In a San Francisco federal court case, the plaintiff accused GMO giants Monsanto of hiring third-parties who hide their association with the company to respond to negative online comments, also known as ‘shills’.
Monsanto have gained such a bad reputation for online shills that it has become common practice on the news aggregation site Reddit to write ‘Monsant0’ when discussing the company in a bad light so that it is not indexed on a search engine.
The company are also accused of pressuring scientific publications to downplay the risks of their products. In an email chain used as evidence in court (acquired via Mass Tort Nexus), a company executive instructed his staff to ‘ghost write’ articles, planning to have independent scientists “just sign their names” to the study.
“Monsanto tells us that Roundup is safe because scientists say it is safe. But apparently scientists sign their names, while Monsanto signs the checks,” says Kara Cook-Schultz, Toxics Director at U.S. PIRG. “This calls into question multiple studies written, or possibly ghostwritten, by agricultural scientists.”
Also included in the email chain is evidence showing that Monsanto regularly works together with other international chemical companies—such as Syngenta and Dow—to publish scientific papers. Christophe Gustin, Monsanto’s Crop Protection Regulatory Affairs Lead at Monsanto Europe, asked for Syngenta and Dow’s sign-off prior to hiring a scientist to publish the results of internal, unpublished studies on Roundup.
Independent GMO research is trashed: scientists hounded. Yet Folta & others pretend they are on the side of science https://t.co/K34twohjwF
— Colin Todhunter (@Colin_Todhunter) March 30, 2017
Leak of Nations | Monsanto Shills | RoundUp Cancer Link