A Nov. 17, 1969 Monsanto presentation that notes, among other things, PCB environmental problems were a “very serious one” and a “worldwide ecological problem” (Monsanto’s emphasis); PCBs are highly toxic to the reproduction of birds; PCB pollution threatened one of Monsanto’s “most profitable franchises”; and their recommended course of action would “retain or convert a good portion of our business and profits.”
A Sept. 9, 1969 Monsanto memo called “Defense of Aroclor – F. Fluids” (Aroclor is Monsanto’s trade name for PCBs) says Monsanto’s general policy will be to “make the Govt., States, and Universities prove their case, but avoid as much confrontation as possible”; “let Govt. prove its case, on case by case basis”, “we can prove some things are OK at low concentration. Give Monsanto some defense”; and “we can’t defend vs. everything. Some animals or fish or insects will be harmed”.
Note the difference between Monsanto’s characterization of the hazards of PCBs in the Sept. 9, 1969 and Nov. 17, 1969 documents, and the soft-pedaling of the hazards in the Feb. 8, 1972 GE talking points.
A Feb. 8, 1972 set of talking points from General Electric that states that the environmental concerns are because in the mid-60’s, scientific instruments become more sophisticated”; PCBs are getting into the environment because of improper handling, use, and disposal”; “toxicity is a relative term”; and “some studies have shown PCBs “can be detrimental to the reproductive cycles of certain species of wildlife.”