American agrochemical giant Monsanto paid a public-affairs consultancy up to €200,000 to set up a ‘grassroots farmers’ operation across Europe to oppose a prospective EU ban on glyphosate, Unearthed has learned.
Glyphosate is a key ingredient in Monsanto’s signature Roundup weedkiller.
Dublin-based political firm Red Flag Consulting led the pro-glyphosate campaign, quietly launching a wide-reaching PR operation and enlisting the support of thousands of farmers from stands at agricultural fairs in “the eight most important EU countries.”
In contemporaneous reviews seen by Unearthed, sales representatives working at the booths said that their job involved distributing “truth-clarification materials” about glyphosate, and gathering contact information and signatures.
In recent promotional literature Red Flag describes how it “won the single-biggest regulatory and public affairs campaign in the European Union,” using “non-traditional allies” in an attempt to change the positions of eight countries in the EU.
“Red Flag leveraged these efforts on identified targets through media and direct engagement to ultimately change votes in a key committee in Brussels to bring about a win for our client,” one brochure says.