After decades of profiting from Roundup as the world’s most widely-used Herbicide, Monsanto now faces a reckoning of its bad business practices. We now know, from the Roundup lawsuits going to trial, about the unethical strategies Monsanto executives used to get Roundup in every home, lawn, and farm.
In 2015, an international agency declared the chemical used in Roundup to be a “human carcinogen”, meaning it can cause cancers like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia.
Rather than taking action to protect public health and improve the safety of its products, Monsanto went on the offensive. It went after journalists, scientists, activists, and even the singer Neil Young. Monsanto created an elaborate strategy to discredit journalists who were investigating Roundup’s links to cancer, monitored research organizations and paid scientists to conceal the dangers of Roundup.
In August 2018, the first lawsuit against Monsanto was filed by a man who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup. The jury awarded the man $289 million (later reduced to $78 million).
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Two other juries awarded big verdicts to plaintiffs in the past year, and more than 18,400 more Roundup lawsuits have been filed. One of the good things to come out of these lawsuits is that Monsanto’s been forced to release its internal documents and emails related to the marketing, advertising, and decision-making of Roundup weed killer.
According to court-filed documents, these are some of the actions Monsanto took to sway public and scientific opinion:
- Tried to control Google results to hide bad press and influence public debate in its favor. This type of insidious PR tactic is deceptive at best and blatant propaganda at worst. It shows that Monsanto is willing to cross ethical boundaries to protect its bottom line, without a second thought about how the public will be affected by its behavior.
- Operated a surveillance center that tracked and discredited journalists and activists who were critical of Roundup. It focused heavily on a reporter who published a book – Whitewash: The Story of a Weedkiller, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science – harassing her editors and minimizing the book’s media coverage and credibility
- Monitored and wrote a report on Neil Diamond, the singer, due to his anti-Monsanto advocacy
- Hid its financial relationships with scientists and researchers, worrying this fact would support claims that it was covering up negative research. Monsanto has been criticized for paying academics to write favorable reports on its products, including Roundup.
These are just four of the many ways Monsanto has manipulated information about Roundup and its business practices to fool the public.
These documents show in black and white how little Monsanto values the public’s safety and rights. Monsanto is one of the highest-profiting companies in the world, selling over $14 billion in products in 2018. Its products are used by millions of people around the world, and nearly all corn, cotton, and soy grown in the U.S. is treated with Roundup.
Monsanto has a legal and ethical responsibility to those people to make safe products and warn them about any potential risks. If a chemical is dangerous to your health, you have the right to know. If people who use a product are more likely to develop a certain cancer, it’s your right to be told about it and make the decision to use that product or not.
Monsanto has enjoyed decades of selling the world’s most popular weedkiller, making billions and gripping immense power in the process. Its time that the people using Monsanto’s products took some of their power back.
We represent hundreds of clients who developed cancer from Roundup use – many of our clients simply used it in their home gardens. We will travel to you, wherever you live, to investigate your claim and guide you through the process of filing a claim.
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Monsanto has signaled that it may soon settle the thousands of Roundup lawsuits. You must file a claim before this announcement to receive any part of the settlement. Call us today or fill out our online form to get started.