The Monsanto Papers

April 14, 2021
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Slides & Resources


Carey Gillam: The Monsanto Papers: A conversation about accountability


Gillam, C. (2021). The Monsanto Papers. Island Press. 

30% off the book with code WEBINAR. Only valid at islandpress.org

Carey Gillam. (https://careygillam.com).

Carey Gillam. The Guardian. (https://www.theguardian.com/profile/carey-gillam)

Gillam, C. Monsanto Roundup & Dicamba Trial Tracker. U.S. Right to Know. March 10, 2021.

Carey Gillam's first book - Whitewash - The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science -  explored the scientific research showing human and environmental health harms associated with glyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide, and the decades of deceptive tactics by Monsanto to cover up the harms of glyphosate products, such as Roundup. During this webinar Ms. Gillam discussed her new book, The Monsanto Papers, a very tragic human story about the results of that deception. The Monsanto Papers takes readers into the personal and painful struggle of Lee Johnson—an average middle-aged husband and father—as he sees his life unravel due to his terminal cancer diagnosis and tries to prepare his wife and two children for his death. The book also explores the fascinating—and controversial—tactics of the mass tort attorneys who decide to help Lee, and thousands of other cancer victims like him, take Monsanto to court. Lee became the first person in the world to go to trial against Monsanto and to prove that the company’s 40-year-old, wildly popular weed killer causes a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Though many scientists for years had pointed to evidence tying Monsanto’s herbicide to cancer, the company had always been successful in convincing regulators and customers that such evidence was invalid. Few onlookers thought Lee and his lawyers could actually win at trial against the powerful and highly influential Monsanto. But people around the world wanted to see the evidence, and the case ended up being covered by media from around the world. Lee's victory was instrumental in leading Monsanto's owner Bayer AG to agree to pay $11 billion to settle the mass tort litigation. Ms. Gillam presented details of the deception by Monsanto, and how the lawyers found and used those data.

This webinar is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Partnership. The CHE EDC Strategies Partnership is chaired by Sharyle Patton (Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center), Jerry Heindel (Commonweal HEEDS, Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies), Genon Jensen (HEAL), Sarah Howard (DiabetesandEnvironment.org), and Hannah Donart (Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a Commonweal program). To see a full list of past calls and webinars related to EDCs and listen to or view recordings, please visit our partnership page. 

This webinar was moderated by Jerry Heindel, PhD, founder and director of Commonweal's Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies (HEEDS). It lasted for 45 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive.

Featured Speaker

Carey Gillam is a veteran investigative journalist with more than 25 years of experience, including 17 years as a senior correspondent for Reuters international news service. She is the author of “Whitewash- The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer and the Corruption of Science,” an expose of corporate corruption in agriculture. The book won the coveted Rachel Carson Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists in 2018. Gillam’s new book is The Monsanto Papers - Deadly Secrets, Corporate Corruption and One Man’s Search for Justice. Gillam currently is Research Director for the non-profit US Right to Know and writes news stories for The Guardian.