Monsanto accused of coercion

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 1998:

OTTAWA––Members of the
Canadian Senate Standing Committee on
Agriculture and Forestry “sat dumbfounded”
on October 22, wrote Ottawa Citizen reporter
James Baxter, “as Dr. Margaret Haydon told
of a meeting when officials from Monsanto
Inc.,” maker of the milk production stimulant
rBST, “made an offer of between $1 million
and $2 million to the scientists from Health
Canada––an offer that she told the senators
could only have been interpreted as a bribe.
Dr. Haydon,” Baxter wrote, “also recounted
how notes and files critical of scientific data
provided by Monsanto were stolen from a
locked filing cabinet in her office.”
Reportedly responded Senator
Eugene Whelan, “I can’t even believe I’m in
Canada––what the hell kind of a system do we
have here?”

Another Health Canada scientist,
Dr. Shiv Chopra, testified that “We have been
pressured and coerced to pass drugs of questionable
safety, including rBST,” Baxter continued.
Monsanto Canada Inc. vice president
Ray Mowling acknowledged funding studies
by Health Canada, but denied ever attempting
Monsanto in midsummer advertisements
apologized to Europeans for heavyhanded
tactics in promoting rBST and other genetically
engineered products, but the sincerity of
the apology was widely questioned after the
British printing firm Penwells in late
September pulped––without warning––the
entire 14,000-copy press run of the October
edition of The Ecologist.
“The magazine highlights Monsanto’s
record of social and ecological irresponsibility,
and illustrates its readiness to intimidate and
quash those ideas which conflict with its
immediate interests,” The Ecologist e d i t o r i a l
charged. “Their size and history of aggression
have repeatedly brought an end to what is
undeniably a legitimate and very important
Penwells, printing The Ecologist for
29 of the 30 years the magazine has been published,
“refused to comment on its decision,”
reported The Guardian, a leading British daily
newspaper, but added, “It is understood the
company was afraid of laying itself open to a
libel action.”
Daniel Verakis, identified as a
Monsanto spokesperson, told The Guardian
that the pulping was “news to me. We had
nothing to do with it.”
“There were no direct threats from
Monsanto to Penwells as far as we are aware,”
The Ecologist confirmed. “It was the reputation
[Monsanto has] for taking libel action
which prompted our printers to pulp the issue.”
Monsanto became associated with
aggressive legal tactics, as well as espionage
against activist groups, while seeking to be
first on the U.S. market with rBST during the
1980s. Center for Media and Democracy
investigative reporters John C. Stauber and
Sheldon Rampton mentioned only two companies
more often than Monsanto in their 1995
book Toxic Sludge Is Good For You!, subtitled
“Lies, damn lies, and the public relations
industry”––and one of the two firms mentioned
more often, the multinational public
relations giant Burson-Marstellar Inc., represented
Monsanto in connection with rBG

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