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Biotech giant Monsanto is being accused of hiring, through third parties, an army of Internet trolls to counter negative comments, while citing positive “ghost-written” pseudo-scientific reports which downplay the potential risks of their products.
“Monsanto even started the aptly-named ‘Let Nothing Go’ program to leave nothing, not even Facebook comments, unanswered; through a series of third parties, it employs individuals who appear to have no connection to the industry, who in turn post positive comments on news articles and Facebook posts, defending Monsanto, its chemicals, and GMOs,” the document reads.
The accusations are backed by a batch of emails, used in court as evidence, which were written by some Monsanto executives, instructing the staff to “ghost-write” articles and then have some “independent scientists” just sign their names under the “study” in order to reduce costs.
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the Internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.
Looks the the super hero executives may have been having articles "ghost" written and then having scientists "just signed" them
New details of the company's counterattack came to light this week. Internal company emails, released as part of a lawsuit against the company, show how Monsanto recruited outside scientists to co-author reports defending the safety of glyphosate, sold under the brand name Roundup. Monsanto executive William Heydens proposed that the company "ghost-write" one paper. In an email, Heydens wrote that "we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak." Heydens wrote that this is how Monsanto had "handled" an earlier paper on glyphosate's safety.
The emails also offer hints of a friendly relationship between Monsanto and a senior regulator at the Environmental Protection Agency, Jess Rowland. The EPA was already doing its own assessment of glyphosate's health risks, but after the U.N. report appeared, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention apparently was considering launching its own study.
In late April, 2015, Rowland called a regulatory expert at Monsanto, Daniel Jenkins, to ask who at the CDC was working on the glyphosate study. Jenkins reported on the conversation in an email to his colleagues. He wrote that Rowland "told me no coordination is going on and he wanted to establish some saying 'If I can kill this I should get a medal."
In a separate email in September, 2015, Jenkins wrote that "Jess will be retiring from EPA in ~5—6 months and could be useful as we move forward with ongoing glyphosate defense." Rowland has since retired from the EPA.
O.K. I wasn't aware many companies do this.
originally posted by: Chadwickus
a reply to: D8Tee
The RT article links to the email discussing the ghost writing...
What's not above board?
Many companies do this, is it only an issue because monsanto?
originally posted by: Planet teleX
It doesn't matter if other companies follow this practice, it's still deception. If they want to defend themselves, they shouldn't pretend to have unbiased third parties do it for them and on their dime.
They do this because they know their word means shquat.