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Meet the Merchants of Poison: The Front Groups, Spin Groups, PR Partners Pesticide Companies Use To Defend Glyphosate

The following is an excerpt from the Merchants of Poison report which details what internal corporate documents reveal about how Monsanto (now Bayer) ran it’s science-denial and disinformation campaign to protect sales of glyphosate-based Roundup. This section examines what the documents show about the many “industry partners,” including front groups, trade groups, PR and spin groups, the pesticide companies relied on to spread their product defense messaging. Our analysis shows that seven of the front groups named in the Monsanto documents, and six of the trade associations that aided the company, spent more than $1.4 billion in five years (2013-2019) on product defense efforts like those described in this report, including on glyphosate defense.

Tactic 3: Cultivating Third Party Allies

As pressure mounted in the European Union to ban glyphosate in the wake of the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2015 cancer report, members of a new group called Freedom to Farm began appearing at agricultural events and farmers’ markets across Europe.