Into The Weeds
Canada, 2022, 96'
Glyphosate is the most widespread herbicide in the world. It is so effective that hundreds of millions of kilograms of this substance are used every year in agriculture worldwide, but also in parks, golf courses, rail lines, hydro corridors, cemeteries, and forests; its residues have been found in a large variety of produce and food globally.
Canadian Jennifer Baichwal (director of Watermark, 2013, and Anthropocene, 2018) has followed former guardian Lewayne “Lee” Johnson and his fight against Monsanto, the agrochemical multinational taken over by the German pharma giant Bayer in 2018. The man was the first to engage in a lawsuit, followed by tens of thousands complainants who claim that the Monsanto Roundup herbicide (and its glyphosate-based companion Ranger Pro) caused them malignant lymphomas. By gaining access to the pharmaceutical company’s internal digital correspondence, the long investigation before the trial, ended in 2018, proved the executives were acting in bad faith, as they already knew the risks implied by the use of glyphosate and would still downplay its impact.