Please tune in this week when Host Teresa Wilke talks live to Carey Gillam, a journalist, author, and a public interest researcher for US Right to Know, a not-for-profit food industry research group. Hear more about her book, Whitewash and the retaliation she has endured since its publication. You can read her latest article in the Guardian US, The Trump Administration is Sidelining Science – and it puts us in danger.
Internal documents released in August provide a rare look into the public relations machinery at Monsanto, and how the company tried to contain an investigation by U.S. Right to Know into its relationships with academics and other third parties who promote Monsanto products. USRTK, a small nonprofit research group focused on the food industry, has made numerous public records requests to taxpayer-funded universities and academics since 2015, leading to revelations about secretive industry collaborations.
Monsanto also adopted a strategy to counter the reporting of Carey Gillam and her investigative book about the company’s herbicide business. Gillam is research director at USRTK. “Monsanto had a ‘Carey Gillam Book’ spreadsheet, with more than 20 actions dedicated to opposing her book before its publication, including working to ‘Engage Pro-Science Third Parties’ in criticisms, and partnering with ‘SEO experts’ to spread its attacks,” reported Sam Levin in the Guardian. Monsanto also investigated singer Neil Young, the documents reveal.
The company has deployed allies to write letters and op-eds to criticize the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) over its classification of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen — materials that were intended to look like they originated outside Monsanto. Other documents discuss “media training” for farmers and others (see sources like International Food Information Council, Biology Fortified, and Genetic Literacy Project who could push Monsanto talking points as independent third parties, and communications showing FTI Consulting, which had Monsanto as a client, discussing with U.S. House of Representatives staff how to insert language into legislation that would cut funding to IARC. See coverage of the new documents in The Intercept, “Emails show Monsanto orchestrated GOP efforts to intimidate cancer researchers.”