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Monsanto hit list exposed

In what Democracy Now! 1 refers to as an “explosive report” by The Guardian, 2 records obtained during the discovery process of lawsuits against Monsanto reveal the company has been engaged in a coordinated campaign to repudiate connoisseurs of the company.

Among them are journalist Carey Gillam, the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know( USRTK) and singer-songwriter Neil Young, whose 2015 album, “The Monsanto Years, ” was an aesthetic critique of the company.

“The records … support Monsanto adopted a multi-pronged approach to target Carey Gillam, a Reuters journalist who analyse the company’s weedkiller and its links to cancer, ” The Guardian writes. 3

“Monsanto , now owned by the German pharmaceutical firm Bayer, also monitored a not-for-profit nutrient research constitution through its ‘intelligence fusion center, ‘ a call that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies use for operations focused on surveillance and terrorism.

The documents, mostly from 2015 to 2017, were disclosed as part of an ongoing court battle on the health hazards of the company’s Roundup weedkiller.”

Monsanto records establish coordinated anticipated to stillnes journalist

According to The Guardian, 4 the records secured reveal how Monsanto planned to discredit Gillam’s book, “White Wash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science, “5 ahead of its liberation in 2017 by instructing “industry and farmer customers” to post negative reviews and paying Google to promote search results critical of Gillam and her work.

In all, the attack on Gillam’s book, dubbed “Project Spruce, “6( an internal code name for Monsanto’s defense directive to protect the company against all realized threats to its business7) had more than 20 task tops, including the engagement of regulatory authorities and providing “pro-science third parties” with talking points.

Gillam told The Guardian the documents are “just one more example of how the company efforts behind the scenes to try to manipulate what the public knows about its makes and practices.”

According to The Guardian, staff at Monsanto’s PR firm likewise seems to have been pushed Reuters to prevent Gillam from reporting on Monsanto and its concoctions, saying they “continue to push back on[ Gillam’s] journalists very strongly every risk we get.”

In an August 9, 2019, essay in The Guardian, Gillam is more forthcoming with her sensibilities, be said that :8

“As a columnist who has considered corporate America for more than 30 years, very little startles me about the propaganda tactics companionships often deploy. I know the pressure companies can and do bring to bear when trying to effect positive coverage and restraint reporting they regard negative about their business practices and products.

But when I recently received close to 50 sheets of internal Monsanto communications about the company’s plans to target me and my reputation, I was shocked … I never dreamed I would warrant my own Monsanto action plan …

One Monsanto plan involved paying for web placement of a blogpost about me so that Monsanto-written information would pop up at the top of certain internet huntings involving my specify … In addition, Monsanto produced a video to help it amplify company-engineered propaganda about me and my work …

The documents is demonstrating that Monsanto mobilized Washington DC-based FTI Consulting to help it with its plans. FTI was in the news earlier this year after one of its employees constituted as a reporter at the Roundup cancer trial contained this March in San Francisco.

The woman pretended to be reporting on the Hardeman v Monsanto ordeal, while suggesting to real reporters extending the contest specific storylines that were favorable to Monsanto.”

USRTK targeted by Monsanto’s surveillance center

Monsanto’s surveillance center also raised written reports on Young’s anti-Monsanto advocacy efforts and USRTK’s pleasures, along with a detailed plan9 for how to deal with USRTK’s Freedom of Information Act( FOIA) requests.

“Monsanto officials were repeatedly worried about him the freeing of documents on their financial relationships with scientists that have been able to support the allegations they were ‘covering up unflattering research, ‘” The Guardian writes. 10

Indeed, among the many action steps listed in Monsanto’s USRTK response plan1 1 are “Edit existing copy” to “Bolster language on clarity and collaboration, ” and “Write post that tells the story about the impact of a project( one that reverberates well with a societal gathering) that was performed possible through the collaboration of Monsanto and Academia … ” The Guardian adds: 12

“Government fusion centres have increasingly promoted privacy concerns bordering the nature law enforcement agencies collect data, surveil citizens and share information.

Private companionships might have intelligence centres that monitor legitimate criminal menaces, such as cyberattacks, but ‘it becomes troubling when you assure corporations leveraging their coin to investigate people who are engaging in their first amendment titles, ‘ said Dave Maass, the major investigate investigate at the Electronic Frontier Foundation …

Michael Baum, one of the attorneys involved in the Roundup experiments that discovered the records, said the records were further ‘evidence of the objectionable and awareness ignore of the rights and safety of others’ … ‘It testifies an corruption of their ability that they have gained by having achieved such huge auctions, ‘ he added.”

In an August 9, 2019, press release, USRTK observations on the documented campaign against the organization: 13

“USRTK has made public records requests to taxpayer-funded universities since 2015, leading to multiple disclosures about secretive industry collaborations with professors …

The documents, which were made available through breakthrough in the Roundup cancer litigation, show that Monsanto was worried that the public records seeks had the “potential to be extremely damaging” and so crafted a plan to counter the USRTK investigation …

‘The story of the Monsanto Papers is that the company acts like it has only one frightful quantity to hide, ‘ said Gary Ruskin, co-director of U.S. Right to Know, who led the investigation. ‘Whenever scientists, columnists and others raise questions about their business, they attack. We are just the latest example. This has been going on for years.'”

The press release goes on to list several key findings from the documents, detailing how Monsanto intended to safeguard its “freedom to operate.” One direction of doing that was to “position” USRTK’s investigation into its dealings as “an attack on scientific integrity and academic freedom.”

The documents too testify Monsanto would have the right to review any documents released by FOIA before their liberation to USRTK, “even though USRTK requested the above-mentioned documents by government FOI, ” the press release tones. Monsanto’s campaign plan too specified the use of third parties to counteract USRTK.

Again, this tactic is purposely used to make it appear as though Monsanto has nothing to do with the commentary against USRTK, when in fact it’s the driving and coordinating force behind it.

Third parties to be employed include Forbes and other third party content pioneers, GMO Answers donors, Sense About Science, the Science Media Center, Center for Food Integrity, International Food Information Council, numerous farmers radicals, Jon Entine with the Genetic Literacy Project, Henry Miller( previously caught publishing commodities ghostwritten by Monsanto, which led to Forbes firing him and deleting his articles ).

AgBioChatter representative admonishes deleting emails

That USRTK is seen as a threat to industry’s business as usual is also made clear in a September 2015 email exchange1 4,15 between several Monsanto employees, including Monsanto scientist Eric Sachs.

The discussion centered around “unfortunate” language used by an unnamed individual is connected with GMO Answers in his or her communication with professors on AgBioChatter — described by USRTK as “a private email listserver used by the agrichemical the enterprises and its allies to coordinate messaging and lobbying activities.”1 6

There was some question about whether AgBioChatter was confidential or private. In an email to AgBioChatter representatives( forwarded in the email exchange ), Karl Haro von Mogel, 17 media director of Biofortified, a GMO promotion group, cautioned: 18

“It seems that there has been a leak of mentioning AgBioChatter, and it is inevitable that it will become a target for future FOIAs. It sounds like Ruskin did not include it in his latest round of FOIAs but likely will in the future. If anyone now have not been able to taken the Ruskin Cleanse of these private emails it will convey more content for them to twist and string into a mistaken narrative.”

In other words, it sounds as though Haro von Mogel was advising people to delete their emails — to get rid of the evidence — to prevent the behind-the-scenes truths from being known, were USRTK to file a FOIA request for AgBioChatter correspondence.

Monsanto accuses of mishandle personal data in Europe

The information about Monsanto’s targeted attacks on Gillam and USRTK comes on the heels of Bayer’s admission that Monsanto hindered indices of hundreds of lawmakers, scientists and journalists and their own views on GMOs in France and other European countries. 19,20

According to Reuters, 21 the registers were maintained “in hopes of influencing status on pesticides.” And, while Bayer denied that Monsanto’s procurement of the lists contravened any laws, Reuters reported that: 22

“French public-sector research institutes Inra and CNRS … said they would file criminal complaints over mishandling of personal data, after discover that some of their researchers and executives peculiarity on the Monsanto stakeholder lists.”

Reuters’ report2 3 also included a quote from Matthias Berninger, head of public occasions at Bayer, saying “When you collect nonpublicly available data about souls a Rubicon is clearly bridged, irrespective of whether data privacy ordinances have effectively violated.”

Document shed light on GMO Answers

Yet another cache of documents liberated to HuffPost shed light on GMO Answers, a breast group created by Monsanto’s PR company, Ketcum PR, in an effort to polish Monsanto’s tarnished image. As reported by Paul Thacker: 24

“To reboot the national dialogue, Ketchum developed a campaign announced GMO Answers, and used social media and third-party scientists to offer a counternarrative to mitigate concern about Monsanto’s products.

HuffPost has acquired 130 pages of internal documents from an anonymous source that item the campaign and its tricks for enhancing Monsanto’s public image … “

By answering any and all basic questions about GMOs and perfecting their SEO strategy, GMO Answers is now among the top results of most GMO-related web probes. The question, again, is that the “experts” answering the questions are not independent experts. They work for Monsanto and are supporters of the biotech manufacture. You cannot tell that this is the case, however, as those relationships are purposely hidden.

Captured correspondents are shaping public opinion

Thacker also details the influence of Tamar Haspel, “an oyster farmer living on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod, ” who writes blogs and essays favoring the GMO industry and compound agriculture, who became a strong articulate for GMO Answers.

“Behind the backgrounds, Ketchum’s substantiates establish a reporter eager to collaborate with the firm and promote its brand-new[ GMO Answers] campaign — and Ketchum happy to foster that relationship, ” Thacker writes. 25

“Another page discusses … a plan for ‘ongoing development of relationships’ with Haspel — the only media person mentioned by name — as well as stores The Motley Fool and Politico …

Haspel began her[ Washington] Post articles in October 2013, promising to ‘negotiate the schism and pin down the hard, cold facts’ about GMOs. These editorials have been likable to the agrichemical manufacture, promoting GMO concoctions and merchandise harvests, downplaying the risks of toxic substances and pesticides, and discover defect with organic agriculture.”

Thacker goes on to list examples of Haspel’s biased reporting, which includes downplaying the hazards of glyphosate and failing to disclose that one of her beginnings was a Monsanto consultant, and reducing the risks of synthetic food additives to children, mentioning a professor of religion as key experts source.

“For many who have been suspicious of Haspel’s relationship with agrichemical monstrous, the records are further evidence that she’s too close to the industry she writes about and that her prominent column at The Washington Post accommodates a roost to spread misleading information about agriculture and the food we eat.

At the very least, they give a behind-the-scenes look at how public relations consultants work to shape public feeling through its relationship with journalists … ” Thacker writes. 26

“Pages of Ketchum PR documents that discuss Haspel are labeled, ‘Success! A Strategy That Embraces Skepticism.’ For Monsanto, any legend that muddieds the water on the science critical of its concoctions is a prevail, and Haspel’s have been arguably the most prominent in national media.

The company’s touting of those articles is part of a mutually beneficial loop — she promotes its discipline; it promotes her on manufacture locates and social media.”

Who are Monsanto’s ambassadors?

As Thacker points out, Monsanto has perfected several of the strategies initiated by the tobacco industry decades ago to hide the dangers of smoking. One key strategy is to undermine the public’s confidence in science reveal there are problems.

This is done in two parts: First, form your own science that contradicts findings indicating a number of problems. Next, influence and shape public discussion by malign the critics and emphasizing the lack of technical consensus. This engineered uncertainty is what keeps the public from turning their back on the products and frustrates regulatory interventions.

Another tobacco tactic employed by Monsanto is the development of relationships with the researchers and nonprofit organizations who, while maintaining an aura of independence, act as “corporate representatives to the press, ” to use Thacker’s term. Who are some of Monsanto’s most well-known ambassadors? Aside from Haskel, Thacker’s article identifies 😛 TAGEND

Nina Federoff, Ph.D ., Professor Emeritus of biology at Penn state2 7

Jon Entine, founding administrator of the Genetic Literacy Project2 8 — another breast group that, despite having been repeatedly exposed as such, continues to be promoted to the top of internet search results for GMO topics

Bruce Chassy, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois2 9,30

Kevin Folta, University of Florida professor

The American Council on Science and Health

What’s particularly disturbing is the concept that academics working for publicly funded universities have been captured by industry and are promoting an manufacture schedule on the taxpayers’ dime, while simultaneously interesting financially from their corporate masters.

Facilitate USRTK unearth the truth — Donate today!

One of the key take-home letters from all this that the unionized silencing of pundits use immoral tactics is standard practice, and has been standard practice for a long time.

In fact, these underhanded strategies was exactly what have allowed Monsanto( now Bayer, as well as many other dangerous companies operating with a same playbook) to continue selling toxic makes for so long.

Using third-parties pretending to be independent to circulate the corporate schedule is grossly misleading to the public. What Monsanto has been doing is social engineering — making you think a certain viewpoint overridings among the general population and among journalists, scientists and academia when in fact this “consensus” is a utterly engineered artifice, bought and paid for by corporate interests.

USRTK has done a tremendous job wreaking these kinds of industry schemes into wide-reaching daylight. They’re a insignificant action with only four employees, and depend on donations to keep this work travelling. So, delight, consider making a tax-deductible donation to USRTK today. Your help is urgently needed and your donation will ensure USRTK can continue unearthing the truth, one document at a time.

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