U.S.A. – -(Ammoland.com)- “Bayer announced today a series of agreements that will substantially resolve major outstanding Monsanto litigation, including U.S. Roundup™ product liability litigation,” a company press release stated Wednesday. “The company will make a payment of $8.8 billion to $9.6 billion to resolve the current Roundup™ litigation, including an allowance expected to cover unresolved claims, and $1.25 billion to support a separate class agreement to address potential future litigation.”
So what does that have to do with anything AmmoLand readers might want to know about? Nothing, directly, except it still leaves unanswered questions about what role head Demanding Mom Shannon Watts played in flacking for the corporate giant back when she was a PR bigwig. I’ve been asking those questions for two years now, first noting how the lawsuits could pit “progressive” moms against each other, and a year later noting a second verdict still left any role she may have played unrevealed.
Why suspect any involvement?
Her LinkedIn profile documented Watts was Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs Company for PR firm Fleishman-Hillard from 1998 to 2001, claiming she “Directed [a] seven-member team that identified and managed issues and crises for clients, including Monsanto Company [and] Bayer Corporation.” From 2001 to 2004 she assumed the position of Director, Global Public and Corporate Affairs Company for Monsanto, where Watts says she “Provided corporate communications strategy and support for Fortune 500 life sciences and agricultural company.”
A May 2018 report in the UK’s The Guardian bore the headline “Landmark lawsuit claims Monsanto hid cancer danger of weedkiller for decades.” If true, that means the alleged hiding of “cancer danger” was going on during Watts’ watch. And more than just hiding. Per the complaint being featured:
“Monsanto ‘championed falsified data and attacked legitimate studies’ that revealed dangers of its herbicides, and led a ‘prolonged campaign of misinformation’ to convince government agencies, farmers and consumers that Roundup was safe…’”
Since Watts has an influential voice in shaping public policy through demanding gun laws, it’s fair to ask, in her executive capacity, what role she and those reporting to her played, if any, in promoting Monsanto’s products, and in reputation management/damage control efforts. Or is it more likely the Global Public and Corporate Affairs Director, whose media expertise would be needed to defend the company's image, was intentionally kept in the dark?
Note an important caveat on my part: Not having heard, the evidence, or even presuming to be able to understand the science, and being aware of how leftist environmental hysteria, media manipulation, clueless jurors and slick-talking deep-pockets lawyers can fall together to make mundane things like the truth seem secondary, I’m prepared to give credence to Bayer’s arrangement “to return the conversation about the safety and utility of glyphosate-based herbicides to the scientific and regulatory arena and to the full body of science.”
It doesn’t matter if you or I question the charges. That’s not the point.
The point is were Shannon Watts a prominent advocate for “conservative” causes, you’d best believe the media would be all over her about this, trying to ferret out what she knew and when she knew it, and filling in the gaps with innuendo and outright fabrication if that’s what it took to turn the public against her. But because she’s who she is, and because they share common goals, all you hear are crickets.
Still, it would be nice if some “real reporter” worked up the intellectual curiosity to ask her, and to see if anyone could produce any work product, memoranda, emails, etc. for any projects, directives, and discussions she may have been part of relating to Roundup damage control. Last time I tried, she blocked me from her Twitter feed.
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.