Philip Angell

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Philip Angell is the former Director of Corporate Communications (1997-1999) for Monsanto. He famously said:

Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible.[1]

He is said to have been "one of the architects of Monsanto Co.'s (MTC) controversial campaign to win over Europeans to crop biotechnology" and to have been "the architect of Monsanto's web sites in Britain and France".[2] These sites were designed and operated by Monsanto's Washington DC-based internet PR firm the Bivings Group.

While at Monsanto, Angell worked with Graydon Forrer and Jay Byrne, Monsanto's former chief internet strategist. Under Byrne, Monsanto engaged in an aggressive cyber-campaign of covert PR attacks on Monsanto's critics in coordination with the Bivings Group[3].

Angell, commenting to the Wall Street Journal on Monsanto's failed European PR campaign, said, "Maybe we weren't aggressive enough... When you fight a forest fire, sometimes you have to light another fire."[4]

After leaving Monsanto, Angell went into partnership with the Bivings Group, who continued to represent Monsanto, in a short-lived business venture based around an online broadcasting service for US congressional hearings for subscribing lobbyists:, launched in June 2000[5].

An article in Dow Jones at the time of Angell's departure from Monsanto described him as

a long-time confidant of Monsanto director William D. Ruckelshaus, who is chairman of waste hauler Browning-Ferris Industries Inc. (BFI). Angell was chief of staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency when Mr. Ruckelshaus served as administrator in the mid-1980s.[6]

Prior to working for Monsanto, Angell assisted Ruckelshaus at Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI). During this time BFI made use of the services of Beckett Brown International (later called S2i), a private security company organized and managed by former Secret Service officers which employed highly controversial methods of "intelligence collection":

In 1996 and 1997 in northern California, where Browning-Ferris Industries was engaged in a battle over the future of a garbage dump, BBI conducted what its records labeled "covert monitoring" and "intelligence gathering" on the North Valley Coalition, a citizens group opposed to the Browning-Ferris project. In September 1997, BBI received a payment of $198,881.05 from BFI.[7]

Angell is the Editor-in-Chief of World Resources Report published by World Resources Institute (WRI)[8], a Washington D.C. based think tank. William D. Ruckelshaus is Chairman Emeritus of WRI.[9]


  1. Michael Pollan, "Playing God in the Garden" New York Times Magazine, October 25, 1998, also archived in Monsanto, Sourcewatch website, both sources accessed February 2009.
  2. Scott Kilman, "Communications director Angell leaving Monsanto", Dow Jones, June 2, 1999, accessed in archived version, February 2009
  3. Jay Byrne
  4. George Monbiot, "The Covert Biotech War", The Guardian, 19 November 2002, citing Philip Angell as quoted in the Wall Street Journal, May 11, 1999
  5. David Corn, Wired, Issue 8.11, November 2000
  6. Scott Kilman, Communications Director Angell Leaving Monsanto, Dow Jones, June 2, 1999, accessed in archived form March 2009
  7. "Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran Black Ops on Green Groups", Mother Jones, April 11 2008, accessed March 2009 in archived form on Spinwatch website.
  8. WRI profile, WRI website, accessed 25 February 2009
  9. William D. Ruckelshaus (Chairman Emeritus), WRI website, accessed 25 February 2009