Biotech giant Monsanto is being accused of hiring, through third parties, an army of Internet trolls to counter negative comments, while citing positive “ghost-written” pseudo-scientific reports which downplay the potential risks of their products.

The documents emerged during pre-trials on 50 lawsuits against Monsanto which were pending in the US District Court in San Francisco.

The plaintiffs allege that exposure to the biotech giant’s flagship product, the herbicide Roundup, caused them or their relatives to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, while Monsanto concealed the potential risks.

In March, a judge ruled, despite Monsanto’s objections, that the documents obtained by the plaintiffs could be released. The court papers are being gathered at the website of food-safety whistleblower organization US Right to Know.

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