Documents highlight the public relations, scientific, legislative and regulatory tactics the industry has used to defend its products and profits
The University of California, San Francisco Industry Documents Library has placed online several collections of agrichemical industry documents, including some acquired and donated by US Right to Know, a consumer and public health watchdog group. The documents shine light on the public relations, scientific, legislative and regulatory tactics the industry has used to defend its products and profits.
“These documents offer an inside view of agrichemical industry communications about the health and environmental risks of its products,” said Gary Ruskin, co-director of US Right to Know. “We hope they will prove to be a valuable resource for policymakers, investigative journalists and the public at large.”
The documents will be housed in the UCSF Chemical Industry Documents Archive, which is affiliated with the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents, an archive of 14 million documents created by tobacco companies and their allies.
The documents donated by US Right to Know will be known in the archive as the USRTK Agrichemical Collection. Many of these documents were obtained via federal and state public records requests. In February, the Freedom of the Press Foundation documented growing opposition to the use of public records requests for documents related to the agrichemical industry.
“We want to make these documents available so that others don’t have to go through the trouble and expense of obtaining them,” Ruskin said.
Many of the documents known the “Monsanto Papers” will also be made available. These documents are surfacing in litigation over whether Monsanto’s glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
During the last year, these documents have been the subject of dozens of news stories worldwide. In March, two journalists at the French daily Le Monde, Stéphane Foucart and Stéphane Horel, won a European Press Prize Investigative Reporting Award for their work with the Monsanto Papers.
The documents are catalogued, indexed, fully searchable and downloadable so they will be easy to use for policymakers, journalists, academics and the general public. They are available free of charge.
Documents in the USRTK Agrichemical Collection at UCSF have been reported on in many news articles, including:
New York Times: Food Industry Enlisted Academics in GMO Lobbying War, Emails Show, by Eric Lipton
Boston Globe: Harvard Professor Failed to Disclose Monsanto Connection in Paper Touting GMOs, by Laura Krantz
Mother Jones: These Emails Show Monsanto Leaning on Professors to Fight the GMO PR War, by Tom Philpott
The Progressive: Flacking for GMOs: How the Biotech Industry Cultivates Positive Media — and Discourages Criticism, by Paul Thacker
Global News: Documents Reveal Canadian Teenager Target of GMO Lobby, by Allison Vuchnich
CBC: U of S professor says there’s nothing unusual about his ties to Monsanto; U of S Defends Prof’s Monsanto Ties, But Some Faculty Disagree, both by Jason Warick
WBEZ: Why Didn’t an Illinois Professor Have to Disclose GMO Funding? By Monica Eng
Le Monde: La Discrète Influence de Monsanto, by Stéphane Foucart
Huffington Post: Keith Kloor’s Enduring Love Affair with GMOs, by Paul Thacker
Bloomberg: How Monsanto Mobilized Academics to Pen Articles Supporting GMOs, by Jack Kaskey
U.S. Right to Know is a nonprofit consumer and public health organization that investigates the risks associated with the corporate food system, and the food industry’s practices and influence on public policy. For more information, see usrtk.org.