now Fair Game

In phase two of the trial, the plaintiff’s attorneys can now show the jury some of Monsanto’s devious moves behind-the-scenes to manipulate public opinion and ply federal regulators to help hide Roundup’s poison profile.

The key word is some.  Judge Vince Chhabria, who had granted Monsanto attorneys’ requests to handicap the plaintiff’s side by bifurcating the first Monsanto trial in federal court, is also keeping a tight rein on what evidence he will allow even now.

Since Mr. Hardeman was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012, Chhabria has said that he will not allow evidence against Monsanto that came to light after that time.

Monsanto IARC Evidence Stifled

This ruling means that plaintiffs will not be allowed to show evidence of how Monsanto secretly hired ostensibly “objective” scientists to denounce the World Health Organization after its International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate in Roundup a probable human carcinogen in 2015.

The Seralini Affair Evidence Stifled

The jury will also not see evidence of how Monsanto used its media monies worldwide to attack French researcher Dr. Geiles Seralini after he performed a two-year rat study which showed how rats fed glyphosate developed hideous tumors.  That study was so threatening to Monsanto that the company quietly enlisted several scientists (who were on the company’s payroll in one way or another) to manufacture outrage about the legitimacy of the rat tumor study.  Monsanto also quietly (but not quietly enough, obviously, for it was all discovered later) had an editor installed at the offending journal, who then pulled the article from publication.  To this day, Monsanto claims that the Seralini study was pulled from publication because it failed a test of scientific legitimacy.  However, what Monsanto’s misinformation minions always fail to say is that there was such legitimate outrage in the honest scientific community over Monsanto’s subterfuge in the Seralini affair that the “pulled” journal article was re-peer reviewed and then re-published in another scientific journal.

There was nothing wrong with the Seralini study in the first place, which is why it was published in the first place and also why it was republished.

There was something wrong with Monsanto, there is something wrong with Roundup, and with Monsanto’s duplicitous and even arguably criminal actions, as there has always been something wrong with Monsanto.  Just as there is something wrong with Agent Orange, and bovine growth hormone, something very wrong with Monsanto’s PCBs and a host of other toxic products which spread misery and death as they raise Monsanto profits.

We pray that the truth will out, and that more people, like the jury in California, will come to see that the vast poisoning of our world by Monsanto does not bode well for any of God’s creatures, who count on the humanity and intelligence of decent men and women everywhere to protect the bounty of the earth.  Religion is on our side and so is the science, as Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, by Steven M. Druker, shows us.

Down goes Monsanto!

George Foreman got religion in his later years, by his own admission.  He dropped the hateful bully routine and began to work at becoming a better human being.  Now, if only Monsanto would do the same, we could all be living in a better place.  Let’s all dare to dream.

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Judge limits Monsanto Trial Evidence

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Down goes Monsanto!

California EPA labels Roundup Cancerous

Monsanto EPA Collusion?

Roundup Cancer Lawsuit 

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Monsanto attacks Honest Scientists & Science

More evidence has emerged to show how Monsanto attacks honest scientists and even science itself.  The chemical company giant has long worked to “neutralize” or discredit individuals and organizations when their findings threaten Monsanto profits.

Time and again, Monsanto’s actions behind the scenes impugn the chemical company’s endless “on- message” claim that Roundup is safe, doesn’t cause cancer, and no evidence exists anywhere to show that it does cause cancer.

The big message problem for Monsanto is that its own duplicitous conduct is well known on many fronts.  It begs the simple question:  If Roundup is as safe as advertised, then why has Monsanto worked so very hard to attack any scientists and any scientific findings showing Roundup causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma?  Monsanto’s messaging problems abound and grow by the day.  Here is just a small sampling:

  • Why has Monsanto hired ghost writers like Henry Miller, the bogus Stanford academic, to attack organic foods and organic farming in mainstream publications like Newsweek?
  • Why does Monsanto secretly attack anti-GMO Activists?
  • Why did Monsanto try to destroy French researcher Dr. Giles Seralini after he performed a rat study which showed GMO corn gave rats hideous tumors?
  • Why did Monsanto use its press minions to attack Carey Gilliam, a brave and honest writer who has published a superbly-researched book on Monsanto titled, “Whitewash — The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science.
  • Why has Monsanto worked behind the scenes with EPA regulators to quash at least one Roundup safety study?
  • Why did a Monsanto executive feed a Reuters reporter fake news that defamed the International Agency for Research on Cancer and one of its scientists, after the IARC declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen?
  • Why has Forbes magazine had to pull fake news stories (on at least two occasions) that maligned, misrepresented, and attacked researchers who pointed out the dangers of Roundup?
  • Why did Monsanto use an industry hack named Geoffrey Kabat to attack research which showed Roundup increases non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma risk by 41 percent? Kabat accused the authors of cherry-picking data, and he made other patently false statements, all while failing to disclose his ties to the industry.
  • Why has Monsanto attacked those who prove that the industrial farming methods Monsanto promotes strip soil of nutrients that form the most basic building blocks of environmental, human, and animal health?

Forbes magazine – which has published several articles defending Monsanto – published Mr. Kabat’s scathing review of the meta-analysis showing Roundup increased cancer risk, and then later pulled the article.  Why did Forbes pull the piece?  Because it was full of falsehoods, like so much of Monsanto’s propaganda that its press minions get paid to fling.  It was the second time in recent memory that Forbes was forced to pull Monsanto propaganda which Forbes had initially represented as “news.”

There was nothing honest about Geoffrey Kabat’s diatribe, just as there is nothing honest about Monsanto’s position that glyphosate is safe and no studies prove otherwise.  Even a federal judge who has shown himself more than sympathetic to Monsanto’s arguments – curiously “bifurcating” the first federal Roundup trial – was forced this week to admit the plain truth.  The judge denied a request from Monsanto’s lawyers to grant a summary judgment which would have ended the trial in Monsanto’s favor.

Yes, even the federal judge who had favored Monsanto by severely handicapping the plaintiff’s side with “bifurcation” wrote:

“[T]he plaintiffs have presented a great deal of evidence that Monsanto has not taken a responsible, objective approach to the safety of its product. (Although) the evidence that Roundup causes cancer is quite equivocal, there is strong evidence from which a jury could conclude that Monsanto does not particularly care whether its product is in fact giving people cancer, focusing instead on manipulating public opinion and undermining anyone who raises genuine and legitimate concerns about the issue.”

Those are strong words from a judge who had once worked for a law firm that defended Monsanto.  His bifurcation of the trial meant the jury was not able to hear about Monsanto’s reckless attitude toward safeguarding the public.   They were unable to hear trial evidence of how Monsanto had more interest in manipulating public opinion than getting at any underlying truths.  The jury did not hear evidence of how Monsanto was most interested in undermining anyone with “genuine and legitimate” concerns about Roundup.

The six jurors will be allowed to hear some of that evidence of Monsanto’s propagandizing and reckless disregard only if they decide unanimously that Roundup caused the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  The jury began deliberations on March 13, 2019.  They will resume deliberations again on Friday, March 15.

One can only hope now that the bifurcated trial arrangement will not hinder the jury’s arriving at the truth of the matter, despite being allowed to hear only a fraction of the whole story in this first phase of the trial.

In this first phase, only if all six jurors unanimously agree that Roundup was the principal cause of the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, will they then be allowed to move to a second, damages phase.  If and only if they make it that far, will they then be allowed to hear at least some of the truth behind Monsanto’s behind-the-scenes manipulations, of Monsanto’s attacks on honest scientists, of its never-ending maneuvers to manipulate the actual reporting of the science itself.

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Monsanto Trial Judge rips Plaintiff Attorney’s “Steely” Composure

(Feb. 27, 2019)  A California judge running the first federal court trial in the Monsanto Roundup litigation ripped into a plaintiff’s attorney for her “composure” after he repeatedly interrupted her during her opening argument Monday.  Judge Vince Chhabria (unpronounceable) interrupted the plaintiff’s attorney Amy Wagstaff over and over again as she attempted to open her client’s case for the jury.  The judge later criticized her “steely composure” in responding to his interruptions, and finally he threatened to issue sanctions against the woman as well as her law firm.

Steely Composure proves actions in bad faith and intentional
Judge Chhabria said that Ms. Wagstaff’s actions were in bad faith and intentional. How did the judge know her actions were in bad faith and intentional? Because, the judge said, the woman showed “steely” composure in reacting to his interruptions.

(Editor’s Note: We relate this story directly from the record as it was reported by Dorothy Atkins for Law 360, a publication which, like Judge C., tends to weigh – and share – most evidentiary matters decidedly in favor of Monsanto.)

Bifurcation Blues
The judge’s prior ruling to bifurcate this Roundup cancer trial – at the request of Monsanto’s lawyers – was the clear catalyst for this messy opening scene of the first Roundup trial to be heard in a federal court.  Judge Chhabria ruled before the trial began that it would proceed differently than the first trial, which didn’t work out well for Monsanto.  The first Roundup trial last summer in California brought a former groundskeeper a $289 million verdict (later reduced to $78 million) against Monsanto, though that entire verdict is still (of course) on appeal.

For this second Roundup-Lymphoma trial and the first in a federal court, Judge Chhabria agreed with Monsanto lawyers to split the proceedings into two parts, the first for causation, the second for damages.   In this rare and controversial (to say the least) setup, the jury will first hear only those arguments which relate directly to the science of causation. (That seems fair, at first blush, but wait and hear the whole story.)  If, looking only at the causation “science,” the jury determines that Roundup caused the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, then they will also be allowed to hear – in a potential second phase of the trial – about some of Monsanto’s machinations to manipulate the “science” and propagandize to sway public opinion.

In the first trial, the jury was allowed to hear “the whole story” – both the plaintiff’s whole story and Monsanto’s whole story – from the start.  Why did this judge decide to change that simple formula?

Science Divorced from Reality
While bifurcating the trial into two parts – divorcing the science from Monsanto’s behind-the-scenes manipulations – might seem like a fair approach in some sense, the overarching problem with the bifurcation ruling is that the science of Roundup safety cannot be divorced from Monsanto’s machinations to manipulate that “science.” And this is why we need to put that word in quotation marks the rest of the way.  “Science” cannot be divorced today (if it ever could) from politics, or from the considerable money that works so hard to control “scientific findings.”

The jury in the first trial was able to hear, from the start, from the plaintiff’s attorney, the simple question:  “If Monsanto’s Roundup is so safe and the science behind its safety is as strong as Monsanto says it is, then why did the company need to work so hard to ghostwrite articles for academics to sign; hire editors at ostensibly objective publications who could then work as gatekeepers to deny space to anyone showing the danger of Monsanto’s products; retract peer-reviewed and published information when it threatened Monsanto’s business model? Why did Monsanto need to secretly contact EPA employees and secure the quashing of safety studies?  Why does Monsanto hire bloggers and internet trolls to attack citizen researchers who uncover evidence of the dangers of Roundup?  Why does Monsanto continue to feed fake news to Reuters and other worldwide publications to defend its products and attack its detractors? Why does Monsanto spend millions of dollars to defeat food labeling bills?

The Impossibility of Bifurcation
Though this jury may never hear any of them, examples of Monsanto’s behind-the-scenes manipulations of “science” are legion.  Just one case alone will serve to show just how Monsanto poisons the well of honest scientific discourse and research into the safety of its products.

Monsanto Manipulation and Dr. Giles Seralini


Monsanto’s work to discredit and neutralize Dr. Giles Séralini is instructive of how the biotech giant does business. Dr. Séralini found that Monsanto’s GM maize caused massive tumors in rats, and he published those findings in a peer-reviewed science journal. Rats from all over the world at the behest of Monsanto then attacked Dr. Séralini and his study, and a Monsanto minion secured an editorial post at the publication and then had the threatening paper retracted. That retraction then caused an uproar from honest scientists everywhere, so that the paper was then re-peer-reviewed and then re-published in another science journal.

A French Member of the European Parliament and France’s former minister for the environment, Corinne Lepage, explained that the Séralini study exposed the weakness of industry studies conducted for regulatory authorization. The GM maize had previously been judged safe by regulators around the world, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Institute for Responsible Technology

The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) explains that Dr. Séralini became the center of an “[E]pic struggle between independent science and corporate hegemony. The scientific journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, which first published his study, had retracted the article following an orchestrated campaign by thinly disguised biotech promoters. The article was later re-published in June 2014 in the journal, Environmental Sciences Europe.”

IRT notes also that another Monsanto minion of a scientist, “[F]ormer chairman of France’s Biomolecular Engineering Commission, Marc Fellous, was then exposed in a libel trial that he lost to Dr. Séralini just last year for using or copying Séralini’s signature without his agreement to argue that Séralini and his co-researchers were wrong in their reassessment of Monsanto studies. The Séralini team’s re-assessment reported finding signs of toxicity in the raw data from Monsanto’s own rat feeding studies with GM maize (corn).”

Monsanto Trial Judge rips Plaintiff Attorney’s “Steely” Composure

The Dr. Séralini story proves – definitively, and all by itself – that there is simply no way for U.S. federal Judge Vincent Chhabria, or anybody else, to “bifurcate” a trial that separates science and causation from Monsanto’s propagandizing machinations.  Monsanto’s actions have proven again and again that science and propaganda are inextricably linked. That IS the story of Monsanto’s Roundup, and why any jury that hears these cases needs to be given both and all sides of the entire story, in order to decide for themselves what real “science” does and does not say.

Let us, the American people, hear the whole story, Judge. We’re as smart as you, and we deserve to hear the whole truth, and then decide for ourselves what is right, and what is not.  The truth of Monsanto’s rat experiments on us all will not be silenced by you or anybody else.

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Monsanto Poison contaminates Wine and Beer

(Feb. 26, 2019)  A Monsanto poison contaminates most of the wine and beer sold in the United States, according to a recent study by U.S. Public Interest Research Groups (PIRG).  Glyphosate, the main active ingredient in Roundup – which impairs human gut health and is linked with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a host of other maladies – was found to contaminate every conventionally produced wine and beer tested in a recent study, as well as most organic beer and wine samples.

Glyphosate Contamination Epidemic

PIRG tested 20 different wine and beer samples in the U.S., finding glyphosate contamination in 19 of them, including most organic wine samples.  Just one product they tested, an organic beer, was found to have no glyphosate contamination.  Some mildly good news for the organic crowd is that the organic beer and wines tested were found to have far less glyphosate than conventionally-produced beverages, but good news was hard to come by in this study.  (Is anyone paying attention?  Why would someone pay $100 for a bottle of contaminated California wine, or even $10 for that matter?)

The presence of glyphosate pesticide even in organic products proved once again just how widespread glyphosate contamination is in the country.  Organic beer and wine producers do not intentionally use any glyphosate in their products, and they do their best to avoid the chemical, for obvious reasons.

The Findings

Wines

  1. Sutter Home Merlot – 51.4 ppb
  2. Beringer Estates Moscato – 42.6 ppb
  3. Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon – 36.3
  4. Inkarri Estates Malbec (Organic) – 5.3 ppb
  5. Frey Organic Natural White (4.8 ppb)

Beers

  1. Coors Light –  1 ppb
  2. Tsingtao Beer – 49.7 ppb
  3. Miller Lite – 29.8 ppb
  4. Budweiser – 27.0 ppb
  5. Corona Extra – 25.1 ppb
  6. Heineken – 20.9
  7. Guinness Draught – 20.3
  8. Stella Artois – 18.7
  9. Stella Artois Cidre – 9.1 ppb
  10. Ace Perry Hard Cider – 14.5 ppb
  11. New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale – 11.2 ppb
  12. Sam Adams New England IPA – 11.0
  13. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – 11.8 ppb
  14. Samuel Smith’s Organic Lager – 5.7 ppb
  15. Peak Beer Organic IPA – no detected level

Glyphosate at 1 ppt is Problematic

Human tolerance for glyphosate may be much lower than the U.S. EPA claims, especially as one considers the secret and not-so-secret relationships some EPA officials, U.S. politicos, judges, and journalists share and have shared with Monsanto executives.

The levels of glyphosate found in these latest beer and wine tests were below EPA risk tolerances for beverages (for what that’s worth from a captured agency).   However, in one study, scientists found that 1 part per trillion (ppt) of glyphosate has the potential to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells and disrupt the endocrine system.  German scientists have shown that 0.1 ppb of glyphosate has the potential to destroy beneficial gut bacteria while pathogenic gut bacteria were resistant.  Furthermore, 0.1 ppb of glyphosate has also been shown to stimulate the proliferation of certain types of breast cancer cells.

PIRG calls for Glyphosate Ban

In short, no safe level for glyphosate has ever been proven.  The researchers recommend that the EPA ban the use of glyphosate unless and until it can be proven safe.

Public Interest Research Groups

Founded by consumer advocate Ralph Nader  in 1971, PIRG’s motto is “Standing up to Powerful Interests.”  PIRGs are a federation of non-profit U.S. and Canadian organizations that use grassroots organizing and direct advocacy with the goal of effecting political change.

Someone needs to do this important work to safeguard our health, because it is not currently being done by the government institutions we entrust to do it – the EPA and the FDA.  Both of those agencies continue to show a fealty to Monsanto that comes at the considerable expense of people, animals, birds, bees, plants, and other living things throughout the world.

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Monsanto Product increases Cancer Risk

Exposure to the Monsanto chemical glyphosate increases one’s cancer risk by 41%, according to a new analysis.  Classified as an herbicide (which is a type of pesticide), glyphosate is the only named active ingredient in Roundup, the world’s most popular killer.

Roundup non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Linked

To arrive at the 41% increased risk, University of Washington researchers evaluated glyphosate exposure studies already completed, along with some other studies concerning other weed killers.  The UW researchers concluded that Monsanto’s Roundup significantly increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a cancer of the immune system.

The study’s authors published their findings in the journal Mutation Research. They wrote:  “All of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding: exposure to GBHs (glyphosate-based herbicides) are associated with an increased risk of NHL.”

The U.S. EPA had, in its initial assessment, also determined that Roundup was potentially a human carcinogen, but then Monsanto went to work on some of the agency’s employees until the EPA was finally bent to do the chemical giant’s bidding.  Roundup’s link to cancer was first discovered more than three decades ago by one of the industry-captured agencies which Monsanto now uses as cover.

Monsanto EPA History

The actual carcinogenic risks of glyphosate can be difficult to decipher given Monsanto’s long-standing financial relationships with career politicians from both sides of the twisted aisle, as well as with individuals working in appointed positions in the U.S. government, most pointedly in the EPA.

EPA declares Glyphosate  Potentially Carcinogenic

The U.S. EPA – the so-called Environmental Protection Agency – first classified glyphosate as a Class C carcinogen in 1985.  But the agency later inexplicably reversed course and gave Monsanto license to sell it.

Glypohosate’s carcinogenic potential was first considered by an EPA panel on February 11, 1985.  In a consensus review dated March 4, 1985, the Toxicology Branch Ad Hoc Committee classified glyphosate as a Class C Carcinogen. A Class C Carcinogen has  ”Suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential” according to the EPA.

Monsanto then tried to persuade the EPA that glyphosate was not carcinogenic.  Monsanto got help from Dr. George Levinskas.  As the company’s Director of Environmental Assessment and Toxicology, Levinskas was a lead player in the cover up of the carcinogenic potential of the now banned PCBs in the 1970s – which continue to damage people and animals to this day.

Monsanto Massages the Message

According to Sustainable Pulse, in April 1985 Dr. Levinskas wrote an internal company letter stating: “Senior management at the EPA is reviewing a proposal to classify glyphosate as a class C “possible human carcinogen” because of kidney adenomas in male mice.  Dr. Marvin Kuschner will review kidney sections and present his evaluation of them to the EPA in an effort to persuade the agency that the observed tumors are not related to glyphosate.”

EPA Changes Glyphosate Carcinogen Classification

It was a hard sell for Monsanto, but not that hard.  The company was, after all, dealing with a government agency which also counts the toxic poisoning of Americans’ drinking water as one of the 20th century’s greatest accomplishments (See Mullenix 2014).   In 1991, the EPA simply changed classification of glyphosate from Class C “Suggestive of Carconogenic Potential” to Class E to suggest “evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans.”

Two EPA scientists refused to sign for the classification change, which, fortuitously for Monsanto, occurred just as the company was developing its first Roundup-Ready (glyphosate-resistant) GM crops (Eureka!).  GMO seeds depend on the copious use of glyphosate, which, besides helping to raise the world’s cancer statistics, has also engendered the growth of superweeds which have developed immunity to the glyphosate poison.  Birds, bees, humans and other animals, unfortunately, have not been so lucky.  One would have to be living on the moon now to not know how Monsanto pesticides like Roundup and Bayer’s neonicotinoids have helped kill off more than half the world’s pollinator bees.

Another industry-captured regulator, the European Food Safety Authority, also maintains that glyphosate is safe.  And  Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, has called glyphosate a “safe and efficient weed control tool.”

World Health Organization: Glyphosate a Probable Carcinogen

In 2015, however, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”  The chemical has since triggered thousands of lawsuits brought by people who believe their exposure to Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The authors of the UW report analyzed all published studies on the impact of glyphosate on humans.

Co-author and doctoral student Rachel Shaffer said in a statement: “This research provides the most up-to-date analysis of glyphosate and its link with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, incorporating a 2018 study of more than 54,000 people who work as licensed pesticide applicators.” The scientists also assessed studies on animals.

Focusing on data relating to people with the “highest exposure” to the herbicide, the researchers concluded that a “compelling link” exists between glyphosate exposure and a greater risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Senior author Lianne Sheppard, professor in biostatistics and environmental and occupational health sciences, said she was “convinced” of the carcinogenic properties of the chemical.

Bayer Responds to Defend Monsanto

Bayer called the new analysis a “statistical manipulation” with “serious methodological flaws.” The company added for good measure that the study “provides no scientifically valid evidence that contradicts the conclusions of the extensive body of science demonstrating that glyphosate-based herbicides are not carcinogenic.”

The UW study authors do note some limitations of their analysis, such as that “limited published data” was available to them.  They also wrote that the studies they evaluated varied in the population groups they targeted.  They noted that the glyphosate exposure levels of the participants differed between reports.

A biosciences professor at the University of Central Lancashire, Francis Martin, told CNN that since glyphosate is used as a general purpose herbicide there will be exposure in the general population.  He further noted that the report was limited by the small number of existing studies, though he also stressed the authors were “honestly self-reflective on the limitations of the analyses.”

Mr. Martin said the report shows a need for new, well-designed robust studies, because the ones available are indeed small.

Monsanto endless trumpets that hundreds of studies have found roundup and glyphosate safe, but virtually all of those hundreds of studies were done by Monsanto or at the behest of Monsanto, and none of them were done on a long-term basis; so for Monsanto’s purposes in using them to defend Roundup, they are virtually worthless.

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Monsanto used Reuters to Fake News

(Feb. 16, 2018)  Monsanto used the news agency Reuters to fake news in 2017.  The chemical giant (bought last year by Bayer for some $62.5 Billion) used a Reuters reporter to create a demonstrably false news story that attacked a scientist and an organization that found Monsanto’s Roundup was probably carcinogenic.  Lawyers suing Monsanto for a man who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma brought the evidence to the attention of the presiding judge last month in an attempt to get it entered into evidence for the jury to see.

Monsanto objects to Evidence

Monsanto, meanwhile, has objected to the jury’s hearing any mention of show Monsanto fed fake news to a Reuters reporter.  Judge Vincent Chaabria is still deciding how much, if any, of this new evidence the jury will hear in the second Roundup cancer trial scheduled to start this month.

The judge has apparently agreed, for the most part, to Monsanto’s demands to “bifurcate” the trial into two parts, a move which undoubtedly serves Monsanto’s interests to the detriment of the plaintiff.  The new arrangement will keep jurors from hearing any evidence of Monsanto’s behind-the-scenes machinations to protect its poison products from the hard glare of independent studies and public scrutiny.

This second trial over a Roundup cancer link – and the first in a federal court – is set to be heard very differently than the first, which last summer found that Monsanto had failed to warn a California groundskeeper of a Roundup-cancer link.  The jury in that trial decided unanimously that Monsanto was guilty of offenses that resulted in  punitive damages.  In this second trial,  the jury will first hear only scientific and legal arguments concerning direct causation.  Then, if and only if the jury determines that Roundup caused the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, will they then be allowed to hear how Monsanto worked (and works) behind the scenes to propagandize public perception and manipulate scientific opinion.

Monsanto Propaganda Poisons Discourse

It is well known now that Monsanto pays for its own vested interest studies (none of which has ever gone more than 12 months) which are then used to “convince” friendly regulators like the U.S. EPA that Monsanto products are safe.  Many Monsanto employees, like Michael Taylor, move from the Monsanto payroll into US government regulation jobs with FDA or EPA, and then back to Monsanto’s payroll.  It is now also well known how Monsanto works to manipulate and control public perception by ghost writing articles like those signed by the disgraced Stanford academic Henry Miller.  Mr. Miller, for one, published his pro-GMO Monsanto propaganda in Forbes magazine before Forbes’ editors realized that, like Reuters last month, they, too, had been used by Monsanto to mislead the public.

Monsanto, Reuters Team for Fake News

In the latest bombshell, a Reuters reporter named Kate Kelland was used as a willing dupe by Monsanto to publish propaganda attacking the credibility of the International Agency for Cancer Research, whose 2015 proclamation that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic did as much as anything to unleash what now amounts to nearly 10,000 lawsuits by people who say their lymphoma was caused by their exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup and glyphosate.

The clear motive of the fake news effort was to defend Monsanto against the very serious allegation that Roundup “herbicide” probably causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  For anyone paying attention, the result should be a fatal blow to the credibility of not only Monsanto and Reuters (when one sees below how easily the “news’ agency allowed itself to be used for a nefarious purpose), but also to what all of us have been taught we should swallow daily as “The News.”

A History of Attacking Critics

Monsanto has taken several lines of attack against any person or organization which has found credible evidence that Roundup causes cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Whenever Monsanto has perceived a threat to its business model – based on poison chemical farming and genetically modified organisms – it has moved quickly, and viciously, to neutralize or attack  that threat.

Monsanto has moved quickly to neutralize or discredit scientists (like Giles Seralini and others) or regulatory bodies such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) whenever those scientists or regulators have found evidence of carcinogenicity in Monsanto’s poison products like Roundup.

Even before the IARC declared Monsanto’s glyphosate a probable carcinogen in 2015, the chemical giant was already maneuvering to unleash attacks on the agency.

Monsanto’s Latest Puppet Journalist

New documents filed in federal court last month threaten to expose Reuters news reporter Kate Kelland for acting as Monsanto’s latest puppet.  She signed her name to a completely false narrative about cancer scientist Aaron Blair and the IARC that classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.

Court Documents?  What Court Documents?

In 2017, Reuters put Ms. Kelland’s by-line on a controversial story that she attributed to “court documents.”  But those so-called “documents” now appear to have been given her by a Monsanto executive.  That person fed Ms. Kelland several key points Monsanto wanted made.  It was fake news because those “documents” which Ms. Kelland cited were not filed in court.  They were also not publicly available at the time she wrote her story. So she apparently lied about them being “court documents.”  That lie – if it is the lie it now appears to be – allowed her to avoid disclosing Monsanto’s role in pushing the story.

Putting Words in a Scientist’s Mouth

U.S. Right to Know reported that Ms. Kelland’s Monsanto-sourced story portrayed cancer scientist Aaron Blair as hiding “important information” that found no links between glyphosate and cancer from IARC.  Ms. Kelland wrote that Mr. Blair “said the data would have altered IARC’s analysis.”  But a review of the full deposition shows that Mr. Blair said no such thing.

The Missing Link

Ms. Kelland provided no link to the documents she cited.  That conveniently made it impossible for readers to see for themselves how far she and Reuters had veered from veracity.  It was Monsanto propaganda pure and simple.

Monsanto Propaganda Assails World

To further promote the fake news, Monsanto used Google advertisements, its chemical industry allies, and chemical-industry-friendly “news” outlets.  Pliant media outlets around the world picked up the “hot new story” and trumpeted it everywhere.  (It reminded one of another fake news coup, of Dick Cheney echoing that the New York Times’ Judith Miller had – falsely, it turned out – reported evidence of Iraq WMD.  Mr. Cheney then used that fake news – so shamelessly promoted by the country’s paper of record – to rally the country to attack Iraq and begin the country’s longest-ever-running war, with no end yet in sight.)

New information revealed in court filings shows just how heavily Monsanto promoted the false narrative to Reuters and Ms. Kelland.  In a January 15 court filing, plaintiff’s attorneys cited internal Monsanto correspondence dated April 27, 2017.  They say it shows how Monsanto executive Sam Murphey sent the false narrative to Ms. Kelland with a slide deck of talking points as well as out-of-context portions of the Blair deposition which was not filed in court. The attorneys said the correspondence shows Monsanto’s man asking her to publish a piece accusing Dr. Blair of deceiving IARC.

Monsanto and Bayer lawyers are trying to keep the correspondence with Ms. Kelland sealed from public view.  Some of the emails between the Reuters reporter and Monsanto still have not been released.

Monsanto Works to Discredit IARC

Plaintiff’s attorneys also write in their letter brief that Monsanto’s internal documents show Ms. Kelland was seen as a a key media contact in their efforts to discredit IARC.

USRTK fairly points out that companies routinely give media outlets story suggestions that benefit the companies from the companies, but reporters need to present facts, not corporate propaganda attacking reputable scientists.

This Reuters story was especially important because Monsanto used it to attack IARC on multiple fronts.  Part of that attack included an effort by Monsanto to get Congress to strip funding from IARC.

Reuters and Ms. Kelland failed the public by not revealing that Monsanto was the story’s source. USRTK says, “Reuters owes the world – and IARC – an apology.”

The News?

But an apology hardly cuts it.  This episode shows that Reuters, like the New York Times in the Iraq WMD propaganda blitz, is a captured news agency that cannot be trusted.  Hopefully this episode will teach us all to be very careful to assess veracity each time we open a newspaper or a web site or listen to anyone read us what their corporate masters call “the news.

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Monsanto Propaganda misleads World

(Jan. 21, 2019)  Just as the CIA has been outed as running propaganda and disinformation campaigns against not only foreign powers but also against United States citizens (see Operation Mockingbird, which clearly continues today), Monsanto and other ag chemical industry giants have been shown to be running propaganda and disinformation campaigns about pesticides and GMOs.  The long-term goal (largely accomplished, given the abysmal health of most Americans) has been to not only confuse people about the actual dangers of pesticide-laced food,  but to also belittle and “neutralize” concerned citizens and scientists interested in the benefits of organic food and clean water untainted with genetically modified perversions and pesticides.

Related:  The Sinister Monsanto Group

Monsanto Covers its Tracks

Disgraced former US President Richard Nixon said it’s not the crime that gets you in trouble; it’s the coverup.  Monsanto executives must not have been paying attention.  Because while the company has paid millions of dollars for research studies purporting to prove the safety of products like Roundup, that money trail alone does not prove Roundup causes cancer of the type which a California jury awarded a California man $289 million in a verdict last summer.  What does appear to have influenced the jury, however, is the extraordinary lengths which it was shown during the trial that Monsanto has gone to in order to “disappear,” stifle, or coverup any and all evidence which might prove that Roundup causes cancer.  (See The Monsanto Papers.)

Rat Study Threatens Monsanto

When a famous ratsFrench scientist named Dr. Gilles-Eric Séralini performed a rat study which showed the rats developed hideous tumors following a diet of GMO maize (corn), his peer reviewed paper on the subject was published in a reputable science journal.  The study threatened the whole Monsanto GMO paradigm, and strongly suggested that further safety tests were warranted.  So Monsanto worked behind the scenes to have the offending publication hire a new editor, an editor who then pulled the damaging study.  Monsanto’s heavy-handed bullying in the case, however, caused an uproar in the scientific community, and led to the paper’s being re-reviewed by peers, and then re-published, in another journal which Monsanto hadn’t yet gripped in its long tentacles.

Monsanto EPA Ties Outed

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was considering a re-review of glyphosate safety, Monsanto was concerned.  So it worked behind the scenes with an actual EPA scientist, Jess Rowland, to quash the review.  Mr. Rowland’s fealty to Monsanto and the cozy relationship between regulator and regulated was revealed by emails between the two.  It was not the the kind of thing to give citizens confidence in their regulators, and it was not the kind of thing to give Monsanto credibility when its lawyers in the first Roundup cancer trial last summer claimed hundreds of studies proved glyphosate was safe.

Covert Industry Funding to Fake Objectivity

Covert industry funding of ostensibly “independent” scientists is a favorite Monsanto and Ag  Industry ploy to give the appearance of objectivity.  The problem for Monsanto and the industry is that time and again financial conflicts of interest have shown the world the lie.

Writing for U.S. Right to Know, Stacy Malkin has repeatedly shown how this ruse works.  One group Monsanto has attempted to use to show the purported safety of Roundup is called  “The Academics Review.”  This “Review” turns out to be nothing more than the innocuous sounding title of an industry-sponsored group pretending not to be an industry-sponsored group.

“Two Independent Professors” & The Usual Suspects

The Academics Review website claims “two independent professors,” started it:  Bruce Chassy, PhD, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and David Tribe, PhD, senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Australia.  Ms. Malkin noted that in May 2018, the website claimed, “Academics Review only accepts unrestricted donations from non-corporate sources to support our work.”

Meanwhile, tax records show a trade association to be the primary funder of Academics Review. The Council for Biotechnology Information was funded by the largest agrichemical companies: BASF, Bayer, DowDuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta.

Ms Malkan writes:  “According to CBI tax records, the industry-funded group gave Academics Review a total of $650,000 in 2014 and 2015-2016. Tax records for AcademicsReview.org report expenses of $791,064 from 2013-2016 (see 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).  The money was spent on organizing conferences and promoting GMOs and pesticides, according to the tax records.”

Monsanto ghostwrites for Stanford Academic

Other ostensibly “objective” researchers include disgraced Stanford academic Henry I. Miller, whose propaganda attacking organic food was published by Fortune magazine, then pulled by Forbes from publication after public uproar proved Mr. Miller had simply signed his name to propaganda penned by Monsanto executives.

Reuters joins Monsanto Propaganda Effort

It was just revealed last week that Reuters news reporter Kate Kelland had apparently picked up Monsanto’s Operation Mockingbird mantel.  On January 16, 2019, documents filed in federal court threaten to expose Ms. Kelland for acting as a Monsanto’s mouthpiece.  She stands accused of driving a false narrative about cancer scientist Aaron Blair and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen in 2015.  The importance of that IARC declaration cannot be overstated, which is why it has been so important for Monsanto to try to neutralize the agency ever since and destroy its credibility.  That IARC some 9,300 cases.

Ms. Kelland wrote a controversial story in 2017 which she attributed to “court documents,” which now appear to have been fed to her by a Monsanto executive.  That Monsanto “newsmaker” also surreptitiously provided several key points Monsanto wanted Reuters to print. The documents Ms. Kelland cited were not filed in court, and were not publicly available at the time she wrote her IARC hit piece.   But presenting her story as “based on court documents” allowed her to avoid disclosing Monsanto’s crucial role in the story.

The Reuter’s story portrayed cancer scientist Aaron Blair as hiding “important information” that found no links between glyphosate and cancer  from IARC.  Ms. Kelland claimed that Blair, “said the data would have altered IARC’s analysis.”  However, a review of the full deposition shows that Mr. Blair did not say that.

Ms. Kelland provided no link to the documents she cited, which made it impossible for readers to see for themselves how far she veered from accuracy.

Operation Mockingbird in Full Swing

The CIA with Cord Myer in control of Operation Mockingbird couldn’t have done it any better. Ms. Kelland’s hit piece featuring Monsanto in the victim role was picked up by Monsanto-friendly media outlets around the world.  It was promoted by Monsanto and its chemical industry allies. Google advertisements were even purchased that promoted the story.

And now, reports Carey Gilliam for US Right to Know, new information revealed in court filings indicates just how heavy Monsanto’s hand was in pushing the false narrative.

Monsanto’s Fears change Trial Rules

So concerned is Monsanto with the evidence of its endless coverup and ongoing covert operations to influence public opinion and government regulators that it motioned this month to keep jurors from hearing ANY evidence of its coverups and its behind-the-scenes dealings unless and until the jury has first determined the question of causation.   The jury must first determine that Roundup caused the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma without hearing any evidence of Monsanto’s behind-the-scenes efforts to confuse the issues and neutralize evidence from those who have found Monsanto pesticides and GMOs lead to cancerous outcomes.

The problem – or at least the principal challenge – with this new two-part trial approach for the plaintiff’s side is that Monsanto has spent so much money to produce so many studies which attempt to prove the safety of glyphosate, that a jury could become lost, even overwhelmed, with the sheer volume of the paperwork produced by the Monsanto machine.  And will the plaintiff’s side be able to continue uncovering the latest Monsanto propaganda ploys, as they just uncovered the ruse orchestrated by Reuter’s “journalist” Kate Kelland?

Stay tuned. . .

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Roundup Verdict Survives Monsanto Appeal

(October 23, 2018) – A Roundup verdict for a California man who was stricken with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after he used Monsanto poisons will stand.  San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Suzanne Bolanos yesterday denied Monsanto’s motion to toss a verdict won this past summer by former groundskeeper DeWayne “Lee” Johnson.  Twelve jurors awarded Mr. Johnson $289 million in total damages in August 2018.

$78.5 Million Award for Monsanto Victim

Monsanto had filed a petition requesting that the judge throw out the entire jury verdict.  The judge instead slashed about $211 million from the $289 million total.  She ruled the jury’s $250 million punitive damages award needed to be reduced to $39.25 million, which was the amount the jury awarded in compensatory damages.  That makes the total award $78.5 million for the Monsanto victim.

Judge Suzanne Bolanos acknowledged the jury’s finding that Monsanto’s herbicides were a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In her 12-page order, Judge Bolanos reversed course from a tentative ruling she made in a hearing earlier this month.  She had said that Mr. Johnson had not proven Monsanto had acted with malice.  She said she would likely toss the entire punitive damages award.  But the judge ruled instead that that Mr. Johnson had established an “inference” that Monsanto had acted maliciously.  She further explained that the court had not found a case in which a “series of corporate actions and decisions” was found to be insufficient to support punitive damages.

Monsanto Malice Organization-wide
Judge Bolanos wrote in her ruling: “When the entire organization is involved in acts that constitute malice, there is no danger a blameless corporation will be punished for bad acts over which it had no control.”

Judge Bolanos ruled furthermore that it was also reasonable for the jury to conclude that Monsanto acted with malice by continuing to market and sell a dangerous product without a warning.

Nevertheless, Judge Bolanos also ruled the punitive damages must be reduced. She pointed to a 2003 U.S. Supreme Court  ruling in State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company v. Campbell, which held that the Fourteenth Amendment limits punitive damages.

Judge Bolanos wrote that when a compensatory damages award is large and primarily for noneconomic damages, the appropriate ratio between compensatory and punitive damages is one-to-one.

She said that if Mr. Johnson did not accept the reduced $39.25 million punitive damages verdict, she would grant Monsanto’s motion for a new trial as to punitive damages only.

First Roundup Cancer Trial

Mr. Johnson’s case was the first to go to trial over Monsanto’s Roundup cancer link.  The California groundskeeper was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014, after he had sprayed Monsanto’s Ranger Pro and Roundup poisons on Benicia, California school grounds.

Mr. Johnson charged that Monsanto knew of Roundup’s health risks since the 1990s, when studies began showing a link between Roundup and lymphoma.  His lawsuit petition said he used Monsanto products because he thought they were safe, because Monsanto downplayed the known dangers and failed to post a warning label.  Mr. Johnson said that soon after an equipment problem soaked him head-to-toe in Ranger Pro, his skin broke out in blistering lesions.  Doctors testified in the trial that he is dying from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

$289 Million Jury Award

Three days after deliberating in August 2918, a jury awarded Mr. Johnson $39.25 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages. The award included $33 million in noneconomic damages, a million for every year of the 46-year-old’s life that he will have lost to cancer.

Monsanto claims Insufficient Evidence
After the verdict, Monsanto moved for either a new trial or a judgment notwithstanding the verdict.  Monsanto lawyers said Mr. Johnson had not given “sufficient and substantial evidence” to show Monsanto herbicides cause cancer.

Judge Bolanos flatly rejected those motions as to the punitive damages.   She also ruled there was no basis to overturn the jury’s finding on liability and toss the verdict in its entirety.

Judge allows Jury System to Work

The judge wrote that it was proper for the jury to rely on testimony from Mr. Johnson’s key causation expert, oncologist Dr. Chadi Nabhan.

Dr. Nabhan used an admissible method to support his conclusion that Roundup caused Mr. Johnson’s cancer, wrote the judge.  “Dr. Nabhan was cross-examined and the defense presented expert witnesses to criticize the basis of Dr. Nabhan’s opinion.  (The) court does not resolve scientific controversies.’ … That is a matter for the jury to resolve.”

Bayer Responds

Bayer AG, which acquired Monsanto this summer, called Judge Bolanos’ ruling “a step in the right direction,” repeated its attorneys’ arguments about a lack of sufficient evidence presented at trial, and said it plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.

Roundup Verdict Survives Monsanto Appeal

The case is Johnson v. Monsanto Co. et al., case number CGC16550128, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco.

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Monsanto loses bid to Collect Personal Information

Monsanto fails to curtail free speech
(Oct. 6, 2018)  Monsanto might have its minions working to consolidate its dream of an agricultural business monopoly — in the EPA, the U.S. Senate, the Supreme Court of the United States, to name just a few places — but despite the heavy stacking of the deck in its favor, the biotech bully from Missouri can still be beaten. Monsanto can be beaten not only in the court of U.S. public opinion, but also in the court of law.  In September 2018, activists (sentient humans, by any other name) working to stop the Monsanto juggernaut and uncover its crimes were backed in court by a significant judicial ruling.

Monsanto had sued the citizens’ group Avaaz to force it to hand over the names of millions of people who had acted against Monsanto by signing petitions or sending money to fight it. These activists were trying to stop Monsanto from destroying our land and food with glyphosate and other patented poisons. Monsanto lost that bid to collect the activists’ personal information, thanks to a judge who recognized the dangers of allowing deep-pocketed corporations to harass and bully human beings in the U.S. court system.

Judge Hagler delivers Justice

On September 6, 2018, a Manhattan judge threw out a subpoena filed by Monsanto against Avaaz. The judge then lectured Monsanto on the importance of free speech and democracy.

The 168-page subpoena – authored by Monsanto through a New York court — would have forced  Avaaz to hand over a decade’s worth of internal campaign communications.  That list would have included the personal information of millions who signed petitions protesting Monsanto’s genetically modified crops and the company’s carcinogenic Roundup. (Wouldn’t Monsanto have loved to “roundup” those activists, if only to frighten them into submission, or name them on its next lawsuit in the kind of legal harassment which has helped the company become so deservedly infamous.)

Avaaz campaign director Iain Keith emailed members after the judge denied Monsanto’s gestapo-like quest to roundup the names and personal information of activists:  “This subpoena was terrifying and would have had Avaaz spend months and hundreds of thousands of dollars digging up and handing over to Monsanto everything anyone on our team ever said or wrote about them for YEARS. Including even the email addresses and identities of our members who had sent messages to officials about Monsanto!”

Mr. Keith said in a Facebook video:
“Monsanto was so angry about the millions of activists who fought to convince the European Union and other governments to step up and protect citizens from glyphosate that it took us to court and wanted us to hand over all of our strategies and partnerships.”

Sentient beings can only thank God the case didn’t go Monsanto’s way, and they can thank the fair judge who ruled against the biotech bully from Missouri.

Judge Shlomo S. Hagler of the Manhattan Supreme Court Justice “absolutely destroyed” Monsanto’s subpoena, said Mr. Avaaz.  Judge Hagler said, “the subpoena would have a ‘tremendous chilling effect’” and that “no member would want to have their privacy and their activity known.”

Judge Rules for Free Speech over Monsanto
We beat #Monsanto in court! The judge even said that Monsanto was trying to stop the lobbying efforts of our members. In his words, “This is America…you can speak your mind.”
— Avaaz (@Avaaz) September 6, 2018

Other Recent Wins over Monsanto:

•  The New York state attorney general charged Monsanto with fraud in 1996 and then beat the bully in court.  New York sued Monsanto over its Roundup marketing claims. The state specifically objected to Monsanto’s wild claim that Roundup was as safe as table salt. Monsanto also claimed Roundup had more than a 1,000 fold safety margin over food (whatever that even meant). Another Monsanto ad claimed, “Roundup can be used where kids and pets will play.” Monsanto never admitted any wrongdoing (poisoning the world for profit means never having to say you’re sorry), but the company nonetheless agreed to stop making such unproven claims about its glyphosate products in New York state. (Meanwhile the rest of the country is still treated to Monsanto’s misinformation over glyphosate safety.)

•  In August of this year, Monsanto was ordered to pay a dying California man $289 million for failing to warn him that using Roundup could give him non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

•  In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer announced that glyphosate – the only listed active ingredient in Roundup – was a probable human carcinogen.

World Celebrate Victory over Monsanto

The ruling for Avaaz sparked celebrations around the world. Users took to social media to voice their support for Avaaz, as well as for the judge who delivered justice.

BREAKING: Judge Hagler quash subpoena from Monsanto against Avaaz. Democracy won. Freedom of speech rules the day! #FirstAmendment
— Oscar Soria (@OscarHSoria) September 6, 2018
I love when common sense, #truth, #justice, #wisdom, #freedom, and #integrity stand tall!

Thank you @Avaaz for your courage to speak for freedom in court in response to #Monsanto subpoena. Huge gratitude to the judge who is beyond bullying, who sees simple Truth! https://t.co/FdvXFWacSZ
— Jeanine DuBois (@jrd1776) September 7, 2018

NY Supreme Court just quashed Monsanto’s subpoena against @Avaaz. I hear the judge delivered a spanking to Monsanto’s lawyers. This wouldn’t have been possible without the thousands of Avaazers who donated towards the legal defence — very grateful to them! pic.twitter.com/8HVK0PKSQ6
— Fatima-Zahra Ibrahim (@fortuashla) September 6, 2018

Avaaz Deputy Director, Emma Ruby-Sachs, said in a press release:
“It’s unbelievable, but we beat back Monsanto and won in court! Not only are we safe from this legal attack, but the judge even told Monsanto that what they were doing was anti-democratic and an attempt to ‘chill’ the voices of our members, and the voices of citizens engaged in lobbying everywhere. Monsanto can appeal, but they’d be crazy to try to take on this amazing community of almost 50 million people again.”

Monsanto acted with Malice, Oppression, Fraud
In the $289 million verdict against Monsanto last molnth, a jury of 12 determined that exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup caused cancer in 46-year-old Dewayne Johnson, a former school groundskeeper who became terminally ill with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after he sprayed Roundup on schoolgrounds. The jury agreed with Mr. Johnson’s lawyers, who charged that Monsanto acted with “malice, oppression or fraud.”

Monsanto said it will appeal the verdict in Mr. Johnson’s case, and it will likely also appeal Judge Hagler’s ruling in the Avaaz case.  The ruling nevertheless sparked a wave of malaise among Bayer investors, pushing the stock price to its lowest in five years, and the ruling gives the rest of us hope that the Monsanto juggernaut can be stopped before it poisons the entire world even more than it already has.

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