Monsanto has worked hard (and spent an absurd amount of money on PR) to defend its company’s image, but a spate of negative press in recent weeks is really starting to take its toll on the company.
Of course, it’s well deserved: the main ingredient company’s flagship Roundup weedkiller product was just declared a probable carcinogen by a panel of 17 of the top cancer experts according to the World Health Organization.
Monsanto has long painted its opponents as being “anti-science” in their attacks on their chemicals and GMOs, but now Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant has taken it upon himself to challenge some of the world’s top scientific experts on cancer over the report, which could be highly damaging to his company’s bottom line.
“It’s unfortunate that junk science and this kind of mischief can create so much confusion for consumers,” Grant said recently.
The company is calling on the WHO to retract its report.
“Mr. Grant and Monsanto should immediately retract these ridiculous comments and instead turn their attention to the potential risks their product poses to customers, farm workers and the millions of others who are exposed to glyphosate,” said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of EWG.
“A good start would be to fund an independent testing program for glyphosate in air in the Midwest – including towns and cities – during the Roundup saturation-spray season. We’d be happy to help the company design and execute a plan to expand on the US Geological Survey work that found its weed-killer everywhere – air, water, even rainfall – in the areas where it is heavily used.”
Monsanto also has a long history of causing devastation in several American towns due to the effects of its chemicals (see the pictures here), as pointed out by the EWG in their press release.
Considering the history of the company for causing health and environmental devastation, it’s no wonder that people are skeptical of Mr. Grant’s remarks and motives.
While the WHO is currently standing by its report, this story will remain one to watch considering that Monsanto has had science retracted in the past.
One prime example to note is the case of French scientist Gilles-Éric Séralini, whose experiment showing tumors in lab rats was retracted by the journal Food and Toxciology but only after a former Monsanto employee was appointed to the journal’s editorial board.
The study was later republished in another peer reviewed journal, casting more suspicion over the health effects of Monsanto’s GMOs. Stay tuned, folks.