• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

ONE WEEK TO DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!

A generous CounterPuncher has offered a $25,000 matching grant. So for this week only, whatever you can donate will be doubled up to $25,000! If you have the means, please donate! If you already have done so, thank you for your support. All contributions are tax-deductible.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

With Monsanto and Glyphosate on the Run AAAS Revokes Award to Scientists Whose Studies Led to Ban on Weedkiller in Sri Lanka and Other Countries

The popular weedkiller glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is on the run.

Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) last week called for a ban.

“We need to ban all products containing glyphosate, including Roundup,” Gabbard tweeted on February 16. “It’s poisoning our people, butterflies and other insects, the land and the water.”

And then again today, Gabbard tweeted: “Monsanto proves they’ll do anything to pad their pockets, including manufacturing ‘scientific studies’ to influence the EPA while destroying small farmers. They unleashed the scourge of Roundup on us and should be held accountable for the consequences.”

Also last week the Guardian reported on a broad new scientific analysis showing that people with high exposures to the popular pesticides have a 41% increased risk of developing a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”

Last August, a jury in San Francisco awarded $289 million to a former school groundskeeper who said Monsanto’s Roundup left him dying of cancer.

But now comes the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

On February 4, 2019, the AAAS put out a press release announcing it was awarding the 2019 Scientific Freedom and Integrity award to two scientists, Sarath Gunatilake and Channa Jayasumana, whose research into the hazards of glyphosate led to the banning of the weedkiller in Sri Lanka and other countries.

“Drs. Sarath Gunatilake and Channa Jayasumana faced death threats and claims of research misconduct while working to determine the cause of a kidney disease epidemic that has claimed tens of thousands of lives in their home country of Sri Lanka and around the world,” the AAAS said in its press release. “Ultimately, their advocacy led to the culprit, an herbicide called glyphosate, being banned in several affected countries.”

“To right a wrong when significant financial interests are at stake and the power imbalance between industry and individual is at play takes the unique combination of scientific rigor, professional persistence and acceptance of personal risk demonstrated by the two scientists recognized by this year’s award,” said Jessica Wyndham, director of the Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program at AAAS in the press release.

Then, the next day, the researchers received an email from Wyndham telling them that the award has been revoked and the press release taken down.

“As discussed over the phone earlier today, following the announcement of the Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award yesterday, AAAS has received concerns from scientists and members of the organization that we consider need assessment,” Wyndham wrote. “That means that we will not be able to present to you and Dr. Jayasumana the Award next week as originally planned.”

“We are defining the assessment process, but in general I expect it will involve convening subject matter experts, including those from within AAAS’ governing bodies, so that their concerns can be elaborated. There will of course be an opportunity for you and Dr. Jayasumana to be engaged in the process. Following that review we will determine next steps.”

“As I mentioned, I do not suggest cancelling the tickets altogether at this stage, but rather suspending them until after the assessment has reached its conclusion. Travel costs that you and Dr. Jayasumana may have incurred because of this change will be reimbursed once we know how we are proceeding.”

Wyndham did not return calls seeking comment for this article.

“I feel this is an insult, discrimination, humiliation to a scientist live in poor third world country,” Jayasumana told Corporate Crime Reporter last week.  “All my friends and colleagues ask why award is pulled after the announcement. I have no answer. I feel industry is behind this shameless process.”

“The AAAS has a lot of explaining to do about why they revoking an award to these two scientists,” said Gary Ruskin of US Right to Know. “The appearance here is that the AAAS is caving to the agrichemical industry.”

“The AAAS has many significant ties to the agrichemical industry.  An influential former AAAS president, Nina Federoff, works for the Big Ag lobbying firm Olsson Frank. Other former AAAS presidents, such as Peter Raven, have close ties to Monsanto.”

And former Monsanto employee Alison L. Van Eenennaam is the incoming chair of the AAAS Agriculture, Food and Renewable Resources Steering Group.

“Is corporate corruption eating at the heart of American science?” Ruskin asked.

More articles by:

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
October 21, 2019
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Wolf at the Door: Adventures in Fundraising With Cockburn
Rev. William Alberts
Myopic Morality: The Rehabilitation of George W. Bush
Sheldon Richman
Let’s Make Sure the Nazis Killed in Vain
Horace G. Campbell
Chinese Revolution at 70: Twists and Turns, to What?
Jim Kavanagh
The Empire Steps Back
Ralph Nader
Where are the Influentials Who Find Trump Despicable?
Thomas Knapp
Excuses, Excuses: Now Hillary Clinton’s Attacking Her Own Party’s Candidates
stclair
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Brian Terrell
The United States Air Force at Incirlik, Our National “Black Eye”
Paul Bentley
A Plea for More Cynicism, Not Less: Election Day in Canada
Walter Clemens
No Limits to Evil?
Robert Koehler
The Collusion of Church and State
Kathy Kelly
Taking Next Steps Toward Nuclear Abolition
Charlie Simmons
How the Tax System Rewards Polluters
Chuck Collins
Who is Buying Seattle? The Perils of the Luxury Real Estate Boom
Weekend Edition
October 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Where’s the Beef With Billionaires?
Rob Urie
Capitalism and the Violence of Environmental Decline
Paul Street
Bernie in the Deep Shit: Dismal Dem Debate Reflections
Andrew Levine
What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?
T.J. Coles
Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face
Joseph Natoli
Trump on the March
Ashley Smith
Stop the Normalization of Concentration Camps
Pete Dolack
The Fight to Overturn the Latest Corporate Coup at Pacifica Has Only Begun
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate
Chris Gilbert
Forward! A Week of Protest in Catalonia
Daniel Beaumont
Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”
Daniel Warner
Greta the Disturber
John Kendall Hawkins
Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)
M. G. Piety
“Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography
Christopher Fons – Conor McMullen
The Centrism of Elizabeth Warren
Nino Pagliccia
Peace Restored in Ecuador, But is trust?
Rebecca Gordon
Extorting Ukraine is Bad Enough But Trump Has Done Much Worse
Kathleen Wallace
Trump Can’t Survive Where the Bats and Moonlight Laugh
Clark T. Scott
Cross-eyed, Fanged and Horned
Eileen Appelbaum
The PR Campaign to Hide the Real Cause of those Sky-High Surprise Medical Bills
Olivia Alperstein
Nuclear Weapons are an Existential Threat
Colin Todhunter
Asia-Pacific Trade Deal: Trading Away Indian Agriculture?
Sarah Anderson
Where is “Line Worker Barbie”?
Brian Cloughley
Yearning to Breathe Free
Jill Richardson
Why are LGBTQ Rights Even a Debate?
Jesse Jackson
What I Learn While Having Lunch at Cook County Jail
Kathy Kelly
Death, Misery and Bloodshed in Yemen
Maximilian Werner
Leadership Lacking for Wolf Protection
Arshad Khan
The Turkish Gambit
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail