How badly did Monsanto want to discredit international cancer scientists who found the company’s glyphosate herbicide to be a probable human carcinogen and promote a counter message of glyphosate safety instead? Badly enough to allocate about $17 million for the mission, in just one year alone, according to evidence obtained by lawyers representing cancer victims suing Monsanto.
That detail and others about the internal workings of Monsanto public relations operations have come to light in a Jan. 22 video-taped deposition of Monsanto executive Sam Murphey. Murphey’s job at Monsanto included directing global media relations and “advocacy efforts in support of major litigation, policy matters, and reputational threats” involving the company’s glyphosate-based herbicide business. And one of the biggest threats came from those cancer scientists. Murphey now works for Bayer after the German company purchased Monsanto last summer.
U.S. District judge Vince Chhabria did not allow Murphey’s disclosure of the anti-IARC budget to be introduced into evidence in the Hardeman V. Monsanto trial, which went to the jury for deliberation on Tuesday.