(June 4, 2019) The Monsanto manipulation machine has been bared (or shall we say, Bayered) by Carey Gilliam and several other journalists the company has attacked for questioning the safety of Monsanto’s products. Internal company emails and documents reveal an elaborate campaign to attack independent journalists who have uncovered Monsanto’s endless campaigns to fool the public about the nature and safety of pesticides like Roundup and the company’s genetically-modified “food.” The document trail shows how Monsanto attacks some journalists and manipulates others. It all depends on whether those individuals report the truth of Roundup’s fraudulent acceptance by the EPA and the weed killer’s links to cancer, or whether they help Monsanto maintain its captured-regulatory cloak of legitimacy and the alleged indispensability of the company’s poison products.
Monsanto Misinformation Unmasked
Monsanto has been unmasked in the Roundup cancer litigation as a master purveyor of misinformation and propaganda. Independent journalists such as Carey Gilliam and others have discovered that Monsanto has set up several entities it disguises as “objective” organizations comprised of professional “experts” or academic “scientists.” The company creates these cutouts to pose as purveyors of truth in a narrative they sell as a world gone mad with “lawyer-driven litigation.”
Roundup Lawsuits plague Monsanto
Roundup cancer lawsuits now plague Monsanto like its Roundup-generated super weeds plague more and more farm fields. More than 13,400 suits have been filed so far. The company’s response to its trouble is the same in the media as it is in the fields – to throw more poison at it. Or in the case of the Roundup information war, to spread ever-increasing amounts of vitriol.
And when that approach fails, as it has repeatedly in every Roundup cancer trial so far, Monsanto moves to just flat-out lie, to tell the people and the judges trying the cases that the science is proven, that hundreds of legitimate, worthwhile studies show Roundup is safe, that all the world’s regulatory agencies agree that Roundup is safe and doesn’t cause cancer, with the outlier exception of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
And then this company has the gall to again and again lean on the U.S. EPA’s failure to identify Roundup as a probable carcinogen. It leans on the EPA even when internal emails from key employees of that agency have been outed as all but colluding with Monsanto to stifle safety testing. And then add in the fact that the EPA first green-lighted Roundup on the basis of studies done by a company convicted of fraud for promoting phony studies. Monsanto has built a house of cards, and the wind is blowing toward Missouri.
Three Juries, Three Unanimous Verdicts against Monsanto
All of Monsanto’s propaganda may play well with the company’s friends in Washington D.C. and with the unawares public, but people who have seen real evidence have danced to a different tune than the off-key repetition of Monsanto’s Roundup defense. All three juries in the three Roundup-cancer trials so far have ruled unanimously that Monsanto’s best-selling weed killer Roundup causes cancer. Those juries have all done so despite a massive undertaking by Monsanto to attack journalists and scientists who question Roundup’s safety profile, while leading and/or rewarding those who help defend the company.
Over the past year, evidence of Monsanto’s deceptive efforts to defend the safety of its top-selling Roundup herbicide has been bared for all to see. Through the three civil trials – one in federal and two in state courts –public release of Monsanto’s internal communications has revealed conduct that all three juries have found so unethical as to warrant large punitive damage awards.
Monsanto Ghostwriting, Regulator Collusion, Media Manipulation
Internal emails have shown how Monsanto scientists casually discuss ghostwriting scientific papers and suppressing any science that contradicts the company’s strident defense of Roundup. Internal documents have also revealed cozy relationships with regulators that suggest collusion.
These documents – which Monsanto fought hard to keep confidential – also give a taste of Monsanto’s media deceptions, beyond the company’s now well-known policy of manipulating science and regulators. Carey Gilliam of U.S. Right to Know reports that the documents show Monsanto’s most insidious deceit yet may be its strategic manipulation of the media.
Monanto Consultant poses as Reporter
Ms. Gilliam writes, “We recently learned that a young woman falsely posing as a freelance BBC reporter at one of the Roundup cancer trials was in fact a ‘reputation management’ consultant for FTI Consulting, whose clients include Monsanto. The woman spent time with journalists who were covering the Hardeman v Monsanto trial in San Francisco, pretending to do reporting while also suggesting to the real reporters certain storylines or points that favored Monsanto.”
Monsanto publishes “Objective” Academics Review
Monsanto enlisted Reuters, a mainstream publication, to manufacture a story which attacked a member of the IARC which declared Roundup a probably carcinogen in 2015. According to Carey Gilliam, a Reuters reporter for 17 years, Monsanto used an organization called Academics Review to publish two scathing articles about Ms. Gilliam’s work at Reuters when she wrote about Monsanto’s GMO crops and Roundup. Monsanto complained that the reporter should not be including the views of Monsanto’s critics. Academics Review trumpeted those complaints under the guise of being an independent association.
Internal Monsanto documents show Academics Review is the brainchild of Monsanto. It was designed to respond to “scientific concerns and allegations” while “keeping Monsanto in the background so as not to harm the credibility of the information,” as Ms.Gilliam noted that one November 2010 email from Monsanto executive Eric Sachs stated. According to a March 11, 2010 email chain, Academics Review was established with the help of a former director of corporate communications at Monsanto who set up his own public relations shop and a former vice president of a biotech industry trade association of which Monsanto was a member.
Monsanto’s American Council on Science and Health
Monsanto also likes to point to the American Council on Science and Health as an arbiter of Roundup evidence and all things GMO, but ACSH is anything but a disinterested party. Internal documents show Monsanto money and marching orders behind the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH). This entity absurdly claims to be independent of industry while it publishes articles attacking journalists and scientists whose work contradicts Monsanto’s agenda. And the crying shame is that sham articles written by Monsanto’s ACSH have appeared in USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.
Ms. Gilliam writes: “ACSH has published several articles aimed at discrediting not just me but also Pulitzer-prize-winning New York Times reporter Eric Lipton, who ACSH calls a “science birther”, and former New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom, who ACSH accused of “irresponsible journalism” shortly before she left the paper. Both reporters had written articles exposing concerns about Monsanto. The New York Times’ Danny Hakim has also been targeted by ACSH for writing about Monsanto. “Danny Hakim Is Lying To You,” reads one of several posts by ACSH about Hakim.”
Internal Monsanto emails show ACSH seeking and receiving financial commitments from Monsanto. One email string from 2015 between the company and ACSH details the “unrestricted” financial support ACSH desires while laying out the “impacts” across social media ACSH is achieving. “Each and every day we work hard to prove our worth to companies like Monsanto…” the ACSH email states. A separate email chain among Monsanto executives states “You WILL NOT GET A BETTER VALUE FOR YOUR DOLLAR than ACSH.”
Monsanto Manipulation Machine bared (or Bayered)
How legitimate are publications like USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes when they are willing to not only conceal Monsanto’s ties to dummy organizations like ACSH, but also to help promote the same myths Monsanto writes about itself in publications across the world? Judges and juries are figuring this company out. If they can wade through the well-paid-for propaganda Monsanto continues to unleash in mainstream publications, the rest of the country will eventually figure it all out, too.
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