Court Documents Reveal The Inner Workings of a Monsanto Smear Campaign

by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:

...it was obvious that Monsanto had had some influence over the journal and the paper's ultimate retraction. But the latest document leak shows just how much influence.

The case against Monsanto is the gift that keeps on giving. Previously in these pages I discussed how the trial of Monsanto currently taking place in the California Northern District Court--technically a "Multidistrict Litigation" formally known as "In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2741)" --is airing some of the agrichemical behemoth's dirtiest laundry.

In my article "Monsatan On Trial For Roundup Cancer," I revealed how dozens of lawsuits against Monsanto for its role in causing the non-Hodgkin lymphoma of thousands of people across the US had been rolled into one dramatic court case, and how discovery from that case had yielded the remarkable deathbed testimony of EPA whistleblower Jess Rowland.

Then, new documents emerged from the case confirming what many had long suspected: that Monsanto has an entire internal corporate program (appropriately entitled "Let Nothing Go") employing an army of internet trolls to spam the company's propaganda on every social media post, forum and online comment board where its products and practices are being discussed.

Just this week, one of the law firms working on the trial released an equally explosive collection of "Monsanto's Secret Documents" proving another long-suspected claim against the world's most evil company: That they have in fact ghostwritten many of the key articles defending their products in the mainstream press, articles that were supposedly written by "independent" journalists. When the embarrassing details of the story came to light, including a suggested "draft" of an article written by Monsanto for Forbes "journalist" Henry Miller in 2015 that was exactly identical to the article that appeared under his name, Forbes pulled the story from their website and ended Miller's employment. In a different leaked email exchange, former Monsanto consultant John Acquavella complained to a Monsanto executive, "I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication," adding "We call that ghost writing and it is unethical."

But if all that wasn't bad enough, the latest documents to emerge from the case also detail exactly how Monsanto attempted to smear the research of Gilles-Éric Séralini, the French scientist who published a groundbreaking study showing an increase in tumors among rats fed genetically modified corn and Monsanto's RoundUp herbicide.

The Séralini affair, as it has come to be known, is something that long-time Corbett Reporteers will be familiar with by now. For those who haven't seen my *COUGHProjectCensoredAwardWinningCOUGH* video on the subject, here's the synopsis:

In "Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize," published in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2012, Dr. Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen and his team of researchers followed 200 rats over two years, divided into 10 groups of 20 (10 male rats and 10 female rats). Three of the groups were fed Monsanto’s patented NK603 GMO corn alone, three groups were fed the corn treated with Roundup herbicide, three groups were fed Roundup-treated water but no GMO corn and a control group was fed neither GMO corn nor Roundup herbicide. The team’s results indicated that the rats fed the Roundup or the GMO corn, separately or combined, were more likely to experience a range of ill health effects than the non-GMO control group.

So far, so straightforward. But then the Monsanto PR machine™ kicked into action. Suddenly, the study was being pilloried as "unscientific" from all quarters. But it was not "unscientific" because it failed to apply the usual scientific standards and practices, but because it applied the very standards and practices of all previous toxicity studies on glyphosate. The only problem was that the Séralini study continued observing the rats for their full two-year average lifespan, while previous industry-sponsored feeding studies had only observed the rats for three months. Tellingly, Séralini's team found that most of the adverse health effects documented in the study did not begin developing until the fourth month of the experiment.

Condemnations of the study, which had been carried out in near total secrecy to avoid industry pressure, were swift in coming. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), for example, the very same agency that in 2009 had recommendedNK603 Roundup-tolerant maize for regulatory approval in the EU without any independent testing, issued a blistering 22-point press release defending its own assessment of the GM corn's safety. They concluded that Séralini's work "does not meet acceptable scientific standards and there is no need to re-examine previous safety evaluations of genetically modified maize NK603." What the press release neglected to mention was that the EFSA had in fact not examined the safety of Monsanto's corn in the first place, conducting no animal tests itself, instead relying on "information supplied by the applicant" (i.e., Monsanto).

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