Media and NGOs respond after the revelation of illegal registration by Monsanto

“Le Monde” and France 2 revealed that a Monsanto-mandated cabinet had illegally stolen 200 people, nearly half of them journalists.

The World with AFP Posted today at 13h29, updated at 16h30

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The protests follow one another, Friday, May 10, after the revelation of personalities by the agrochemist Monsanto, and several media have already announced their intention to initiate proceedings against the US group.

Thursday, The world and France 2 revealed that a lobbying firm mandated by the US agrochemical Monsanto had illegally stolen 200 people based on their positions on glyphosate, between “Allies”, “Potential allies to recruit”,“Stakeholders to educate”“Stakeholders to watch”. Of these, almost half are journalists, others are politicians, trade unionists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The daily The Parisian-Today in France, including three journalists appear in the file, announced that he was going to seize the National Commission of computing and freedoms (CNIL). It specifies that the regulations “Requires informing people when their data is collected” and that these must have “The opportunity to exercise their rights”, including the erasure of these data.

Article reserved for our subscribersRead also “Monsanto File”: dozens of people classified illegally according to their position on the glyphosate

“Fraudulent use of personal data”

Radio France also denounced in a statement that “Type of file (…) with the greatest firmness “. The public group announced to prepare “Alongside his journalists” – six of them are in the documents – a lawsuit “So that an investigation clearly determines all responsibilities”.

The NGO Foodwatch also announced that it was filing a complaint, after hearing that its director general, Karine Jacquemart, and the NGO’s director of information, Ingrid Kragl, were “On the list established by a lobby firm mandated by Monsanto”“They are mentioned in a nominative way with the maximum score for their opposition to the multinational. Foodwatch will therefore lodge a complaint with the public prosecutor of the district court of Paris “, writes the association in a statement, denouncing “Fraudulent use of our personal data”. Another NGO antipesticides, Future generations, also announced that it was preparing a complaint.

Environment MEP Michèle Rivasi, who claims to be “Cited in this illegal file”,announced on Twitter his decision to file a complaint. For her part, the former Minister of the Environment, Ségolène Royal, who appears on these lists, was indignant: “It says a lot about the methods of lobbyists, (…) they do espionage, infiltration, influence, sometimes financial I imagine. “We must bounce on this revelation to clean up this lobbying system”, preached on France Info the former socialist candidate for the presidential election of 2007, preferring “An institutional approach” rather than a personal complaint.

Bayer had “no knowledge” of the files

The German chemical group Bayer, owner since 2018 of Monsanto, told Agence France-Presse on Friday that it had not “Not knowing” of these files.

The management of Bayer stresses that the offending files will date from 2016, “Date on which Bayer and Monsanto were two unrelated groups”“As we were not aware of it, we can not comment on it”, adds the management of the German group, which ensures “A capital importance” compliance with laws and regulations, including data privacy.

“There are private interests who are ready to do anything to defend the status quo or to gain new fields of economic activity for the benefit of private interests and sometimes against the general interest”, reacted Friday the Minister of the ecological transition, François de Rugy, saying not to be ” surprised “ by the revelation that personalities would have been stuck by Monsanto. “Environmental issues have become so important that the very big companies that have very large means seek to influence as foreign powers did with espionage in a way,” continued the minister.

Who are the “stuck” Monsanto?

The “Monsanto file” consists of two tables filled with names of personalities, accompanied by a multitude of information. The set includes altogether more than 200 names.

Nearly half are journalists. There are most professionals covering the environment and agriculture issues for dailies, but also those of news agencies, radio stations, television channels, the “Pourquoi Docteur” website, magazines like I’m interested or Science and Future, and more specialized publications like Succeed Fruits & Vegetables or Seeds and Progress.

There are also the names of twenty-five “politicians” (ministers in place at the time of the constitution of the file in 2016, MEPs and French MPs). Those of about thirty leaders of agricultural organizations such as the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA) or the Confédération paysanne. Or seventeen NGOs, such as the Association for the Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture, some of which are specifically labeled “anti-Monsanto”.

The previous Philip Morris

The case of the “Monsanto file” is not without precedent. In 2013, a leak of internal documents revealed Philip Morris’s filing techniques. While Brussels was discussing the Tobacco Products Directive, adopted the following year, the Marlboro manufacturer had also classified MEPs by a color code indicating their degree of hostility to cigarettes. Philip Morris had deployed more than 160 lobbyists to solicit them and the European Commission officials in charge of the file.

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