In the last several months, it has come to light that one of Monsanto’s strategies for dealing with its online reputation involves paying people to say positive things about Monsanto, and attacking anyone who criticizes Monsanto. These paid Internet trolls pounce on doctors or anyone who speaks out against Monsanto.
Monsanto is just one of many companies that have been reported to use this tactic in maintaining their image.
Reportedly, Monsanto (and companies like Monsanto) have dedicated “entire departments” to trolling scientists, doctors and “discrediting” those who oppose them. These Internet warriors argue on behalf of multi-billion dollar corporations for 8 hours a day.
Surprisingly, it was actually a Monsanto employee that unintentionally let the truth behind their “discrediting operation” slip in a conference with students that he may have forgotten was open to the public. In a conversation with students, Dr. William “Bill” Moar raved that Monsanto had established:
“‘An entire department (waving his arm for emphasis) dedicated to “debunking” science which disagreed with theirs.'” Likely, this is the first time a Monsanto employee has publicly admitted that they have immense political and financial weight to bear on scientists who dare to publish against them. Of course they don’t list this discrediting department anywhere on their website. Monsanto will stop at nothing to discredit and devalue the contributions of unimpeachably respected Lancet and the international scientific bodies of WHO and IARC, among others. They attack them online through blogs, comments, and character assassination. In other words, by Internet trolling.
It is shockingly easy to say someone is a “quack,” or to create some fictitious and anonymous accusation…that could, in turn, destroy someone’s career and reputation.
The issue came up recently when French Environment and Energy Minister Ségolène Royal made it clear that she did not want Monsanto’s Round Up chemicals sold in French garden shops because it is potentially harmful to human beings.
She said, “France must be offensive on stopping pesticides.”
Matthew Phillips, the lawyer who is bringing Monsanto to trial, recently stated, “‘If you get in a debate with these Monsanto trolls online, they’ll say glyphosate is safer than table salt, it’s safer than caffeine,’ he said. ‘It’s misdirection. It’s sleight of hand. It’s intended to distract and deceive, and take advantage of the feeble minded. They are looking at the acute toxicity. What they’re talking about is how much would it take to commit a murder—a one time poisoning event. They should be looking at chronic toxicity–the long-term exposure. That is what is happening with glyphosate. We’re eating it at every single meal.’”