As Monsanto comes under scrutiny for allegedly hiding the dangers of its weed killer, Roundup, we talk to a reporter who says the company attempted to censor and discredit her when she published stories on their product that contradicted their business interests. Carey Gillam is a veteran investigative journalist and author of Whitewash–The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. We are looking at Friday’s historic verdict in a lawsuit against US agribusiness giant Monsanto. In a groundbreaking decision, a jury in California ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who developed cancer after regularly using the weed killer Roundup on the school lawns. The 46-year-old man, Dewayne Lee Johnson, has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Doctors say he is unlikely to live past 2020. Johnson’s was the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging glyphosate causes cancer.
We just spoke with the lead attorney in the case. Now we’re going to Kansas City, Missouri, were we are joined by Carey Gillam, a veteran investigative journalist, author of Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science. She has covered corporate America for 25 years, now research director for U.S. Right To Know. In your book, Carey, you write, “It’s the pesticide on our dinner plates, a chemical so pervasive it’s in the air we breathe, our water, our soil and even increasingly found in our own bodies. Known as Monsanto’s Roundup by consumers and as glyphosate by scientists, the world’s most popular weed killer is used everywhere from backyard gardens to golf courses to millions of acres of farmland.” Carey Gillam, what does this historic verdict, nearly $300 million to one person, mean for this chemical?
CAREY GILLAM: Thank you and good morning. I…