Weedkiller wars: The battle for farming’s future

A US jury and the World Health Organisation have determined that glyphosate might cause cancer. But, as James Moore explains, the legal and PR fight over the herbicide is far from resolved

Saturday 03 November 2018 13:01 GMT
Opponents accuse Monsanto of ignoring scientific evidence
Opponents accuse Monsanto of ignoring scientific evidence

Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup was once marketed to farmers as “a herbicide that gets to the root of the problem”.

Lately it’s become clear that it could be causing as many problems as it fixes, with the World Health Organisation assessing that it “probably” causes cancer in humans, a claim dismissed by parent company Bayer. A California jury this summer awarded a man exposed to the chemical through his work $289m (£220m) in damages. Thousands more cases are pending.

This has left Monsanto – and Bayer, the German life sciences giant that paid $66bn to acquire the firm – with a big problem. Now, investigations by The Independent and Greenpeace have uncovered the controversial PR tactics used by agencies that Monsanto, and other manufacturers, hired to fix it.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in