Monsanto Objects to Televising Roundup Trial Citing Threat to Ex-CEO
By Tim Bross, Bloomberg
January 9, 2020
Letting TV cameras into a trial over the safety of Roundup herbicide might put witnesses and employees at Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit at risk, the company’s lawyer told a judge.
“Monsanto witnesses and lawyers have received threatening calls,” JoAnn Sandifer told a St. Louis judge at a hearing Thursday ahead of a trial set for this month over allegations that the weed killer causes cancer.
Sandifer cited a social media comment after Hugh Grant, the former chief executive officer and chairman of Monsanto, was announced as a witness in another Roundup trial that was scheduled for this month but has been postponed. Bayer bought Monsanto in 2018.
“Someone wrote on Facebook, ‘He should be shot,’” Sandifer said.
Joseph Martineau, an attorney for Courtroom View Network, a broadcast streaming service, discounted any added danger from televising the trial. The subscriber-based company’s clients are almost entirely professionals, Martineau said.
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