Monsanto Accused in Lawsuit of Hiring ‘Internet Trolls’ to Battle Online Criticism

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Joanna Fantozzi, The Daily Meal, May 9, 2017

Monsanto — the agritech giant best known for churning out GMOs grown with its own branded herbicide, Roundup — has been facing a doozy of a legal battle regarding the safety of its products. New court documents reveal that the company is now being accused of hiring “third parties” to counteract negative comments and criticism online.

Approximately 50 lawsuits have been filed by cancer victims and lawyers accusing the company of purposefully downplaying the health risks associated with glyphosate — a major chemical component of Roundup that was linked in 2015 as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC). The original lawsuits accuse Monsanto of “ghostwriting” allegedly independent research that touted the safety of glyphosate.

A second report published by two WHO subcommittees in 2016 seemingly contradicts the original IARC assessment, stating that “there is some evidence of a positive association between glyphosate exposure and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma from the case-control studies and the overall meta-analysis. … [But] the only large cohort study of high quality found no evidence of an association at any exposure level.”

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