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Lawsuit Accuses Monsanto of Hiring Online Trolls to Attack Critics

by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:

A recent lawsuit accuses biotech giant Monsanto of hiring an army of online trolls to attack critics of their glyphosate-based herbicide, RoundUp. [1]

The allegations came to light after a judge for the U.S. district court in San Diego ruled that pretrial documents from 50 pending lawsuits against Monsanto could be released.

The plaintiffs in the cases allege that exposure to RoundUp caused them or loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, while the company hid the risks. The company behind such wholesome substances as Agent Orange (or the “former Monsanto Company,” in this case) even started a program, titled “Let Nothing Go” to leave nothing – not even Facebook comments – unanswered, according to the suit.

Let’s break down some of the plaintiffs’ other allegations:

  • Monsanto pays people to pose as “regular” citizens with no industry ties to post positive comments aimed at defending the company and its products on news articles and Facebook posts. [2]
  • The company silently funnels money to think tanks, like the Genetic Literacy Project and the American Council on Science and Health – organizations intended to shame scientists and highlight information beneficial to Monsanto and other chemical producers. The plaintiffs’ attorneys note that similar methods were used by tobacco companies in the past.
  • Monsanto uses ghostwriters to author its scientific papers using language favorable to the company. This particular allegation is backed up by a batch of e-mails. Monsanto VP of global strategy told Science that ghostwriting was an “unfortunate” term and “an inappropriate way to refer to the collaborative scientific engagement that went on here.”
  • Read More @ NaturalSociety.com

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