Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       February 14, 2018


Author  Carey Gillam

Distributor:      New South Books
ISBN:                 9781610918329
Publisher:         Island Press
Release Date:   November 2017  

Website:    https://www.newsouthbooks.com.au 

Carey Gillam has, through various mediums, followed the sad and tragic tale of Monsanto’s Glyphosate over the past twenty years, beginning as the national correspondent for Reuter’s news agency, one of the oldest and largest news agencies in the world. It was her job to work with Monsanto to keep national and international audiences informed on matters of importance to the agricultural industry of the United States.

To her horror, the more she covered for Monsanto on the so called advance in agriculture, the more research she carried out, the more she realised that what was supposed to be a ‘feel good’ aid to farmers was in reality a deadly chemical, that had been developed with warnings from the scientists that developed and refined the product, to its harmful effects. Her reporting on what she was seeing and discovering, while totally accurate, made her a pariah, seeing her targeted and victimised, accused of ‘bias’ in her work and reporting.

 This was and is not the case and as her on-going research into this chemical is proving, she was right all those years ago, when she held Monsanto up to public scrutiny.

In White Wash she has used case studies, facts, figures, research and history to back up the definite data that proves without a doubt, that Glyphosate is indeed a killer; is residual, is now being found in infants formula, meat products, milk and so much more that is produced at a primary level. It has become what could be considered part of the Dna of plants, which are then consumed by animals and people, with the run off from the land, seeping steadily onward into our waterways!

This is not a ‘feel good’ documentation of nice things happening due to research, exactly the opposite. It is also a research document that should be considered as mandatory reading for anyone who is using, thinking of using or in any way has used this chemical over the years, along with all students of agriculture.

Roundup and Glyphosate are words well-known to all people who have anything from a small garden plot to huge acreage, and definitely well known to big land farmers worldwide. It was, and in some instances, is a still considered to be the best thing ever invented to curtail weeds, making crop growth far more efficient; touted as being a relatively harmless aid to agriculture and weed management both on a large and small scale.

It is sold in hardware and gardening stores and agricultural and farm supplies worldwide, making it easily accessible to anyone looking for a serious weedkiller.

But as the years have gone along Glyphosate is moving from being a blessing to being more than just a curse, it is rapidly and tragically carving out its own place in the myriad of influences that cause Cancer, not just any old sort of cancer, but a deadly form of what is known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a form of cancer that forms in the lymphatic system and can and does appear anywhere in the body. It is deadly!

Although the data used to a large extent is based in the USA, simply transpose the countries and it would hard to argue this is not the case in any of the developed countries that have sworn on the weedkiller Glyphosate, more commonly known as Roundup, for the past forty-five years or more.

Monsanto, the creators and suppliers of this chemical, have over the many years since its inception into the world of agriculture, gone far out of its way to convince people that it is a relatively harmless chemical, can be safely used and will not have any long lasting effect on soil and crop production.

 They have spent Billions of dollars, fighting law suites, buying people from all walks of life to deflect, change and covertly obstruct any information to the contrary. But as the years have passed with more and more evidence being uncovered about this chemical, it is proving to be absolute reverse of what Monsanto has been stating, categorically, for years. It is deadly, does have long lasting effects and is not at all what is, or should be considered, as safe.

In the words of Rachel Carson in her work Silent Spring:

‘If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals – eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones – we had better know something about their nature and their power’.

Yes, we most definitely should. Get the book. Read the story, make your own decision.