• SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • SNAP Display at Event
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides

Industry's shenanigans

Defamation, Intimidation, and Character Assassination

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Monsanto’s Mind-Meld; Spin Machine in High Gear (Huffington Post, 31 January, 2017) Alternative facts, indeed. Less than two weeks into the presidency of Donald Trump it appears we are seeing the ushering in of a new era of twisted truths, fake news, and selective science. That should be good news to the corporate spin doctors who are deep into a campaign now to try to combat global concerns about the world’s favorite weed killer. The latest move, the formation of a group called “Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research”, (CAPHR) clearly promotes an agenda opposite to that which its name implies. Formed this month by the American Chemistry Council, whose membership includes Monsanto and other chemical industry titans, the group’s express purpose is to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a unit of the World Health Organization made up of independent scientists. With a well researched link to U.S. Right to Know investigation of the food and agrichemical industries, and the secrets they are hiding about our food. Findings so far – including tens of thousands of documents received via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – offer a rare look behind the scenes at how the food and chemical corporations, their front groups, PR operatives and academics work together to promote industry propaganda.

Frightened by Donald Trump? You don’t know the half of it  (George Monbiot, opinion piece, The Guardian)  'I first encountered the machine when writing about climate change. The fury and loathing directed at climate scientists and campaigners seemed incomprehensible until I realised they were fake: the hatred had been paid forThe bloggers and institutes whipping up this anger were funded by oil and coal companies.'  The article proceeds to name well known 'think tanks' and their sources of funding. Worth a read. 

American Chemistry Council Attacks Independent Science Conducted by International Agency (Beyond Pesticides, January 30, 2016) The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization’s (WHO) cancer research branch, is again under attack. The most recent assault comes from the American Chemistry Council (ACC), which represents major U.S. chemical companies such as Bayer, Dow, Dupont and Monsanto and is calling on WHO to rein in IARC, claiming the agency of “dubious and misleading work” when classifying potential carcinogens. According to the ACC’s website, the Council launched the Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research this past Wednesday and it is unclear what steps it will take try to undercut the agency. The ACC is specifically criticizing IARC’s monograph program, claiming that the program “suffers from persistent scientific and process deficiencies.” see also : Monsanto’s Mind-Meld; Spin Machine in High Gear (Huffington Post, 31 January, 2017) SNAP Comment: Once more, using PR to invalidate good science. Beware of the green washing from this new group and understand their origin and goal. We are likely to see more and more letters to the editor in media or have their media releases disguised as news.

IARC Scientists Defend Glyphosate Cancer Link; Surprised by Industry Assault (Organic Consumers Association,October 30, 2016)  'Industry swagger is on full display in Washington where Monsanto and its friends at CropLife America are driving efforts to cut off U.S. funding for the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) after IARC scientists declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen in March 2015. The industry is also demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency fully repudiate the IARC classification and green-light continued use of glyphosate herbicides, which spell billions of dollars in sales annually to Monsanto and the agrichemical brethren...But the industry, which deemed the meetings “unnecessary” and “inappropriate,” successfully derailed those Oct. 18-21 public meetings by challenging certain scientists appointed by EPA to an advisory panel. The EPA has “postponed” the meetings and has yet to reschedule.' “I definitely wasn’t expecting anything at all,” said Fritschi, who specializes in the occupational causes of cancer and holds the “distinguished professor” title at Curtin University in Australia. “We were independent and just looked at the science. We had strict rules on what was admissible and came to a conclusion based on that evidence. We made the right decision based on the evidence.”'Monsanto and other industry players can’t afford for that kind of talk to take root; which is exactly why we’re seeing these extraordinary efforts to undermine the scientists and push EPA to ignore cancer concerns. One letter in particular submitted by CropLife America to EPA this month shows the depths of the industry’s efforts to rein in EPA’s probe of glyphosate. CropLife told the EPA it was out of line for proclaiming a need for independent research on formulated glyphosate products - such as RoundupThe agency said in September it has been collaborating with the National Toxicology Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to develop a research plan to evaluate the role of glyphosate in product formulations and the differences in formulation toxicity. But apparently, it neglected to get industry permission. SNAP's Comment: Imagine how much more influential a Monsanto/Bayer merger would be....

The Last Roundup: How the world's best-selling pesticide is heading for a fall (National ObserverBy Warren Bell in Opinion | July 4th 2016}  "Monsanto, like other large corporations, has had a special department established for this purpose (to ferociously attack any study, researcher or organization that threatens the corporation's products) for a long time." I always wondered how the scientific journal could retract the Seralinini study here it is ( with links): "By some as yet undisclosed means, a veteran Monsanto researcher, Richard E. Goodman – with a background in dairy science and immunology, but not plant science or pesticides – suddenly appeared out of nowhere on the senior editorial board of the journal that had published the Séralini paper, in a newly created position called “Associate Editor for biotechnology”.Very well researched and great links. Warren Bell is a family physician who is Past Founding President of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. also filed under  glyphosate 

How the Media Fell for a GMO Front Group Attack on Dr. Oz (Organic Consumer Association, 20 April, 2015)The 55-point headline in Slate blares, “Letter from Prominent Doctors Implies Columbia Should Fire Dr. Oz for Being a Quack.” The story by Ben Mathis-Lilly is based on a letter by a group of doctors who want Columbia University to relieve Dr. Oz of his position as vice chair of the department of surgery at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. after Dr. Oz aired a show about glyphosate...It turns out that the 10 signatories and the various front groups they work for all have well known ties as industry spokespeople and one has even been striped of his medical license...These facts are relevant in stories about scientific integrity. The scientific accuracy and motivations of the accusers matter when they are publicly challenging the scientific accuracy and motivations of somebody they are trying to get fired.

Genetic Fallacy: How Pesticide Companies Silence Scientific Dissent (Mercola.com, February 15, 2014) includes 13 minutes video.

107 Nobel Laureate Attack on Greenpeace Traced Back to Biotech PR Operators (Global Justice Ecology Project) "senior research specialist on GMOs, Charlie Cray, accompanied by Tim Schwab, senior researcher from Food and Water Watch were both physically prevented from entering the Press Club." NOTE: More industry shenanigans. this time, media manipulation. and one wonders why the news can be so uninformative.

New Report Showcases Atrazine Manufacturer’s Efforts to Discredit Critics (Beyond Pesticides, June 21, 2013) Atrazine manufacturer, Syngenta Crop Protection, launched an aggressive multi-million dollar campaign in response to a class action lawsuit that threatened to remove the controversial herbicide atrazine from the market. The report reveals that the pesticide giant routinely paid “third-party allies” to appear to be independent supporters, purportedly hired a detective agency to investigate scientists on a federal advisory panel. The court documents show that the company conducted research into the vulnerabilities of a judge and Dr. Hayes’ personal life  Original story from 100Reporters, a nonprofit investigative journalism group. SNAP comment: when you can't fight the science, attack the person and process.

Inteference with Research and Research Publication

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Industry interferes with research in many ways starting with hiring scientists to do their bidding, unpublished negative effects and/or results, designing studies in a way that cannot reproduce critics's results, questionable interpretation of study results, suppressing funding, building up defamation and intimidation campaigns against scientists with findings that disturb the status quo (e.g.Tyrone Hayes on atrazine and the Defamation section on this page), creating false criticism of articles so they are pulled from peer-reviewed scientific journals (Seralini is a recent example). They have even managed to have tenure canceled for a U of C Berkeley campus professor. Fortunately, the professor was cleared and reinstated.

Original Study Designed to Disprove University Scientists Dispute Syngenta Study Conclusion that Pesticide Is Low Risk to Bees (Beyond Pesticides, January 24, 2017)  Syngenta concluded thathoney bees were not at risk from the widely used neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam. The challenge to the Pilling et al 2013 study is important because while many experiments have been performed in the lab or semi-lab environment, this study was a field experiment developed to test pollinator exposure under normal agricultural conditions. The conclusions of such real-world experiments are weighed more heavily by regulators when making safety and use determinations. St. Andrews’ scientists focus in on the Pilling et al claim that because its study did not have high levels of replication, that it would have been misleading to perform formal statistical analysis. They respond that this would indeed be the case if Pilling et al had intended on finding statistical significance and concluded that there was no effect based on those tests...The authors of the St. Andrews’ study assert that Syngenta’s treatment of its data is “not just misleading in this case but also are unacceptable in principle, for if data are inadequate for a formal analysis (or only good enough to provide estimates with wide confidence intervals), then they are bound to be inadequate as a basis for reaching any sound conclusions.”..The scientists stated in conclusion, “Given that the data in this case are largely uninformative with respect to the treatment effect, any conclusions reached from such informal approaches can do little more than reflect the prior beliefs of those involved.” SNAP Comment: Experimental research designed to find no effects from a chemical is commonly  paid for by industry. see article below.

A great article describing how far the drug industry will go to falsify results in order to register drugs can be found at Snakes, Ladders, And Spin HARLOT plc: an amalgamation of the world's two oldest professions. BMJ 2003;327:1442 .

Scientists Loved and Loathed by an Agrochemical Giant With corporate funding of research, “There’s no scientist who comes out of this unscathed.”  (New York Times, By DANNY HAKIM, Dec 31, 2016)  Details relationships between pesticide companies and Universities, their researchers and governments. Three case studies. Confidentiality agreements, how industry shapes and influences research...

The Last Roundup: How the world's best-selling pesticide is heading for a fall (National ObserverBy Warren Bell in Opinion | July 4th 2016}  "Monsanto, like other large corporations, has had a special department established for this purpose (to ferociously attack any study, researcher or organization that threatens the corporation's products) for a long time." I always wondered how the scientific journal could retract the Seralinini study here it is ( with links): "By some as yet undisclosed means, a veteran Monsanto researcher, Richard E. Goodman – with a background in dairy science and immunology, but not plant science or pesticides – suddenly appeared out of nowhere on the senior editorial board of the journal that had published the Séralini paper, in a newly created position called “Associate Editor for biotechnology”.Very well researched and great links. Warren Bell is a family physician who is Past Founding President of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. also filed under  glyphosate 

Science for Sale Meet the ‘rented white coats’ who defend toxic chemicals How corporate-funded research is corrupting America’s courts and regulatory agencies  (By David Heath, The Center for Public Integrity, February 8, 2016) “This is not the way real science works. It doesn’t start with a lawyer coming up with a theory,” Poppe said...“In this article, there is nothing that is true,” vom Saal said. “It’s ridiculous. And that’s how they operate.”...Since then, however, Gradient scientists have taken a leading role in trying to cast doubt on the studies’ findings. Gradient has published 37 articles on different aspects of air pollution, funded by the American Petroleum Institute, Navistar and the International Carbon Black Association, whose members are subject to clean-air regulations...Relevant to pesticides. same stories. Even mention of pesticides here.

Greenpeace investigation finds academics for hire to promote fossil fuel interests (By Elizabeth McSheffrey in News, Energy | December 9th 2015) This article is about fossil fuels but similar pipeline and strategy exist on pesticides, gmos, chemical toxicity, etc

Triumph of digital toxicology: why the US won't regulate deadly chemicals Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman. The Ecologist. 27th November 2015. A six-month investigation finds that the revolving door between government and the chemical industry has led the EPA to rely on easily manipulated toxicology research carried out entirely on computers - and this 'in silico' science often trumps both biology and epidemiology when it comes to regulatory action, or lack of it. The result? Toxic substances remain in everyday products.

The Puppetmasters of Academia (or What the NY Times Left out) September 8, 2015. by Jonathan Latham, PhD. Indepedent Science News.The emails published by the New York Times show 'proof positive of active collusion between the agribusiness and chemical industries, numerous and often prominent academics, PR companies, and key administrators of land grant universities for the purpose of promoting GMOs and pesticides...More generally, the group’s role was to initiate academic publications and other articles and to firefight legislative, media and scientific threats to the GMO and pesticide industries, all the while keeping their industry links hidden.'

Muzzled by Monsanto New gmo research on the topic of gene silencing, the main function of so-called RNAi technology and how Monsanto is interfering with research that indicates what they don't want to hear. (April 3, 2014"I didn't use to be an anti-GMO person and I didn't use to have strong feelings about Monsanto, but," she says, her voice trailing off.
But that was before the Chinese research, before the calls from Monsanto, before she couldn't get funding for work that she feels could change the way we treat cancer and other diseases. Her research put her at odds with one of the most powerful corporations in the world...In short, the medical world needs plant RNA to be assimilated by our bodies and tinker gene expression, and the agricultural world needs the opposite to occur. Worth a read. SNAP Feb 2017 update: Vicki S Vance Dietary delivery: A new avenue for microRNA therapeutics? Article in Trends in Biotechnology 33(8) · June 2015 DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2015.06.003 · Source: PubMed 

Media Manipulation

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Other than manufacturing one-sided PR articles disguised as "truth" and often picked up by journalists who put their name to them without disclosing they are "infomercials", other industry tactics have included barring dissenters and concerned citizens from attending press events, intimidating journalists and media outlets, manuafcturing "consensus statements' vilifying groups or individuals, letters to the editor campaigns form paid "ghost writers". As investigative journalism dies a slow death, there are fewer and fewer journalists with the appropriate knowledge to sort out truth from propaganda...

Monsanto Spin Doctors Target Cancer Scientist In Flawed Reuters Story  (US right to Know, June 19, 2017 by Carey Gillam)   more industry shenanigans!      Pick and choose information, do not disclose your information sources and your ties with Monsanto and allies, disinform about sources, imply things that are not true, and get Reuters to publish this as independent information. A usual industy story!     

Flacking for GMOs: How the Biotech Industry Cultivates Positive Media—and Discourages Criticism(by Paul D. Thacker, The Progressive, July 11, 2017)  Starts with the story of a journalist harrassed for her articles exposing Monsanto payments to a University professor...Lawyers in one case told a judge that documents show Monsanto funnels money to the Genetic Literacy Project and the American Council on Science and Health in order to “shame scientists and highlight information helpful to Monsanto and other chemical producers.”...Industry has also secretly funded a series of conferences to train scientists and journalists to frame the debate over GMOs and the toxicity of glyphosate... An agreement signed by Entine states that the literacy bootcamp at UC-Davis anticipated having many expenses paid by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)...In short, the only traceable money source is the biotech industry. So, what did industry money buy? “Far too many journalists are sliding down the slippery slope of attending conferences that are sponsored by entities with financial interests,” he said. “This practice changes journalism into another form of pay-for-play.” Industry tars public health advocates and reporters as anti-science for raising issues the public needs to understand. That should worry us all. SNAP comment: could also have been filed under 'character assassination'.

Snopes Takes Money From Monsanto To ‘Debunk’ Cancer Claims  (YourNewsWire, May 26, 2017)  'It was brought to my attention that after Snopes first called our piece a “MIXTURE” of truth, Monsanto’s operative (aka Kevin Folta) swept in and started bullying the reporter at Snopes into changing his article to claim that the information we presented was “FALSE”'. SNAP COMMENT: An interesting account of the text and gist of Snope's assessment before and after correspondence with Folta. How removing a few words, the sin of omission, and small tweeks rewriting can change the meaning and understanding of an issue. 

Peeling Back the Curtain On Monsanto (Huffington Post, 10 May 2016) But in recent years, Gillam’s work has turned “controversial” in the eyes of some. Operating through sometimes murky social media channels, these critics have targeted Gillam along with others who raise question about GMO food, the chemicals used on them, and the companies that sell both..."If a story I wrote did not toe the line for the biotech industry, that created a phone call or an email to me or my editor. So I had to be extremely careful about the accuracy of every word. They couldn’t get at the facts, so they countered with this idea of “false balance.” They couldn’t say that things were wrong, so they would complain that I should not be presenting both sides."

How the Media Fell for a GMO Front Group Attack on Dr. Oz (Organic Consumer Association, 20 April, 2015)The 55-point headline in Slate blares, “Letter from Prominent Doctors Implies Columbia Should Fire Dr. Oz for Being a Quack.” The story by Ben Mathis-Lilly is based on a letter by a group of doctors who want Columbia University to relieve Dr. Oz of his position as vice chair of the department of surgery at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. after Dr. Oz aired a show about glyphosate...It turns out that the 10 signatories and the various front groups they work for all have well known ties as industry spokespeople and one has even been striped of his medical license...These facts are relevant in stories about scientific integrity. The scientific accuracy and motivations of the accusers matter when they are publicly challenging the scientific accuracy and motivations of somebody they are trying to get fired.

107 Nobel Laureate Attack on Greenpeace Traced Back to Biotech PR Operators (Global Justice Ecology Project) "senior research specialist on GMOs, Charlie Cray, accompanied by Tim Schwab, senior researcher from Food and Water Watch were both physically prevented from entering the Press Club." NOTE: More industry shenanigans. this time, media manipulation. and one wonders why the news can be so uninformative.

Global warming deniers get more desperate by the day (David Suzuki Foundation blog, August 7, 2014) Describes the role of the Heartland Institute in climate change denial. "... the gathering place for most deniers, the Heartland Institute, has compared those who accept the evidence for human-caused climate change to terrorists." The "Environmental Policy Alliance, a front group set up by PR firm Berman and Company... has attacked environmentalists, labour-rights advocates, health organizations — even Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Humane Society — on behalf of funders and clients including MonsantoWendy's and tobacco giant Phillip Morris." SNAP Comment: One must 'wonder' how a spokesperson from the Heartland Institute came to be interviewed on the Gormley Show about pesticide bylaws when the issue was discussed in Saskatoon. In my view, the language and inferences used were close to libelous, and they kept cutting off Allison from the Saskatchewan Environmental Society whenever she tried to ask a question or make a comment.

The Assault on Organics Ignoring science to make the case for chemical farming By Kari Hamerschlag and Stacy Malkan, July 1, 2014. One-sided reviews, spin and media influence.

Propaganda, ghost writers and 'One-sided Truth'

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Julie Kelly Cooks Up Propaganda for the Agrichemical Industry (Organic Consumers Association, February 13, 2017) Connect the dots on the chemical and junk food industries’ PR campaigns to manufacture doubt about science, promote risky products and dismantle environmental health protections. Also lists other articles in this series.Julie Kelly’s writings since 2015 have followed typical tobacco-industry style PR tactics deployed by the chemical industry — manufacturing doubt about science; attacking academics, reporters and transparency advocates; and calling for deregulation of polluting industries...Julie Kelly’s husband, John Kelly Jr., is a lobbyist for the agribusiness giant ADM, among other corporate clients including Blackstone and CVS; and government clients including DuPage County where Julie Kelly formerly worked as a policy consultant to county board chairman Dan Cronin. SNAP's comments: Learn the names of industry advocates so you can safely discount their one-sided writings.

Monsanto’s Mind-Meld; Spin Machine in High Gear (Huffington Post, 31 January, 2017) Alternative facts, indeed. Less than two weeks into the presidency of Donald Trump it appears we are seeing the ushering in of a new era of twisted truths, fake news, and selective science. That should be good news to the corporate spin doctors who are deep into a campaign now to try to combat global concerns about the world’s favorite weed killer. The latest move, the formation of a group called “Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research”, (CAPHR) clearly promotes an agenda opposite to that which its name implies. Formed this month by the American Chemistry Council, whose membership includes Monsanto and other chemical industry titans, the group’s express purpose is to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a unit of the World Health Organization made up of independent scientists. With a well researched link to U.S. Right to Know investigation of the food and agrichemical industries, and the secrets they are hiding about our food. Findings so far – including tens of thousands of documents received via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – offer a rare look behind the scenes at how the food and chemical corporations, their front groups, PR operatives and academics work together to promote industry propaganda.

Frightened by Donald Trump? You don’t know the half of it  (George Monbiot, opinion piece, The Guardian)  'I first encountered the machine when writing about climate change. The fury and loathing directed at climate scientists and campaigners seemed incomprehensible until I realised they were fake: the hatred had been paid for. The bloggers and institutes whipping up this anger were funded by oil and coal companies.'  The article proceeds to name well known 'think tanks' and their sources of funding. Worth a read. 

Trump's Top Environmental Adviser Says Pesticides Aren't Bad for You (Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, Nov. 16, 2016)   To lead the transition of the Environmental Protection Agency, President-elect Donald Trump settled on notorious climate change denier Myron Ebell.Ebell directs the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The group runs a website, SafeChemicalPolicy.org, that exists to downplay the health and ecological impacts of chemicals. SNAP Comment: What could be worse than industry running the show?

U.S. coal giant owed money to Canadian climate change deniers (By Charles Mandel in News, Energy | June 16th 2016) NOTE: One more example of industry shenanigans.This example is not about pesticides, but the same happens there. '"Peabody's funding of groups like Friends of Science and others like CFACT shows a clear intent by the company to intervene in the climate public policy debate by casting doubt on the science. They know full well that science is the engine that drives environmental policy; derail the science and you stop the train."'

Science for Sale Meet the ‘rented white coats’ who defend toxic chemicals How corporate-funded research is corrupting America’s courts and regulatory agencies  (By David Heath, The Center for Public Integrity, February 8, 2016) “This is not the way real science works. It doesn’t start with a lawyer coming up with a theory,” Poppe said...“In this article, there is nothing that is true,” vom Saal said. “It’s ridiculous. And that’s how they operate.”...Since then, however, Gradient scientists have taken a leading role in trying to cast doubt on the studies’ findings. Gradient has published 37 articles on different aspects of air pollution, funded by the American Petroleum Institute, Navistar and the International Carbon Black Association, whose members are subject to clean-air regulations...Relevant to pesticides. same stories. Even mention of pesticides here.

The Puppetmasters of Academia (or What the NY Times Left out) September 8, 2015. by Jonathan Latham, PhD. Indepedent Science News.The emails published by the New York Times show 'proof positive of active collusion between the agribusiness and chemical industries, numerous and often prominent academics, PR companies, and key administrators of land grant universities for the purpose of promoting GMOs and pesticides...More generally, the group’s role was to initiate academic publications and other articles and to firefight legislative, media and scientific threats to the GMO and pesticide industries, all the while keeping their industry links hidden.'

How the Media Fell for a GMO Front Group Attack on Dr. Oz (Organic Consumer Association, 20 April, 2015)The 55-point headline in Slate blares, “Letter from Prominent Doctors Implies Columbia Should Fire Dr. Oz for Being a Quack.” The story by Ben Mathis-Lilly is based on a letter by a group of doctors who want Columbia University to relieve Dr. Oz of his position as vice chair of the department of surgery at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. after Dr. Oz aired a show about glyphosate...It turns out that the 10 signatories and the various front groups they work for all have well known ties as industry spokespeople and one has even been stripped of his medical license...These facts are relevant in stories about scientific integrity. The scientific accuracy and motivations of the accusers matter when they are publicly challenging the scientific accuracy and motivations of somebody they are trying to get fired.

Shocking attempt to manipulate Canadians and manufacture support for dirty energy projects. This article is specific for the oil industry but the same tactic has been widely used by the pesticide industry. For instance, when Toronto was considering a pesticide bylaw, the pesticide industry formed a fake non-profit with initials close the TEA (Toronto Environmental Alliance- a genuine environmental group) to spew out anti-bylaw propaganda an make it look like nvironmntal groups did not support a bylaw.There are many more documented instances of such behavior. It's just 'the way to do business' these days.

Greenpeace investigation finds academics for hire to promote fossil fuel interests By Elizabeth McSheffrey in News, Energy | December 9th 2015. This article is about fossil fuels but similar pipeline and strategy exist on pesticides, gmos, chemical toxicity, etc

Industry Campaign and Congressional Hearing Mislead on Bee Decline (Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2014) The report, Follow the Honey: 7 Ways Pesticide Companies Are Spinning the Bee Crisis to Protect Profits, uncovers the deceptive public relations tactics used by industry giants BayerSyngenta and Monsanto, to deflect blame from their products’ contributions to bee declines.

Global warming deniers get more desperate by the day (David Suzuki Foundation blog, August 7, 2014) Describes the role of the Heartland Institute in climate change denial. "... the gathering place for most deniers, the Heartland Institute, has compared those who accept the evidence for human-caused climate change to terrorists." The "Environmental Policy Alliance, a front group set up by PR firm Berman and Company... has attacked environmentalists, labour-rights advocates, health organizations — even Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Humane Society — on behalf of funders and clients including MonsantoWendy's and tobacco giant Phillip Morris." SNAP Comment: One must 'wonder' how a spokesperson from the Heartland Institute came to be interviewed on the Gormley Show about pesticide bylaws when the issue was discussed in Saskatoon. In my view, the language and inferences used were close to libelous, and they kept cutting off Allison from the Saskatchewan Environmental Society whenever she tried to ask a question or make a comment.

The Assault on Organics Ignoring science to make the case for chemical farming By Kari Hamerschlag and Stacy Malkan, July 1, 2014. One-sided reviews, spin and media influence.

Industry Campaign and Congressional Hearing Mislead on Bee Decline (Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2014) The report, Follow the Honey: 7 Ways Pesticide Companies Are Spinning the Bee Crisis to Protect Profits, uncovers the deceptive public relations tactics used by industry giants BayerSyngenta and Monsanto, to deflect blame from their products’ contributions to bee declines.

Regulatory and legal/ includes influence peddling and preemption laws

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Preemption laws are another way industry prevents any criticism of their products or processes. 

Scant oversight, corporate secrecy preceded U.S. weed killer crisis  (Emily Flitter, Reuters, 8 aug. 2017)   Monsanto employee Boyd Carey, an agronomist, laid out the company's rationale for blocking the independent research at a hearing of the Arkansas Plant Board's Pesticide Committee in the summer of 2016. A meeting summary by the Arkansas Legislature's Joint Budget Committee described Carey’s testimony as follows: "Boyd Carey is on record on Aug. 8 stating that the University of Arkansas nor any other university was given the opportunity to test VaporGrip in fear that the results may jeopardize the federal label."  After the EPA signed off, Monsanto sought approval from individual states, which determine whether agricultural products are suitable for their climates and geographies. To help them do that, Monsanto shared its XtendiMax testing results with state regulators. But it only supplied that data in finished form, Monsanto’s Carey told the Arkansas Plant Board meeting, meaning it withheld underlying data that could be analyzed independently by the regulators.   Snap Comment: and Monsanto is still trusted? if anyone I know treted me with such contempt, I would quickly severe the link.

Suppressed EPA toxicologist: 'it is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer' (The Ecologist, Carey Gillam,14 February 2017) Letters from an EPA toxicologist to the EPA official in charge of assessing whether glyphosate, the active ingredient of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, causes cancer, reveal accusations of 'staff intimidation' and 'political conniving games with the science' to favour pesticide corporations...The communication, if authentic, could be an explosive development in the snowballing multi-district litigation that now comprises more than 60 plaintiffs from around the United States accusing Monsanto of covering up evidence that Roundup herbicide could cause cancer...Lawyers for the plaintiffs want the federal judge in the case to lift a seal on documents that detail Monsanto's interactions with Rowland regarding the EPA's safety assessment of glyphosate...The article also mentions that, in a separate filing made on Feb. 8, Monsanto submitted a court brief arguing that the IARC classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen is not relevant to the question of whether or not Roundup caused the plaintiffs' cancers. SNAP's Comment: Political games are far from new in the regulatory field. A revolving door between industry and the regulatory agency regulating them has been documented for years. In Canada, the case for the hormone BGH to be injected to cows to increase milk production brought the whole thing to light after three (recently vindicated) scientists were fired because they would not play political games and approve it. The burden of proof placed on plaintiffs already makes it almost impossible to prove harm. The new court brief by Monsanto is a political game played in court. A new legislation preventing class action suits is a political game played at highest levels of government.

Class Action Cases Against Monsanto Move Ahead, Charging Cancer Effects of Roundup (Beyond Pesticides, February 15, 2017) SNAP comment: I guess when one's position becomes indefensible, let's prevent anyone from attacking us so we don't have to defend. Question: If you prevent people from getting justice from the courts, what other recourses will they have? "Ms. Gillam, Research Director for U.S. Right to Know, uncovers more to the story, pointing out that, as the evidence against Monsanto continues to mount, Congress may be stepping in to curtail class action lawsuits. Just last week, legislation was introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to limit the ability of individuals to challenge powerful corporations in court with the stated goal of “diminishing abuses in class action and mass tort litigation.” Entitled the “Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017,” the bill will apply to pending as well as future class action lawsuits."

Poison Fruit    Dow Chemical Wants Farmers to Keep Using a Pesticide Linked to Autism and ADHD (The Intercept, 14 January 2017) A fascinating article reviewing the history of the organophosphate chlorpyrifos regulation in the United States. Reviews the research directly linking it to autism and several other disorders, the need for suing the US EPA to get action and Dow's constant efforts to keep chlorpyrifos on the market.SNAP comment: Here we have it from the mouth of industry: there is currently no process “for acceptance of epidemiologic studies in human health risk assessment.” That is why it is so easy for regulatory agencies to ignore or set aside epidemiological studies in their pesticide re-evaluations, especially when the committees consist of several 'regulatory' scientists or others deriving their income from the pesticide industry. I don't believe there is much of a mechanism or standard for regulatory agencies to evaluate anything but the studies mandated for registration. As of 16 January 2017, there are still 29 chlorpyrifos products registered for use in Canada.

Trump's Top Environmental Adviser Says Pesticides Aren't Bad for You (Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, Nov. 16, 2016)   To lead the transition of the Environmental Protection Agency, President-elect Donald Trump settled on notorious climate change denier Myron Ebell.Ebell directs the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The group runs a website, SafeChemicalPolicy.org, that exists to downplay the health and ecological impacts of chemicals. SNAP Comment: What could be worse than industry running the show? 

Report Details Industry Efforts to Derail Pollinator Protections (Beyond Pesticides, June 17, 2016)  The pesticide industry has weakened and delayed pesticide reforms and is shaping new state pollinator “protection” plans nationwide that do little to protect bees, according to a new Friends of the Earth report...The investigation, Buzz Kill: How the Pesticide Industry is Clipping the Wings of Bee Protection Efforts Across the U.S., reveals an array of pesticide industry tactics to slow urgently needed pollinator protection measures at federal and state levels. The report details how new state pollinator protection plans, many still unfinished, have been heavily influenced by pesticide industry interests. According to the report, industry is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying to delay state and federal action on the chemicals they manufacture.

Triumph of digital toxicology: why the US won't regulate deadly chemicals Valerie Brown and Elizabeth Grossman. The Ecologist. 27th November 2015. A six-month investigation finds that the revolving door between government and the chemical industry has led the EPA to rely on easily manipulated toxicology research carried out entirely on computers - and this 'in silico' science often trumps both biology and epidemiology when it comes to regulatory action, or lack of it. The result? Toxic substances remain in everyday products.

Industry Celebrates 25 Years of Undermining Public Health (Beyond Pesticides, October 21, 2015) Last week, Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), an umbrella group representing pesticide manufacturers, celebrated its 25th year anniversary, touting its efforts to roll back critical protections from pesticide use in the U.S. The group emphasizes its role in quashing local government’s right to restrict pesticide use within its jurisdiction after the Supreme Court, in Wisconsin Public Intervenor v. Ralph Mortier (1991), upheld local authority under federal pesticide law. Read about their past and present strategies.

Toxic Influence: How a Chemical Industry Trade Group You've Never Heard of Threatens Your Health.(Huffington Post.10/19/2015)  An article about the American Chemistry Council and how it exerts its influence to weaken and prevent regulations, in this case regarding formaldehyde. Several pesticide manufacturers are members. 

Meeting Records Expose Industry’s Influence in UK’s Neonic Emergency Use Decision (Beyond Pesticides, July 31, 2015) New information has surfaced regarding the role of agrochemical giants Bayer and Syngenta in the United Kingdom (UK)’s recent decision to temporarily allow the use of neonicotinoid seed treatment on oilseed rape crop. A record of the meeting, involving the UK government’s expert committee on pesticides (ECP) and industry representatives, had previously been suppressed. The newly released record of the meeting shows that Bayer and Syngenta were the only external representatives asked to answer the ECP’s questions.  By only getting advice from those who benefit from the exemption, the committee is showing a remarkably closed-minded attitude, or do they think that Bayer and Syngenta are the only stakeholders in this issue?

NOSB Voting Scorecard: Influence Peddlers Eroding Organic Standards (The Cornucopia Institute, August 2014) One example of industry appointments to be able to control decisions at higher levels, in this case on a board for the purpose of lowering organic standards. 

The documents left on this page fall into "All of the above" categories, or I haven't figured out where to add them. Several articles have been moved under more than one heading. If you have linked to this page from the news, please search for articles under the headings. more at pesticide fact sheets/chlorpyrifos  

From the writings of Monsanto themselves.  Uncovered: Monsanto campaign to get Séralini study retracted (GM Watch, 2 August 2017)   Internal Monsanto documents released by attorneys leading US cancer litigation show that the company launched a concerted campaign to force the retraction of a study that revealed toxic effects of Roundup. The documents also show that the editor of the journal that first published the study entered into a contract with Monsanto in the period shortly before the retraction campaign began.             EU regulators side with Monsanto                                                                                              To the public’s detriment, some regulatory bodies have backed Monsanto rather than the public interest and have backed off the notion that long-term studies should be required for GM crops. In fact, the EU is considering doing away with even the short 90-day animal feeding studies currently required under European GMO legislation. This will be based in part on the results of the EU-funded GRACE animal feeding project, which has come under fire for the industry links of some of the scientists involved and for its alleged manipulation of findings of adverse effects on rats fed Monsanto’s GM MON810 maize.

Monsanto Secret Documents   On June 30, 2017, attorneys from Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, along with the leadership of the Roundup multidistrict litigation (MDL), challenged the protection of the documents below, in an effort to make them available to the public. In a meeting to discuss the matter, Monsanto told the plaintiffs’ attorneys to “go away” and that the company would not voluntarily agree to de-designate any documents... Along with each document, you will find a short description, along with the document’s relevance to the ongoing Monsanto Roundup litigation. These documents tell an alarming story of ghostwriting, scientific manipulation, collusion with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and previously undisclosed information about how the human body absorbs glyphosate. The following secret documents help us better understand the serious public health consequences of Monsanto’s conduct in marketing the herbicide Roundup.  Below, you will find links to internal Monsanto emails, text messages, company reports and other memoranda obtained by Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman. The documents have been sorted into groups based on the following issues: Ghostwriting, Peer-Review & Retraction, Surfactants, Carcinogenicity & Testing, Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism & Excretion, Regulatory & Government

Poison Papers Expose Decades of Collusion Between Industry and Regulators over Hazardous Pesticides (Global Justice Ecology Project, 27 July 2017)    'Corporate concealment is not a new story. What is novel in the Poison Papers is abundant evidence that EPA and other regulators were, often, knowing participants or even primary instigators of these cover-ups.' They provide evidence of secrecy, collusion, deception, cover-up, concealment and intent. Also includes search instructions.

Dow Urges Trump Administration to Ignore Pesticide Impacts on Endangered Species (Beyond Pesticides, April 24, 2017)  In letters sent to government officials, lawyers for Dow urge Administration officials and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set aside “biological evaluations” that detail how three highly toxic organophosphate insecticides –chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon– harm nearly all 1,800 threatened and endangered animals and plants, claiming the process to be “fundamentally flawed.”

International Legal Opinion Details Monsanto’s Violation of Human Rights  (Beyond Pesticides, April 20, 2017) On Tuesday, the judges presiding over the International Monsanto Tribunal presented their legal opinion, delivering conclusions on the multinational corporation’s impact on issues ranging from human rights, food access, environmental health, to scientific research. In addition to Monsanto’s impact on human rights, the judges concluded that if ecocide were recognized as an international criminal law, the corporation would possibly be found guilty. The international judges determined that, based on a legal analysis of the questions asked, Monsanto has engaged in practices that have negatively affected the right to a healthy environment, to food, and to health. In addition to these infringement of rights, Monsanto has had a negative effect on the right to freedom indispensable for scientific research with “conduct such as intimidation, discrediting independent scientific research, and suborning false research reports.” In the third part of its advisory opinion, the Monsanto Tribunal interprets the “widening gap between international human rights law and corporate accountability” and calls for both the UN and non-state authoritative bodies to protect international human and environmental rights law. SNAP comment: Much easier to read and access than the video released yesterday.

Monsanto, EPA Seek to Keep Talks Secret On Glyphosate Cancer Review (USRTK- US Right to Know,19 January 2017) Monsanto Co. and officials within the Environmental Protection Agency are fighting legal efforts aimed at exploring Monsanto’s influence over regulatory assessments of the key chemical in the company’s Roundup herbicide, new federal court filings show...Lawyers for the plaintiffs want the court to lift a seal on documents that detail Monsanto’s interactions with former top EPA brass Jess Rowland regarding the EPA’s safety assessment of glyphosate, which is the key ingredient in Roundup. Monsanto turned the documents over in discovery but marked them “confidential,” a designation plaintiffs’ attorneys say is improper. They also want to depose Rowland. But Monsanto and the EPA object to the requests, court documents show.

Report Reveals Chemical Food Industry Tactics in Spinning Food Safety and Attacking Organic (Beyond Pesticides, July 2, 2015) 'A report released this week by Friends of the Earth exposes the exorbitant amount of money food and agrochemical companies have spent over the past several years to defend industrial agriculture, sway public opinion, and influence elected officials. The report shines light on the both the tactics these companies use and the lengths to which they are willing to go to defuse public concern about the risks of chemical-intensive industrial agriculture and to undermine the reputation of organic food.also filed under  organic/food.

Endocrination - Documentary HD. video. Aug 28, 2014. An excellent documentary on the politics of endocrine disruption in EuropeIndustry Shenanigans indeed "Policy-based evidence making"... Important for all those who wonder why toxic substances are not currently banned.     

Spooky Business: A New Report on Corporate Espionage Against Non-Profits
(
November 20, 2013)  Giant corporations are employing highly unethical or illegal tools of espionage against nonprofit organizations with near impunity, according to a new report by Essential Information.

How To Spot A Fake Grassroots Movement (2013-02-17,desmogblog.com Clearing the PR Pollution That Clouds Climate Science)

The World Accroding to Monsanto documentary. LInk to SNAP page  issues/gmos

Industry practices have been written about in the past in such books and documentaries as  as Toxic Sludge Is Good For You   The Public Relations Industry Unspun and Trust Us, We're Experts How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with Your Future,  both by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton of the Media Education Foundation.

Beyond Pesticides Corporation news