When GMO advocate Patrick Moore sat down for a 2015 interview with a French documentary filmmaker, he wanted people to know that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, was safe; so safe that “you could drink a whole quart of it and it would not hurt you.”
At the time of Moore’s now infamous interview, people around the world were concerned that Roundup, the world’s top-selling herbicide, was dangerous. The rising concern started in March of 2015 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) issued a detailed report on glyphosate. Internationally renowned scientists poured over published data on the chemical to produce a Monograph. The purpose of IARC Monographs is to identify environmental factors that can increase the risk of developing cancer.
According to IARC, glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen,” and the cancer most associated with glyphosate exposure is non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
The report sent shockwaves throughout the world and triggered lawsuits against Monsanto in the United States. Farmers, agricultural workers, gardeners, government workers, and a host of others allege that exposure to Roundup caused them to develop NHL. They also claim that Monsanto has long known about the link between Roundup and cancer but failed to warn the public.
Rather than informing people of the increased risk of cancer, Monsanto continued to market Roundup as safe and effective. One advertising campaign described Roundup as being, “safer than table salt,” a claim the company would later withdraw after a court case in New York State.
This brings us to Mr. Moore, who bristled at the IARC report. Moore was one of several GMO advocates who took to the media to tout glyphosate’s safety and importance to food cultivation. In Moore’s case, the defense of glyphosate proved to be problematic.
Patrick Moore Walks Back Glyphosate Safety Comments During Interview
In the video above, Mr. Moore starts by discussing a study from Argentina that linked glyphosate exposure to an increased risk of developing cancer. “I do not believe that glyphosate in Argentina is causing increases in cancer,” Moore said. “You can drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you.”
Baffled by this outrageous claim, the interviewer then asks Moore if he would like to drink glyphosate.
The full exchange is below:
- Interviewer: “You want to drink some? We have some here.”
- Moore: “I’d be happy to actually…not really, but…”
- Interviewer: “Not really?”
- Moore: “…I know it wouldn’t hurt me.”
- Interviewer: “If you say so, I have some glyphosate…”
- Moore: “No, no, I’m not stupid.”
- Interviewer: “Ah, ok so you…”
- Moore: “No, no…”
- Interviewer: “So you say it’s dangerous?”
- Moore: “No, people try to commit suicide with it and fail regularly.”
- Interviewer: “Tell the truth…”
- Moore: “It’s not dangerous to humans, no.”
- Interviewer: “It’s dangerous to humans.”
- Moore: “No, it’s not.”
- Interviewer: “So are you ready to drink one glass of glyphosate?”
- Moore: “No, I’m not an idiot.”
- Shortly after this exchange, Moore cut the interview off and walked out of the room.
Patrick Moore – A Paid Industry Spokesman
Mr. Moore is no stranger to controversy. The Canadian activist was the president of Greenpeace Canada for nearly 10 years before he decided to leave the environmental organization over what he described as differences over policy. According to Moore, Greenpeace “took a sharp political turn to the left” and“evolved into an organization of extremism and politically motivated agendas.”
Since his departure from Greenpeace, the environmental organization says Moore has become “a paid spokesman for the nuclear industry, the logging industry, and the genetic engineering industry.” Moore is also an outspoken critic of climate science. In 2014, he told U.S. lawmakers that climate change “is not caused by humans” and there is “no scientific proof” to back global warming.