According to a report by Lee Fang for The Intercept, the Republican attempts to defund the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm, was, in part, backed by Monsanto.
Monsanto is a St. Louis-based chemical and seed conglomerate that creates Roundup weed killer and Roundup-resistant crops. Roundup’s active ingredient is glyphosate, which the IARC has identified as a “probable carcinogen,” which is reportedly the driving force behind the battle between the GOP and the IARC.
Roundup reportedly generates billions of dollars in annual profits, and an increasing number of people suggest that Monsanto failed to warn consumers about how dangerous these products are.
Fang’s report cites documents that were released by the law firm Baum Hedlund, who represented a plaintiff that sued Monsanto after developing blood cancer after years of Roundup use. The files include documents, company emails, and deposition transcripts that reveal that Monsanto lawyers and lobbyists spearheaded an effort to influence lawmakers and coordinate efforts to undermine the IARC’s credibility and decrease U.S. support for the agency.
“…the documents also suggest that the firm has used its influence with lawmakers to antagonize regulators, applying pressure and investigative threats to shape the science used to research glyphosate and other controversial chemical compounds, as part of a larger campaign to silence critics and discredit the IARC,” Fang wrote.
U.S. Right to Know reports that Monsanto has also influenced papers published in the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology. The degree of influence was so unethical that at least three should be retracted, according to the publisher. However, the journal editor, Roger McClellan, refused to withdraw the papers.
“I can not agree to the proposal for retraction you have offered in your memo of May 18th,” he said.
— The Intercept (@theintercept) August 23, 2019
According to journalist Carey Gillam, who spent over 20 years reporting on the agrochemical industry, Monsanto tried to destroy her reputation.
“One Monsanto plan involved paying for web placement of a blogpost about me so that Monsanto-written information would pop up at the top of certain internet searches involving my name,” Gillam wrote in her piece for The Guardian.
Monsanto also reportedly created a video to advance propaganda about Gillam and her work. The company even reportedly made a spreadsheet covering how to deal with Gillam’s book, Whitewash, which covers the connection between Roundup and cancer.
Gillam claims that Monsanto worked in conjunction with Washington, D.C.-based FTI Consulting to advance their plans.