Second Roundup Verdict Resurrects Unanswered Questions for Shannon Watts

What role did PR Director Watts play during her watch?

U.S.A. – -( “A jury found that a man developed cancer from exposure to Roundup weedkiller he used in his yard, in the second case to go to trial over the alleged harms of the popular Bayer AG product,” The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

The first case was one reported in AmmoLand Shooting Sports News last August when a California jury found the company’s products containing the chemical compound glyphosate, “‘contributed’ substantially” to groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson’s terminal cancer. The reason for reporting on that here is that Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action was a high-profile communications executive for Monsanto.

Her LinkedIn profile I referenced at the time of  that report 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.”

Curiously, while her earlier LinkedIn page showed the Fleishman-Hilliard connection to Monsanto, her current profile, modified presumably by her since my last report, has deleted that reference:

A May 2018 report on the Johnson lawsuit in the UK’s The Guardian was headlined “Landmark lawsuit claims Monsanto hid cancer danger of weedkiller for decades.” That means the alleged hiding of “cancer danger” was going on during Watts’ watch. And more than just hiding:

“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, according to Johnson’s lawsuit.

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?

About David Codrea: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.