Into the Weeds
A gripping documentary following the bellwether case against agrichemical producer Monsanto, whose herbicide is alleged to cause cancer.
Jennifer Baichwal’s gripping documentary follows the bellwether case against agrichemical producer Monsanto, whose herbicide is alleged to cause cancer — only to unravel further possible evidence of corporate malfeasance.
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After receiving a terminal diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Bay Area groundskeeper Dewayne “Lee” Johnson delves into a legal battle that will alter the course of his life. His case is the first in a groundswell of cases from others with similar diagnoses, all of which seem to be connected to one of the world’s most widely used weed killers. Produced by the agrichemical company Monsanto, Roundup (and its commercial-grade counterpart, Ranger Pro) contains glyphosate, a chemical compound that the World Health Organization says is likely carcinogenic to humans.
Johnson and the tens of thousands of other plaintiffs suing the multinational corporation face an uphill battle. Blending interviews, trial footage, and news coverage, director Jennifer Baichwal (Anthropocene: The Human Epoch) examines the devastating effects of the herbicide on the plaintiffs’ health, as well as the system of deregulation, collusion, and suppression working behind the scenes to protect Monsanto. From falsifying studies to intimidating independent scientists, the allegations made in this groundbreaking trial provides compelling evidence of an orchestrated cover-up.
Deftly weaving the personal and the political, Baichwal’s documentary acts as a historical record of this David vs. Goliath battle, impacting everything from the food we eat to the ground upon which we walk.
Content advisory: mature themes