The continued legal battle against Monsanto, the agribusiness company that produces a weedkiller that is linked to cancer, has revealed internal documents that show that the company’s ‘intelligence fusion center’s’ main goal was to investigate and discredit all activists who were critical of the company.
As The Guardian and Pitchfork report, those include a Reuters reporter Carey Gillam, who wrote a book critical of the company, as well as rock giant Neil Young, who in 2015 released the album Monsanto Years, critical of the company. The documents presented in court indicate that “Monsanto has “bullied” critics and scientists and worked to conceal the dangers of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide.”
Among its activities, this ‘fusion center’ produced detailed graphs that contain the Twitter activity of Neil Young. As The Guardian cites a Monsanto official who in 2015 wrote that, “the center evaluated the lyrics on his album to develop a list of 20+ potential topics he may target” and created a plan to “proactively produce content and response preparedness.” The same official added that the center was “closely monitoring discussions” about a concert featuring Young, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews.