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What the Monsanto Papers tell us about corporate science


The Monsanto Papers are a treasure trove of internal documents slowly released since March 2017 as part of a US lawsuit by cancer victims against Monsanto over its ubiquitous herbicide, glyphosate. They tell a lot about how Monsanto actively subverts science, both in the company’s practices and the way it abuses science’s moral authority to push for its interests.


Voted in a 2014 poll as the world’s third most hated company, the bad news for Monsanto just keeps on getting worse. With glyphosate officially now cited by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer as probably carcinogenic to humans, the company is facing a federal court hearing in the United States over the herbicide’s safety.

Simultaneous with this development – and perhaps with the goal of whitewashing its reputation by removing its name from its products – Monsanto is currently in the process of being sold to the German pharmaceutical, chemical, and biotech firm Bayer. If the deal obtains regulatory approval it would create the world’s largest GMO seed and pesticide corporation. Meantime, however, with five international judges having recently accused Monsanto of engaging in “practices which have negatively impacted the right to a healthy environment, the right to food, and the right to health,” global opposition to the company is showing no signs of diminishing.

Read article on the Corporate Europe Observatory website