Revealed: how Monsanto’s ‘intelligence center’ targeted journalists and activists
The documents, mostly from 2015 to 2017, were disclosed as part of an ongoing court battle on the health hazards of the company’s Roundup weedkiller. They show:
Monsanto planned a series of “actions” to attack a book authored by Gillam prior to its release, including writing “talking points” for “third parties” to criticize the book and directing “industry and farmer customers” on how to post negative reviews.
Monsanto paid Google to promote search results for “Monsanto Glyphosate Carey Gillam” that criticized her work. Monsanto PR staff also internally discussed placing sustained pressure on Reuters, saying they “continue to push back on [Gillam’s] editors very strongly every chance we get”, and that they were hoping “she gets reassigned”.
Monsanto “fusion center” officials wrote a lengthy report about singer Neil Young’s anti-Monsanto advocacy, monitoring his impact on social media, and at one point considering “legal action”. The fusion center also monitored US Right to Know (USRTK), a not-for-profit, producing weekly reports on the organization’s online activity.
Monsanto officials were repeatedly worried about the release of documents on their financial relationships with scientists that could support the allegations they were “covering up unflattering research”.