The national law firm of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman added 100+ new documents to the Monsanto Papers today. The new Monsanto Papers documents are available for review via the Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman website.
Prior to, during, and after the first three Monsanto Roundup trials, Baum Hedlund worked to declassify and publish internal Monsanto documents pursuant to the protective orders entered in the cases. The latest batch of Monsanto Papers documents were de-designated on March 1 and July 22.
Among other things, the Monsanto Papers show:
- Monsanto purposefully ghostwrote articles that regulators have been relying on for years.
- Monsanto orchestrated attacks against the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and its members for concluding glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.
- Monsanto hid its own consultant’s conclusions that Roundup causes DNA damage.
- Monsanto hid data showing Roundup penetrates skin at greater rates than reported to regulators.
- Monsanto influenced EPA officials to arrive at pro-Roundup conclusions.
The latest batch of documents reveal Monsanto’s efforts to defund IARC by writing letters on behalf of sitting members of Congress to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which oversees government funding to IARC. Monsanto’s PR teams at FTI Consulting also worked behind the scenes to draft language for legislation aimed at defunding IARC.
The ghostwritten letters to NIH cite articles by Reuters reporter Kate Kelland, a key mouthpiece for Monsanto in its bid to discredit IARC. In 2017, Kelland wrote a story that parroted IARC talking points she received from Monsanto executive Sam Murphey. The talking points, given to Kelland with an exclusive quote from Monsanto’s Vice President Scott Partridge, fueled the impression that IARC deliberately ignored data that would have changed the glyphosate classification. Kelland failed to cite Monsanto as a source in her article.
The documents also show that Monsanto created an ‘Intelligence Fusion Center’ targeting journalists and activists critical of the company, including reporter Carey Gillam of U.S. Right to Know and singer/songwriter Neil Young. The revelations come months after Bayer acknowledged and apologized for allegations that Monsanto kept a secret list of European journalists and lawmakers critical of the company. These allegations, exposed by the newspaper Le Monde, led to a government investigation.
The documents added to the Monsanto Papers are “evidence of the reprehensible and conscious disregard of the rights and safety of others,”said Baum Hedlund managing partner, Michael Baum in an article in The Guardian. “It shows an abuse of their power that they have gained by having achieved such large sales. They’ve got so much money, and there is so much they are trying to protect.”
As part of Monsanto’s efforts to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) after it released a report in 2015 classifying glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, Monsanto began attempts, as early as 2016, to get the U.S. government to stop its funding of IARC, as the US provides the most funding among approximately 25 countries.
Subsequent to Monsanto’s influence on certain member of Congress, The Committee on Science, Space & Technology (SST) held a hearing on February 6, 2018 titled, “In Defense of Scientific Integrity: Examining the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monograph Program and Glyphosate Review.”
Prior to the hearing, Minority Committee staff wrote a damning report about Monsanto (Spinning Science & Silencing Scientists: A Case Study in How the Chemical Industry Attempts to Influence Science) to better inform the committee members about the chemical industry tactics which had ultimately produced the talking points used in congressional letters criticizing IARC. The report digs deep into declassified documents our firm made public concerning Monsanto’s IARC Battle Plan, ghostwriting articles for scientific journals, hiring journalists to discredit IARC, establishing front groups and silencing scientists, including a planned attack on Gilles-Eric Séralini, whose study found that Roundup and genetically modified glyphosate-resistant corn caused tumors in rats.
On March 29, 2019 the Chairwoman of the Committee on Science, Space & Technology, sent a letter to the Director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) requesting an update to ATSDR’s announcement of its intent to develop a toxicological profile of glyphosate as it was to have been released and available for public comment by April 2017. It wasn’t until April 2018 that the toxicological profile of glyphosate was released. The comment period ended on July 8, 2019.
The United States government is the biggest contributor to IARC funding.
New IARC Documents
- Monsanto Email Re: Agenda 11/11/16
- Draft IARC Language, Labor HHS
- Letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander and Sen. Patty Murray
- Current Committee Report Language with Revisions
Monsanto ghostwrote letters for Reps to send re: IARC defunding.
Kristina Moore of FTI Consulting forwards the letter sent to NIH by members of Congress.
This document contains an email between Todd Rands and FTI Consulting personnel. Todd Rands sends a “retool of the draft” of letter addressed to Francis Collins (NIH) for Congressman Aderholt.
Email between FTI Consulting personnel and Monsanto re: meeting agenda 9-20-2016. Attachments include ‘Blunt letter to NIH’ and ‘Smith Statement on EPA’ and ‘Aderholt briefer.’
Internal Monsanto plan to defund IARC through third party outreach to Congress. Email exchange between FTI Consulting’s Kristina Moore and Drew Feeley. At the time, Feeley was Counsel – Oversight and Government Reform Committee; Interior, Energy and Environment Subcommittee. He went on to work at EPA and now serves as Senior Counsel for the Council on Environmental Quality, Executive Office of the President.
Gilles-Eric Séralinipublished a Roundup herbicide study in September 2012 in Food and Chemical Toxicology that reported an increase in tumors in rats fed genetically modified glyphosate resistant corn. Monsanto devised a plan to undermine and discredit Séraliniwhich resulted in other scientists and regulatory agencies concluding that his study was flawed. The journal retracted his study in November 2013 succumbing to pressure from the industry and stating his findings were inconclusive and unreliable. An amended version of Séralini’s article was republished in Environmental Sciences Europe and the raw data were made public, though some say not all the raw data was, in fact, released.
According to Eva Novotny (University of Cambridge), the story of the Séralini paper “demonstrates clearly how deeply the influence of corrupt corporations has penetrated into what should be the untouchable scientific integrity of editors, publishers, regulators, learned societies, governments and even the corporations themselves.”
Per documents we released on Aug. 1, 2017, Wallace Hayes, the Editor-in-Chief for Food and Chemical Toxicology, once had a contractual relationship with Monsanto.
New Séralini Documents
- Monsanto Email Re: SA Presentation for Wednesday – LANCA
- Monsanto Company PowerPoint Presentation on Séralini et al., Food and Chemical
- Toxicology 2012
This document contains an email exchange between Monsanto’s Dan Goldstein, Philip Eppard, Lori Aldren, and Eric Sachs regarding the SéraliniAffair, with PowerPoint attachment.
The PowerPoint attachment lists various Monsanto talking points to use to discredit Séraliniand his two-year study of rats exposed to Roundup formulation in their diet.
This document contains email correspondence between Monsanto’s consultants regarding Glyphosate carc review v6, wherein one acknowledges that they cannot simply dismiss Séralini as “junk science” in their glyphosate cancer review.
This document is an email exchange between John Vicini, Eric Sachs, John Swarthout, Lee Quarles, Melissa Duncan, Thomas Helcher, and the “Exchange Administrative Group” discussing Séralini’s latest study, wherein Eric Sachs writes, “John Entine is working on an analysis of the paper based on the Monsanto remarks.”
This document is an email correspondence between Daniel Goldstein, Eric Sachs, Bruce Hammond, Bill Heydens, Shawna Lemke, David Saltmiras, and Henry Miller re: Séralini. In commenting on Miller’sand (and Sachs’) “suggestions” for Miller’s article, Goldstein notes that it is “not appropriate to criticize” the design of Séralini’s study.
This document contains an email from Karl Haro von Mogel (AgBioChatter) re: Séralini at the Environmental Health Symposium in San Diego wherein von Mogel describes the event, which included “Smith, Seneff, Honeycutt, etc.” as “misguided, uncritical, pseudoscientific and potentially dangerous presentations of ideas under the heading ”environmental medicine.”
This document is an email exchange between Donna Farmer, Steven Levine, Daniel Goldstein, David Saltmiras, and others, discussing the rejection of the Séralini paper. Donna Farmer, Steven Levine, and others commented on a review of the Séralini paper in which Bill Heydens was the intended reviewer. It is noteworthy that Monsanto scientists and primary defenders of Monsanto’s freedom to operaterelative to Roundup, were “peer reviewing”a study regarding a treatment to remedy liver damage caused by exposure to Roundup. The conflict of interest in their recommendations to reject the study’s publication violates fundamental peer review guidelines.
Monsanto comments on peer review of Séralini study,”Dig1 protects against cell death provoked by glyphosate-based herbicides in human liver cell line.”
FOIA/US Right to Know
U.S. Right to Know is a non-profit investigative research group focused on the food industry. According to their website, they produce groundbreaking research and journalism to expose how powerful food and chemical industry interests impact the food we eat and feed our children. They work to uncover timely and critically important revelations about corrupt and corrosive food industry practices that are contributing to illness and environmental harm.
As reported by The Guardian on August 8, 2019, the following documents reveal how Monsanto’s intelligence “Fusion Center” targeted journalists, like USRTK’s Carey Gillam, and activists.
New FOIA / USRTK Documents
- Monsanto Email Re: FOIA strategy Moving forward
- Monsanto Internal Report: COMPREHENSIVE USRTK FOIA PREPAREDNESS AND REACTIVE PLAN
MONGLY07041101 is an email exchange between Chelsey Robinson, Aimee Hood, Eric Sachs, Charla Lord, Fleishman Hillard employees, and others, discussing the USRTK FOIA preparedness plan.
MONGLY07041103 is a draft document contains Monsanto’s “Comprehensive USRTK FOIA Preparedness and Reactive Plan” in response to U.S. Right to Know’s requests under state open records laws to academic consultants with Monsanto.
This document is an internal Monsanto report and response plan for USRTK FOIA requests. Some of the objectives of the plan are to “protect our reputation and FTO,” to “protect valuable stakeholder relationships,” and to “distance Monsanto from any inappropriate or immature comments or unethical behavior by individual employees.”
Fusion Center/Tracking and Responding to Criticism
Monsanto operated an “intelligence fusion center,” a term often used by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for operations dealing with surveillance. The fusion center investigated and responded to criticism from Carey Gillam (USRTK) and Neil Young. For more information on the fusion center, read the Sam Levine article that appeared in the Guardian on Aug. 8, 2019.
New Fusion Center Documents
This document contains an email from Kelly Clauss to various Monsanto employees regarding Monsanto’s communications strategy for singer/songwriter, Neil Young’s Seeding Fear documentary. The document shows how Monsanto created a ‘Fusion Center’ to track and neutralize criticism.
This document contains a draft for an Issues Plan in response to Farm Aid/Neil Young. The document identifies issues likely to gain traction from Farm Aid/Neil Young and a plan to respond online.
This document is an email correspondence between Melissa Duncan, Eric Sachs, Chelsey Robinson, Charla Lord, and the ”Intelligence, Fusion Center”re: Carey Gillam’s article ”Following an Email Trail: How a Public University Professor Collaborated on a Corporate PR Campaign.“In the exchange, Eric Sachs responds to Gillam using one of his emails in her story about paying third party experts. Sachs: “If an expert would be compensated it is much more likely that they invest their time and effort. Absent compensation, experts will predictably invest their time on other matters linked to other forms of compensation.”
This document contains an email from Monsanto’s Sam Murphey wherein he states: “…we collectively get to share the Carey headache with Sara. We continue to push back on her editors very strongly every chance we get. And we all hope for the day she gets reassigned.”
This document is an email exchange that is forwarded among several Monsanto employees. The exchange refers to USRTK’s Gary Ruskin FOIA requests as the ”Ruskin Cleanse”and expresses concern that AgBioChatter will soon be subjected to FOIA requests.
This document is an email exchange between Sam Murphey, Christi Dixon, Sara Miller, Nicholas Weber, and others regarding Carey Gillam. Weber questions whether Gillam is a journalist and calls her “a pain in the ass.” The email also contains a draft of an op-ed type response to Gillam by Sara Miller, titled ”Peeling Back the Curtain on Peeling Back the Curtain” in which Miller says Gillam has “relentless tenacity to argue against science and the opportunities that it holds for farmers.”
This document is an issues management/communications strategy preparing for the release of Carey Gillam’s book Whitewash.
This document contains an email correspondence between FTI Consulting’s Adam Cubbage and Monsanto employees Cole Waggoner and Sam Murphey re: response to Carey Gillam’s book. They discuss action items, including talking points for third parties responding to the book, and producing a “how to post book reviews email.”
This document is a Roundup Lawn & Garden Reputation Management Session Summary presentation. It asks the question, “…are we just managing and delaying decline (like tobacco)?” The presentation also outlines strategies for “winning the argument” against anti-glyphosate groups.
“To win the argument, we need to…. 1 Actively tell our story 2 Build the right relationships 3 Let nothing go 4 Discomfort our opposition”
“We argue (substantively) that…. • RUP is a herbicide, only working on plants • RUP does not burn, persist, or endanger the food chain in any way • RUP is the most researched product in the world and is, empirically, safe • RUP has 40 years of safe use by 50 million trusting users • RUP allows 50 million gardeners to keep their living space beautiful and as they like it”
French newspaper LeMonde reported in May 2019 that Monsanto hired St. Louis-based FleishmanHillard, a major lobbying and PR firm, to compile lists of its critics and their views on pesticides and genetically modified crops. It compiled a list of 200 politicians, scientists, and journalists. According to the article, Paris police are investigating the possible “collection of personal information by fraudulent, unfair and illicit means.” Bayer apologized for “this behavior” several days later, stating it won’t tolerate unethical behavior. It also temporarily suspended its relationship with FleishmanHillard until The German Council for Public Relations cleared FleishmanHillardof any wrongdoing for the lists itcompiled, stating to The Holmes Report that they couldn’t find anything special or unusual about the lists.
New Fleishman Hillard Documents
This document is an email exchange between Sam Murphey, Monsanto employees, Publicis employees and Fleishman Hillard employees discussing a Le Monde article about the Monsanto Papers. They discuss the political implications and an action plan re: Le Monde story.
This document contains an IARC Media Training presentation with a cover sheet from Monsanto’s Public Relations firm, FleishmanHillard.
This document contains an email exchange between Sam Murphey and PR firm Fleishman Hillard discussing a EU market deck that includes stakeholders in EU countries. The deck in discussion is a work in progress that will demonstrate “who and how key stakeholders are influenced/ who and how stakeholders influence.”
Reliance on Third Parties, Monsanto in the Background
The goal of Monsanto’s engagement with independent scientists was succinctly stated in a May 26, 1999 email. The goal is to encourage “… people to get up and shout Glyphosate is Non-toxic.” And “Outside scientific experts who are influential at driving science, regulators, public opinion, etc.We would have they people directly or indirectly/behind-the-scenes work on our behalf [sic].”
This document contains a series of emails between Dr. Daniel Goldstein, Wayne Parrott and Bruce Chassy discussing Moms Across America, where Dr. Goldstein explains “I have been arguing for a week to beat the s*** out of them and have clearly lost,” to which Dr. Chassy responds, “You can’t beat up mothers, even if they are dumb mothers but you can beat up the organic industry that paid for and wrote that letter.”
This is a Ketchum/Center for Biotechnology Information document containing a preparation plan for content creation for the Expert Tab of GMO Answers. The plan lists studies/articles by the likes of Séralini, Jeffrey Smith, etc. and proposed authors to create articles “that reflect the general scientific consensus.” These proposed authors include Kevin Folta, Brice Chassy, Jon Entine, Alan Felsot and others.
This document is an article by Kevin Folta with edits by Jon Entine. Folta argues: “Holding activists accountable for increased regulatory costs and public policy proposals that limit innovation in the public and private sector is vital to ensuring that millions of consumers can realize the crop, environmental and nutritional benefits offered by GM technology.”
Testing/Manipulation of Science
This document contains a letter from Janet E. Collins of CropLife America to Steven Knott of the Environmental Protection Agency, re: FIFRA SAP Glyphosate. CropLife America, on behalf of manufacturers of crop protection chemicals such as Monsanto, requests that the Glyphosate Issue Paper, Section 7: Collaborative Research Plan for Glyphosate and Glyphosate Formulations be eliminated from any consideration of discussion by FIFRA SAP [Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel].
Donna Farmer admits that Monsanto is working behind the scenes to alter a government website’s info on glyphosate. “[h]ow about the CAL EPA site that claims glyphosate causes tumors – yes a government site – we are working behind the scenes to get that changed!”
Email correspondence re arsenic where, in discussing the formulated Roundup product, Stephen Wratten inquires “What the hell is arsenic doing in there?”