Latest news about ethical consumerism


 

Monsanto covertly funding pro-GM campaigns

Feb 2

Written by:
02/02/2016 10:12  RssIcon

Company accused of paying academics for positive coverage


Monsanto has been accused of covertly funding a pro-GM advocacy group and website in the US while also contributing the work of a pro GM academic.

The US consumer group Right to Know has obtained evidence of "extensive collaboration between agrichemical industry giant Monsanto Co. and University of Illinois food science Professor Emeritus Bruce Chassy on projects to promote GMO crops". 
 

March against Monsanto, photo credit: Stephen Melkisethian

 

Email communications obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests reveal that Monsanto was making financial contributions to the university for Chassy’s use over the same period that Monsanto or Monsanto-affiliated public relations operatives were providing Chassy pro-GMO content and/or editing for presentations, papers and videos.

Right to Know alleges that emails also reveal that:

"Monsanto and a public relations operative helped Chassy set up a non-profit group and website called Academics Review to criticize individuals, organizations and others who raise questions about the health or environmental risks of GMOs."

In one example, Chassy is said to have co-authored a series of articles that argue GMO labeling is a “disaster in waiting” — with no disclosure of his collaboration with GMO developer Monsanto.

US Right to Know called on Congress to require disclosure of food and agrichemical industry payments to universities and professors, just as pharmaceutical and medical device companies are required to disclose payments to physicians and teaching hospitals under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act.

 

Gary Ruskin, co-director of U.S. Right to Know:

“Professors shouldn’t be able to lobby or do PR for agrichemical companies while representing themselves as independent, and they should have to disclose any money they receive from those companies,” said . “Congress should expand the Physician Payments Sunshine Act to require disclosure of payments from food and agrichemical companies to professors and universities.”

Other documents obtained by U.S. Right to Know show similar collaboration with other U.S. academics, including University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta. Folta received an unrestricted $25,000 grant from Monsanto and told Monsanto he would “write whatever you like.” 

 

Find out more about Monsanto featured in our recent gardening report

 


 

 

This story has been added to our corporate database. The database powers all our live product guides, giving the score for each company on our rankings tables. Find out more about how we rate companies.

 

 


 

Tags:
Categories:

 

Full News Archive

 

Ethical news archive going back to July 2009.

Read More

Ethical Consumer Blog

Councils take action against tax avoidance

  • 08/12/2016 10:41

Paul Monaghan outlines the unexpected success of a campaign to persuade local authorities to use their buying power to reward tax paying companies

Ethical Consumer Blog

Lush Spring Prize

  • 06/12/2016 10:13

Lush Cosmetics and Ethical Consumer launch a new annual prize fund

Ethical Consumer Blog

Cadbury drops Fairtrade logo

  • 05/12/2016 11:08

Cadbury is pulling out of the Fairtrade scheme in favour of its own sustainability programme

Ethical Consumer Blog

Princess Cruise Liners fined in illegal ocean pollution case

  • 02/12/2016 10:35

Company tried to cover up severe violations of environmental regulation

Ethical Consumer Blog

Ethical Christmas

  • 01/12/2016 10:42

How to have an ethical Christmas