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Via The Big Picture RT: Mike Papantonio, America’s Lawyer (RT America)/Ring of Fire Radio/Law and Disorder. Did Monsanto collude with journalists to mislead the public about its weedkiller Roundup? According to Mike Papantonio – Shocking new documents suggest they did.
Transcript of the above video:
Hartmann: Monsanto appears to have been caught red-handed. Series of documents released earlier this week as part of a lawsuit show that the company has been colluding with both journalists and government scientists to spread positive misinformation about its weedkiller Roundup, which contains glyphosate, a chemical that the EU says causes cancer. For more on this big, big story, I’m joined by Mike
Papantonio, host of America’s Lawyer right here on RT, host of Ring of Fire Radio. Pap is also the author of the new legal thriller Law and Disorder, and its fourth-coming sequel, Law and Vengeance, which is due out in September. Pap, welcome back.
Papantonio: Tom, good to be here.
Hartmann: Great to have you with us. Pap, tell us more about what these documents exactly say or show.
Papantonio: They’re amazing, Tom. There’s no question that these documents show that Monsanto was actively working with scientists, journalists, and people directly being paid by the EPA and working for the EPA at the time to undermine the science, showing that Roundup was clearly linked to cancers like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They’re very clear communications, Tom, between people at Monsanto and the scientists and the journalists where they tried to find ways … You actually had journalists, if you can imagine, pimping this story, to find ways to discredit specific scientific papers showing a link between Roundup and cancer. They go out and they hire journalists who will write anything that they want for the right price. They go out and they hire scientists that will say anything. They usually get them from universities, pay them $300,000, ask them to write a paper, ask them to tweak the science a little bit.
They also talked about suppressing information that talked about this link and promoting their own faulty studies that were totally flawed, that were totally incomplete, that were totally fraudulent. They were nothing but phonied up material at some point. In one of the documents, one of the Monsanto’s own scientist says that it’s impossible … This is their own scientist. “It’s impossible to claim that Roundup doesn’t cause cancer because the test that the company ran only used a tiny amount of glyphosate, well below the actual active ingredient levels.” We see them doing this type of thing, pharmaceutical companies do this all the time. Chemical companies do this all the time. So the study should have been dismissed from the very outset. Instead, Monsanto wanted to push that story without ever letting the EPA know that it was completely bogus. But that doesn’t let the EPA off the hook, Tom.
The EPA had all kinds of information suggesting that they knew that there was a clear … Matter of fact, in the ’80’s, the EPA declares that glyphosate will cause cancer. It’s their own words. And then six years later, they change it out of some fantasy argument that, “Gee. Maybe we got it wrong.” Incredible story. This story is a remarkable story, Tom.
Hartmann: Yeah. How did they get away with this all this time? I mean, this is not … Glyphosate is not a new product. How did this happen?
Papantonio: Well, money talks. That’s the simple answer. Listen, this is … Monsanto has captured the leadership of the Democratic Party. I mean, I know you followed that story with Hillary Clinton’s relationship to the company and really a big part of the Democratic leadership actually had this very cozy relationship with Monsanto. So did the Republicans. I don’t mean to say it was just the Democrats. But usually we think of the Democrats trying to protect our interests. This is just the opposite. Look, this is a company that colluded with government agency to hide scientific findings that should absolutely be illegal. But the part of the story that rarely garners any coverage is that it is illegal.
Look, the DOJ has these facts. The DOJ could have issues subpoenas, they could have issued indictments in this case. And you watch, they won’t do it. They may get a slap on the wrist in the form of a fine, but that’s about all that’s going to happen to Monsanto in this situation. We’ve seen it again, and again, and again. We’ve seen it with GMOs, we’ve seen it now. The only reason GMOs have ever had to be invented because of the Roundup glyphosate issue. So this story, again, if you take a look at the coverage that corporate media has given this story, it’s almost non-existent. As a matter of fact, corporate media has tried to spin this story to point out the better angles about why Monsanto might have been right. “And gee whiz, maybe they just missed it. And oh, golly gosh, maybe they should have done more scientific studies. But we needed this product so badly.” You don’t even need this product, that’s the interesting thing about the story, too.
Hartmann: Well, apropos of the product for people who may not know what Roundup is or what glyphosate is, you want to give us just a short summary of what this product, what this chemical is? Where it came from, how long it’s been in the market, how it’s been marketed, what the uses of it are, that sort of thing?
Papantonio: Yeah. Glyphosate. Let me put it in perspective. You can take … You can mix vinegar with soap suds and put it on weeds and it will kill the weed just as well as glyphosate will. But again, what we saw was … We the industry inventing a need, okay? Inventing a need. And all of a sudden, we have to do it. There was a time in the United States, in fact, around the world where there was this chemical revolution where we’re going to solve everybody’s problems with these new inventions, these new chemicals. This is one of those chemicals. Not that there wasn’t anything there that would have done the same thing glyphosate did. You can Google right now, and you will find at least two or three things that are completely safe that’ll accomplish the same thing that Roundup will.
And these documents help to paint a very clear picture that Monsanto understood that there were very clear alternatives, and they understood the dangers of their own product. Otherwise, Tom, if you think about it, why would they have gone to such extreme lengths to try to undermine the science? You realize, when we do this story and it’s posted on the internet, what we’re going to find is we’re going to find trolls that are actually hired by Monsanto to discredit this story. They’ve got a whole network of trolls that they’ve found doing this day to day. And so after we post this story, you’re going to find these trolls existing with their comments underneath the story. And so, we already knew long before this documents, Tom, came out, before they became public, that Monsanto had created what they called the Glyphosate Taskforce, which was just a propaganda wing that whose soul purpose was to question the scientific links between Roundup and cancer.
Now, they did that at a very high level to begin with. They actually tried to influence universities. They tried to influence scientists, they tried to influence corporate media by paying more money to corporate media for advertising dollars. That’s one way they did it. And then threatening corporate media by saying, “Gee whiz, if you write a bad story about us, we’re going to sue you.” Well, there was nothing to sue about. I mean, it would be ridiculous lawsuit. But they knew the scientific links between Roundup and cancer, and so these latest documents are really just an extension of this information campaign that we’ve known about for a very long time. And as a matter of fact, the new extension of that misinformation campaign is to have these trolls … I’m not kidding you. Trolls that Monsanto pays for to go to sites like we’ll have up and go to stories like this and discredit the site or discredit the story. Call me … That I’m misrepresenting the truth.
Well, you can’t say that anymore ’cause the documents show exactly what the truth is. As a matter of fact, go to the website of Leven Papantonio. We’re going to have these documents posted on that website. And I invite Monsanto to go read them again before you send your troll … Before they send their trolls out to say, “This stuff just isn’t true.”
Hartmann: Wow. I had a scientist on. She was not a biological science person. I think she was a mathematician, or maybe an engineer. But she had done the epidemiology and came to the conclusion … And I realize this is very controversial, that Monsanto while … I mean, according to … Excuse me, glyphosate, that it doesn’t disrupt the metabolic process of animals, it does it to plants, although it may cause cancer to animals. But that’s kind of a different thing. But it disrupts bacteria as well as plants, and she was positing that it’s destroying or disrupting the bacteria in the gut. And particularly in mom’s gut, when she’s pregnant, which might then disregulate the body in a way that it could even produce autism. Did you come across any evidence of any of that sort of thing?
Papantonio: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. The short list in connection to this glyphosate are the possibilities of Alzheimer’s disease, autism, birth defects, ALS, Parkinson’s disease. It just goes on forever. Breast cancer. But this is not new material. Look, I’m going to be trying a lawsuit against … Full disclosure. I’m going to be trying a lawsuit against this case down in Saint Louis, probably within the next 18 months. And these documents are going to be documents that they have to answer in court. And you know what? This is just the tip of the iceberg.
What we’re going to find out is we’re going to find documents that was overwhelmingly clear, ’cause we see it every time we go to trial with a corporate thug like this that’s trying to cover things up and trying to keep the truth from the public. We find it. Sometimes it doesn’t come from them. It comes from other agencies that don’t destroy documents, don’t shred documents. It comes from other agencies that have possession of these documents. So we go in through the back door to get this, and we’ve already started that and the stuff we’re finding right now is remarkable. I’m telling you, these documents are only the tip of the iceberg, Tom.
Hartmann: Yeah. It’s remarkable. And we have just about a little less than a minute left. Monsanto also manufactures GMOs, do they not? I mean, they modify seeds so that they can tolerate glyphosate. Is there a problem with the GMOs as well? Or is that a completely separate issue?
Papantonio: Well, let me tell you, their attorneys … Not so much in the United States. There are attorneys in the US looking at the GMO issue, but primarily, we’re seeing that come out of Europe and Asia where you have them asking serious questions about the GMOs. Look, here it is, trends follow companies. Just like a trend follows a person, trends follow companies. Trends of cover up, trends of deception, trends that we’re seeing first hand with glyphosate. Those same kind of trends, we have to ask ourself any time it’s represented to us that everything’s safe. On this company, we have to really ask some serious questions, Tom.
Hartmann: Amen. Mike Papatonio. Thank you.
Papantonio: Thank you.
Hartmann: Great having you with us. By the way, for all you mystery fans out there, be sure to check out Pap’s fourth-coming legal thriller, Law and Vengeance out in September.