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Good day and welcome to Tractor Time podcast brought to you by Acres U.S.A., the Voice of Eco-Agriculture. We are humbled to bring you the 30th episode. Our guest today, Carey Gillam, is a veteran reporter who has been covering corporate America for 25 years, including Monsanto and most recently, Bayer. This year, she’s been busy covering the Monsanto trials, suing agencies under the Freedom of Information Act, and discovering an amazing array of corruption that is fueling the more than 11,000 lawsuits against the company.


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Summarily, she’s uncovered the fact that Monsanto has lied to and tricked farmers, land managers, growers, ranchers and city managers for 50 years about RoundUp. In her book, she carefully documents how they give their employees much more cautious instructions around the product than they do consumers. And that they paid for fake science, strong-armed reporters, and got especially cozy with politicians around the world. France’s Parliament is exploring charges that they kept a list of politicians they liked and disliked. That’s nothing new to us here in the U.S., but that level of targeted lobbying does not go over so well elsewhere in the world. But the bottom line is, it’s toxic to human and animal health, and juries around the world that have heard their defenses do not see any redemption in them – in fact, it is quite the opposite. The defense has only added to their penalties, and Bayer’s stock price has declined by a third from where it was at the time they purchased Monsanto in 2016.

Here’s a clip from the Canadian Public Broadcasting Channel’s recent coverage, which summarized the issue:

To be clear, we are talking about the specific formulation Monsanto uses in its RoundUp product that includes glyphosate – that’s an important distinction, Gillam said. Monsanto’s spokespersons deny all this, citing studies just on glyphosate, and say there is no proof their product is unhealthy or shouldn’t be used. And, you can still find RoundUp just about everywhere.

And who is fueling this worldwide coverage? Our guest today, Carey Gillam. She wrote a book called Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer & the Corruption of Science, published by Island Press, in 2017. The way she threads her reporting in with current events paints a damning picture of Roundup, even garnering praise from Erin Brockovich.

And our guest today makes the strong point that banning RoundUp or glyphosate, or suing for billions, does not solve the real problem we are facing: an agriculture system and food supply dependent on products like Monsanto’s, and the safety nets for most growers are a bit too far down to feel comfortable leaping to a more sustainable, soil-health-based system.

So, our guest for episode 30: As a former senior correspondent for Reuters’ international news service, and current research director for consumer group U.S. Right to Know, Carey Gillam’s areas of expertise include biotech crop technology, agrichemicals and pesticide product development, and the environmental impacts of American food production. Gillam is and has been recognized as one of the top journalists in the country covering these issues.


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