Monsanto knew there were BIG problems with Roundup
A number of interesting documents were released this week as part of an ongoing lawsuit against Monsanto. Like this email from a Monsanto scientist (all the way back in 2001) that included the line:
“If somebody came to me and said they wanted to test Roundup I know how I would react — with serious concern.”
By James Ayre
Overall, these documents seem to paint a pretty clear picture of a company working to bend the rules to suit its best interests, and also one where there was clear internal “debate” about the actual safety of its best-selling product, Roundup.
Hardly ambiguous, eh? And not in fitting with the company’s public stance the product is “harmless.”
Apparently the company was very busily ghost-writing op eds to be placed in newspapers under the names of
prominent pro-GMO scientists, which even some Monsanto boosters found distasteful and ethically questionable (at least, at the time).
The New York Times provides more:
“The documents underscore the lengths to which the agrochemical company goes to protect its image. Documents show that Henry I Miller, an academic and a vocal proponent of genetically modified crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that largely mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’s website in 2015.
“A similar issue appeared in academic research. An academic involved in writing research funded by Monsanto, John Acquavella, a former Monsanto employee, appeared to express discomfort with the process, writing in a 2015 email to a Monsanto executive, ‘I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication.’ He also said of the way the company was trying to present the authorship: ‘We call that ghost writing and it is unethical.’ A Monsanto official said the comments were the result of ‘a complete misunderstanding’ that had been ‘worked out,’ while Mr Acquavella said in an email on Tuesday that ‘there was no ghostwriting’ and that his comments had been related to an early draft and a question over authorship that was resolved.”
Food for thought, huh? Perhaps Mr Acquavella now says he didn’t publish a ghostwritten article, but what about others?
While there’s been speculation for some time now that Monsanto employees have ghostwritten some, or many, of the pro-GMO and pro-Roundup articles attributed to supporters of the tech … it’s still interesting to see it all laid out so clearly.
The vice president of global strategy for Monsanto, Scott Partridge, stated: “What you’re seeing are some cherry-picked things that can be made to look bad. But the substance and the science are not affected by this.”
Monsanto is reportedly threatening legal and/or civil action against the law firm that released the documents. Who’s surprised?