The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science
Island Press, 9781610918329, 320pp.
Publication Date: October 10, 2017
IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year: Most Likely to Save the Planet (2018)
Thorpe Menn Literary Excellence Award (2018)
"Reads like a mystery novel as Gillam skillfully uncovers Monsanto's secretive strategies." —Erin Brockovich
"A damning picture...Gillam expertly covers a contentious front." —Publishers Weekly
"A must-read." —Booklist
"Hard-hitting, eye-opening narrative." —Kirkus
It's the pesticide on our dinner plates, a chemical so pervasive it’s in the air we breathe, our water, our soil, and even found increasingly in our own bodies. Known as Monsanto's Roundup by consumers, and as glyphosate by scientists, the world's most popular weed killer is used everywhere from backyard gardens to golf courses to millions of acres of farmland. For decades it's been touted as safe enough to drink, but a growing body of evidence indicates just the opposite, with research tying the chemical to cancers and a host of other health threats.
In Whitewash, veteran journalist Carey Gillam uncovers one of the most controversial stories in the history of food and agriculture, exposing new evidence of corporate influence. Gillam introduces readers to farm families devastated by cancers which they believe are caused by the chemical, and to scientists whose reputations have been smeared for publishing research that contradicted business interests. Readers learn about the arm twisting of regulators who signed off on the chemical, echoing company assurances of safety even as they permitted higher residues of the pesticide in food and skipped compliance tests. And, in startling detail, Gillam reveals secret industry communications that pull back the curtain on corporate efforts to manipulate public perception.
Whitewash is more than an exposé about the hazards of one chemical or even the influence of one company. It's a story of power, politics, and the deadly consequences of putting corporate interests ahead of public safety.
About the Author
Praise For Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science…
— Rachel Carson Environment Book Award
— Publishers Weekly
— Society of Environmental Journalists
— Environment Guru
— Los Angeles Review of Books
"Gillam lays out a truly frightening yet crucial narrative surrounding the use of the famous chemical [glyphosate]."
"Must-read...Just as Rachel Carson started the environmental revolution which led to getting the dangerous pesticide DDT banned over 40 years ago...I believe [Whitewash] will have the same impact on our world."
— Food Babe
— Pesticide Action Network
— Erin Brockovich, consumer advocate
— McKay Jenkins, author of Food Fight: GMOs and the Future of the American Diet and ContamiNation: My Quest to Survive in a Toxic World
— Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University and author of Food Politics
— Brian G.M. Durie, hematologist/oncologist and attending physician, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
— David Schubert, Professor and Laboratory Head, Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies