Monsanto papers : manufacturing doubt
Tristan Waleckx is a journalist for France 2 TV. - 2017 : Vincent Bolloré, un ami qui vous veut du bien (prix Albert Londres) -2018 : Kompromat (Dig Awards de Riccione)
This investigation starts with an exclusive interview with Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year old former groundskeeper, who won a historic verdict against Monsanto. He was the first person to take the agrochemical corporation to trial over allegations that the chemical sold under the brand Roundup causes cancer. Dewayne Johnson won this judicial fight thanks to the disclosure of thousands of confidential papers, the ‘Monsanto papers’. They are a treasure trove of internal documents released since 2017 as part of the US lawsuit by cancer victims against Monsanto. They reveal a lot about how the company subverts science and the way it abuses regulators to push for its interests. The documentary raises questions about Monsanto’s efforts to influence the news media and scientific research to protect glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup, the most common weed killer in the world, used by farmers on row crops and by home gardeners. It shows how the company massively used ghostwriting, i.e. writing scientific articles which are then signed by so-called ‘independent scientists’. Among them, Henry Miller, an American professor from Stanford University, who asked Monsanto to draft an article then published in Forbes Magazine. There is also the story of David Kirkland, a British toxicologist who participated in a broad ‘independent’ study that was secretly modified by Monsanto. The documentary also tells the story of Gilles-Eric Seralini, a French scientists whose study about adverse effects of glyphosate has curiously been discredited and retracted by the publisher. This film investigates how the company Monsanto contributed to manufacturing doubts about the proven dangers of its products.