Monsanto Emails: Let’s ‘Beat the Sh*t Out of’ Mom’s Activist Group
“These ugly emails reveal the utter contempt that Monsanto has for public health and for consumers, including mothers who only want to protect their kids’ health.”
In just-released emails, a Monsanto executive expressed his desire to “beat the sh*t” out of Moms Across America, a grassroots advocacy group concerned about cancer links to Monsanto’s flagship weedkiller, Roundup.
The emails were made public as part of the discovery process in ongoing litigation against Bayer, which bought Monsanto in 2018, over Roundup and whether the weedkiller led to cancer in plaintiffs. Bayer faces over 10,000 lawsuits relating to glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup.
In June 2013, Moms Across America wrote an open letter to then Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant, Monsanto Board Members and Staff. The letter urged Monsanto to recall Roundup and stop selling GMO seeds, referencing rising rates of childhood obesity, ADHD and Autism and citing scientific studies of GMO’s and glyphosate linking them to various health issues.
“We Moms know your Mom would be proud of you if you put the health of the nation first and stopped selling GMO seeds and spraying Glyphosate (Roundup®) and other harsher pesticides,” the letter concluded.
On Tuesday, New Food Economy published an email exchange between Monsanto’s Dr. Daniel Goldstein and two outside consultants discussing how to respond to the Moms Across America letter.
“Thanks guys – I have to say you are spot on. I have been arguing for a week to beat the shit out of them and I have clearly lost. We don’t want to be seen as beating up on mothers, nobody will listen to it anyway, it has to be done by third parties” wrote Goldstein in an email to University of Georgia crop scientist Wayne Parrott and University of Illinois biochemist Bruce Chassy.
Only a handful of the thousands of lawsuits facing Bayer have come to trial but the company has already lost three major verdicts in glyphosate-related cases.
The first lawsuit against Bayer/Monsanto over Roundup was filed by a groundskeeper, Dewayne Johnson, who regularly used Roundup as part of his work. Johnson developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and sued over claims that Monsanto failed to sufficiently warn users of the potential health hazards of the weedkiller. Johnson won and was awarded $289 million in damages which was later reduced to $78 million on appeal.
The second case against Monsanto ended in March 2019 when a Sonoma County, CA man who had used Roundup for 26 years on his property and later developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma won $80 million in damages. A San Francisco jury ruled in the plaintiff’s favor and found that Monsanto had knowingly marketed lethal products; thus, awarding $75 million in punitive damages as a result.
Most recently, last May, a California jury awarded a couple $55 million in compensatory damages and another $2 billion in punitive damages, though the settlement was later reduced by a judge to $86.7 million. The couple claimed using Roundup around their Northern California property for decades led to both developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2011 and 2015.
White House Has Monsanto’s Back
More internal Monsanto documents recently came to light revealing a cozy relationship between the White House and Monsanto and that the White House could be trusted to protect Bayer/Monsanto’s Roundup product.
As Peter Castagno previously reported for Citizen Truth, “Internal documents recently disclosed in court showed that strategic intelligence firm Hakluyt assured Monsanto’s global strategy official Todd Rands that the White House could be trusted to protect the company’s Roundup herbicide.
“The documents, obtained by U.S. Right to Know, a non-profit investigative research group focused on the food industry, included a report attached to a July 2018 email to Monsanto global strategy official Todd Rands. The strategic intelligence and advisory firm Hakluyt reported to Monsanto the following:
“’A domestic policy adviser at the White House said, for instance: ‘We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation. We are prepared to go toe-to-toe on any disputes they may have with, for example, the E.U. Monsanto need not fear any additional regulation from this administration.’”
As Castagno noted in his report for Citizen Truth, last month Trump nominated former Monsanto executive Aurelia Skipwith to run the Fish and Wildlife Service. Similarly, numerous former DowDuPont employees currently work in the Trump administration, such as former Dow lobbyist Ted McKinney, the USDA undersecretary for trade, Ken Isley, the head of the Foreign Agricultural Service, and Scott Hutchins, a deputy undersecretary at the USDA.
In a statement by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), EWG CEO Ken Cook said, “These ugly emails reveal the utter contempt that Monsanto has for public health and for consumers, including mothers who only want to protect their kids’ health.”
“Bayer is reeling from its monumental blunder of buying Monsanto, and these emails should remind them that they acquired the company that gave us DDT, Agent Orange and PCBs,” added Cook.