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ook what we found when we unpacked the emails of a Monsanto PR consultant
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Tue 2/5/2019 2:02 PM
Look what we found when we unpacked the emails of a leading pesticide industry PR consultant: academic front groups, taxpayer-funded videos and other sneaky tactics to put an independent face on the agenda of the world’s largest chemical companies. See our new fact sheet: Jay Byrne: Meet the Man Behind Monsanto’s PR Machine.
In one email, Byrne reveals an “opportunities list with targets” of critics and topics they could confront to attract money from a “range of well-heeled corporations.” These included: Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Center for Food Safety, Organic Consumers Association, Vandana Shiva, IATP, Food Inc., a Michael Pollan book, contamination, bees, butterflies and human safety.
Shouting for glyphosate: Internal Monsanto emails written in 1999 detail the company’s efforts to develop a global network of “outside scientific experts who are influential at driving science, regulators, public opinion, etc.” The company wanted “people to get up and shout Glyphosate is Non-toxic,” according to the email thread.
For the plan to work they “may have to divorce Monsanto from direct association with the expert or we will waste the $1,000/day these guys are charging.” See Carey Gillam’s Roundup Trial Tracker blog.
Coke/CDC emails spark outrage: "The private emails speak of a federal agency hopelessly corrupted by a powerful corporation," reports Nicole Karlis in Salon. Our new study in the Milbank Quarterly about Coca-Cola's controversial relationship with CDC was covered in BMJ, AP, Washington Post, FT, Politico and CNN. On Feb. 4, Congresswomen Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) requested an investigation into reports that Coca-Cola inappropriately influenced public health policy through relationships with high-level CDC officials.
Scientific freedom: Two scientists have been awarded the AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. According to the AAAS release, “Drs. Sarath Gunatilake and Channa Jayasumana faced death threats and claims of research misconduct while working to determine the cause of a kidney disease epidemic that has claimed tens of thousands of lives in their home country of Sri Lanka and around the world. Ultimately, their advocacy led to the culprit, an herbicide called glyphosate, being banned in several affected countries.”
More food news for our health:
Arsenic and lead are in your fruit juice: What you need to know – Consumer Reports
Academics across the country say agribusiness has outsize influence on their research – New Food Economy
Murkowski, Sullivan renew push to label genetically engineered salmon – KTVA
Federal appeals court blocks San Francisco law on ad warnings for sugary drinks – NPR
Like predecessor, Trump’s new EPA pick packs schedule with industry meetings – Reuters
Weedicide glyphosate banned – The Hindu
High pesticide exposure linked to loss of smell – NIEHS News
In his new book to launch Feb. 6, Timothy Wise, senior researcher at the Small Planet Institute, writes that the world already has the tools to feed itself without expanding industrial agriculture or adopting GM seeds. See: "Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers and the Battle for the Future of Food."
If you read French, check these out:
Glyphosate : comment Monsanto mène sa guerre médiatique – Le Monde
Monsanto, poids lourd des pesticides et spécialiste des infos en kit – Le Monde
OGM : ce que les Monsanto Papers révèlent du lobbying en France – Le Parisien
Until next time, for our right to know,
Becky, Carey, Gary, Stacy
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