Monsanto bribed scientist on Agent Orange and cancer

This video is about the consequences of Agent Orange in Vietnam.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Tainted legacy

(Friday 08 December 2006)

THERE is a lesson in the news that Prime Minister Tony Blair should take to heart and that is that history does not absolve you and it does not forgive.

Professor Sir Richard Doll, the eminent scientist whose professional opinion cleared the virulent defoliant Agent Orange of causing cancer during its use by the US in the Vietnam war, died last year.

But among his personal papers has been found a contract with Monsanto, the firm now best known for its work on genetically modified crops, but which, back in the days of the Vietnam conflict, manufactured – Yes, you’ve guessed it – Agent Orange.

And this was not just a one-off contract.

It was an extension of a commission that ran from May 1979 until its one-year renewal at a fee of $1,500 a day in 1986.

It was during that extension that he wrote his evidence to an Australian commission on Agent Orange, declaring that there was no evidence that it caused cancer.

Sir Richard was also paid a £15,000 fee by the Chemical Manufacturers Association and chemicals companies Dow Chemical and ICI for a review of vinyl chloride, which is used in plastics manufacture, clearing the substance of any link with most cancers, a view to which the World Health Organisation takes decided exception.

However, even in the light of this, it would be wrong to write off all of Sir Richard’s work. He gave valuable service on, among other things, asbestos contamination and he made no secret of his forthright anti-Iraq war position.

But these revelations cast a long shadow over his evidence in relation to Agent Orange and, in this context, it is not sufficient to say, as US politician Madeleine Albright famously claimed: “We need more facts.”

9 thoughts on “Monsanto bribed scientist on Agent Orange and cancer

  1. CORRECTED: TIMELINE: History of Monsanto Co

    Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:44pm EST

    7:22am EST

    FACTBOX: Who’s who in biotech seed arena

    In 1982 entry, corrects reference to Monsanto and Times Beach controversy

    (Reuters) – Over its 108-year history, Monsanto Co, the world’s largest seed company, has evolved from primarily an industrial chemical concern into a pure agricultural products company.

    Following is a timeline of the St. Louis, Missouri-based company’s history.

    * 1901 – Original Monsanto founded as a maker of saccharine by John F. Queeny and named after his wife, Olga Monsanto Queeny.

    * 1920s and 1930s – Manufacturers sulfuric acid and other chemicals, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are later implicated in reproductive, developmental and immune system disorders.

    * 1940s – Manufactures plastics and synthetic fabrics

    * 1960s – Establishes agricultural division with focus on herbicides.

    * 1962-1971 – Becomes one of principal companies supplying herbicide known as Agent Orange to U.S. military for use in Vietnam War. Agent Orange is later linked to various health problems, including cancer.

    * 1976 – Commercializes Roundup herbicide, which goes on to be a top seller around the world.

    * 1982 – Some 2,000 people are relocated from Times Beach, Missouri, after area is contaminated with PCB by-product dioxin. Critics say a St. Louis-area Monsanto chemical plant was a source but company denies any connection.

    * 1994 – Wins regulatory approval for its first biotech product, a dairy cow hormone called Posilac.

    * 1996 – Introduces first biotech crop, Roundup Ready soybeans, which tolerate spraying of Roundup herbicide, and biotech cotton engineered to resist insect damage.

    * 1997 – Spins off its industrial chemical and fibers business into Solutia Inc amid complaints and legal claims about pollution from its plants. Introduces new biotech canola, cotton and corn, and buys foundation seed companies.

    * 1998 – Introduces Roundup Ready corn.

    * 2000-2002 – Restructures in deal with Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc; separates agricultural and chemicals businesses and becomes stand-alone agricultural company.

    * 2002-2003 – Jury finds Monsanto plant in Anniston, Alabama, polluted community with PCBs. Monsanto and Solutia agree to pay $600 million to settle claims brought by 20,000 Anniston residents of PCB ground and water contamination.

    * 2003 – Solutia files Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    * 2004 – Monsanto forms American Seeds Inc holding company for corn and soybean seed deals and begins brand acquisitions.

    * 2005 – Environmental, consumer groups question safety of Roundup Ready crops, say they create “super weeds,” among other problems.

    * 2006-2007 – Buys several regional seed companies and cotton seed leader Delta and Pine Land Co. Competitors allege Monsanto gaining seed industry monopoly.

    * 2008 – Acquires sugarcane breeding companies, and a Dutch hybrid seed company. Sells Posilac business amid consumer and food industry concerns about the dairy cow hormone supplement.

    * 2008-2009 – U.S. Department of Justice says it is looking into monopolistic power in the U.S. seed industry.

    * 2009 – Posts record net sales of $11.7 billion and net income of $2.1 billion for fiscal 2009. Announces project to improve the living conditions of 10,000 small cotton and corn farmers in 1,100 villages in India; donates cotton technology to academic researchers.

    (Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Walter Bagley)


  2. GM alfalfa ban is lifted by courts

    US: The Supreme Court lifted a ban on the planting of genetically engineered alfalfa seeds on Monday despite fears that they might harm the environment.

    In a seven to one vote on Monday the court reversed a federal appeals court ruling that had prohibited Monsanto Corporation from selling alfalfa seeds because they are resistant to the popular weed killer Roundup.

    The US Agriculture Department must now decide whether to allow the genetically modified seeds to be planted.


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