Product Liability

Monsanto internal emails: executive suggested ‘beating the s**t out of’ a concerned mothers group

September 23, 2019

In a series of internal emails obtained by lawyers representing plaintiffs in the Roundup® litigation, a Monsanto executive suggests ‘beating the s**t out of’ a concerned mothers group who wrote an open letter to Monsanto, expressing concerns over the effects of GMOs and Roundup® on their children.

On June 28, 2013, Moms Across America, a nonprofit focused on creating healthy communities, wrote an open letter to Hugh Grant, then CEO of Monsanto, as well as Monsanto board members and staff expressing concerns over the effects of GMOs and Roundup® on their children.

“We know you want to help the world. We ask you to have the courage to acknowledge that GM (genetically modified) practices and Roundup® are hurting our world. We have seen the recent and new scientific studies on the impact of GMOs and Glyphosate with links to autism, alzheimers, food allergies, liver cancer, IBS, breast cancer in humans and possibly mental illness and we have witnessed the results firsthand in our kids,” the letter said.

The letter concludes, “We moms know your Mom would be proud of you if you put the health of the nation first and stopped selling GMO seed sand spraying Glyphosate (Roundup®) and other harsher pesticides.”

In a series of internal emails obtained by lawyers representing plaintiffs in the Roundup® litigation, a Monsanto executive discusses with two outside consultants how to respond to the open letter.

Excerpt of internal emails contained in the Monsanto Papers, released by Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman

Bruce Chassy, a consultant and then professor at the University of Illinois, quips, “the funniest part about the letter is how it says my children got better when I fed them organic. There you have it. That’s your enemy. Beat the shit out of them and put them on the defensive and you won’t have this problem.”

Dr. Daniel Goldstein of Monsanto responds, “I have been arguing for a week to beat the shit out of them and have clearly lost. We don’t want to be seen as beating up on mothers, nobody will listen to it anyway, it has to be done by third parties…”

Wayne Parrott, another consultant and crop scientist from the University of Georgia, writes, “You don’t have to beat anyone up. You just have to give your side of the story. Rolling over and playing dead is not an option. Silence implies being guilty of every thing you are accused of, “ to which Chassy concludes, “Disagree. You can’t beat up mothers, even if they are dumb mothers but you can beat up the organic industry that paid for and wrote this letter.”

You can read the full transcript of the emails here.

Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group, comments on the appalling statements penned in these emails, “These ugly emails reveal the utter contempt that Monsanto has for public health and for consumers, including mothers who only want to protect their kids’ health. Bayer is reeling from its monumental blunder of buying Monsanto, and these emails should remind them that they acquired the company that gave us DDT, Agent Orange, and PCBs.”

Bayer, who acquired Monsanto in 2018 for $66 billion, is currently in mediation to potentially settle more than 18,000 lawsuits from plaintiffs claiming Roundup® led to them developing cancer. Having lost their first three jury trials in the litigation, Bayer’s chief executive said he would consider a “financially reasonable” settlement if the company can end all litigation.

If you were exposed to Roundup® and have since been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or other cancer, you may still be able to take action against Monsanto. Fill out the intake form here for a free review of your claim. We encourage you to act soon as time is limited. We’re here to help.

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