We know Shannon Watts as the “stay at home” mom (of five) who founded Moms Demand Action as a response to the Newtown school murders. Public relations experts are very good at spinning myths and that first sentence contains a lot of myth befitting the PR expertise of Watts. Stay at home was always debatable and mom of five is true only if you include two step-children who probably lived with their real mom and not dad’s new younger wife.
An article in today’s Wall Street Journal regarding RoundUp weedkiller, Monsanto, and successor company Bayer got me to thinking about Watts’ past corporate affiliations. The article detailed the role that Monsanto played in supposedly objective outside research that said their product RoundUp was safe. You had company scientists reviewing the drafts of outside research and suggesting changes. One wonders what role the public relations experts at Monsanto played in this.
The law firm leading many of the lawsuits against Bayer (which previously merged with Monsanto) is Baum Hedlund Aristei Goldman PC. They have now started posting Monsanto emails found during discovery on their website. I haven’t started searching them yet but I do wonder what name I might discover when I do.
For those that are unaware, long before Shannon Watts was the founder of Moms Demand Action and long before her last name was Watts, she was Shannon Troughton and served as the Director of Global Public and Corporate Affairs for Monsanto from 2001 to 2004. That was a pretty fast advancement for someone who graduated Mizzou a mere seven years earlier. It means she was damn good at spin.
Interestingly, the first article I found linking then-Shannon Troughton with RoundUp was in my former hometown newspaper The Greensboro Daily News and Record. It had to do with a lawsuit filed by Syngenta which has a major facility in Greensboro against Monsanto. Both companies produced herbicides and there was a patent battle.
From the article:
Monsanto spokeswoman Shannon Troughton said the company is “surprised and disappointed with Syngenta’s lawsuit, since our business teams were in the midst of discussions on license terms for their new product.”
She said Monsanto is “confident in the validity” of the patents, which the company “will vigorously defend.”
Troughton added, “If Syngenta wants to face an injunction for product sales in the absence of a license, that’s their business decision.”
Another article quoting her talked about Brazil’s ban on GMO seeds like the Monsanto “Roundup Ready” seeds and her wish that Brazil would allow them in the country. While another article quoting her details Monsanto’s legal war against farmers saving seed.
The bottom line is that every time you hear Shannon Watts dancing in the blood of crime victims in her efforts to push gun control “for the children” remember her background. She’s an expert at pushing the narrative and the only narrative that really matters is the one that personally benefits her the most.
Now it is time to start searching those lawsuit emails for hidden gems.