Tactics Used to Manipulate Science to Promote Glyphosate

TWN Info Service on Biosafety
14 March 2023
Third World Network

Dear Friends and Colleagues

Tactics Used to Manipulate Science to Promote Glyphosate

The report — Merchants of Poison: How Monsanto Sold the World on a Toxic Pesticide — illuminates the disinformation and science denial at the core of the pesticide industry’s public relations playbook. Centering the herbicide glyphosate (known by its brand name Roundup) as a case study, it is a comprehensive review of Monsanto’s strategy, including the tactics used to manipulate the science and attack those who raised concerns about glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, often in conjunction with GM herbicide-tolerant crops.

The analysis draws from thousands of pages of internal corporate documents released during lawsuits brought by farmers, groundskeepers, and everyday gardeners suing Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) over allegations that exposure to Roundup caused them to develop cancer; as well as documents obtained through public records requests. In 2015, when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, Monsanto deployed an “unprecedented and harsh strategy” to push back on the ruling.

So how did Monsanto influence the science? The report describes numerous examples from internal Monsanto documents, showing how employees worked behind the scenes to shape the scientific record and influence regulatory reports to bolster one core message: glyphosate is safe. These strategies included courting friendly scientists to write papers favorable to the company – even ghostwriting scientific papers – while keeping the company’s role hidden.

Further information is available at: https://usrtk.org/monsanto/attacks-on-scientists-journalists/


With best wishes,
Third World Network

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