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Understanding Overlapping Corporate Disinformation Campaigns Is Critical to Telling the Full Story About Science Denial

Monsanto’s use of corporate advisory firm FTI Consulting to target journalists and activists was one of the most neglected stories of 2020. But a deeper look reveals it’s part of a bigger pattern of misinformation.

Bayer, which now owns Monsanto, announced at the end of July that it will remove the harmful pesticide glyphosate — a “probable carcinogen” — from its Roundup herbicide products by 2023, as it continues to face mounting pressure from lawsuits about the product’s health impacts. 

But while the spotlight has been on the pesticide chemical’s potential dangers, a 2019 trial against Monsanto revealed another tale of bad behavior and its use of glyphosate: a story of corporate efforts to target journalists and activists dedicated to reporting on the risks posed by Monsanto’s products.

And just recently, on July 28, France’s personal data protection agency fined the company $473,000 for “illegally compiling files of public figures, journalists and activists with the aim of swaying opinion towards support for its controversial pesticides,” according to France 24.