Most of us already know Monsanto, the maker of Roundup weed killer, is an evil empire of corporate greed, indifferent to the human suffering caused by its product. Since the particulars of that trial were all over the news, Into the Weeds doesn’t really present anything particularly revelatory.
This documentary provides a detailed summary of the trial, the events leading up to it and the aftermath, mostly through interviews with dozens of lawyers involved in the litigation against Monsanto. Like most incendiary docs, we’re suitably outraged, but because this was such a high profile case, never really surprised. Our minds were already made up about Monsanto. Some of us quit using Roundup, others shrugged it off and kept spraying away.
What Into the Weeds does best is personalize the issue. The initial litigation was brought about on behalf of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a groundskeeper whose exposure to glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup and other herbicides) resulted in Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The film establishes him as a dedicated husband and father (and budding rap artist) who’s severely stricken by this form of cancer, most of his skin covered in lesions. How the disease affects him - physically & emotionally - is tough to endure, but will definitely spark ire in anyone with an ounce of empathy.
Though other victims are featured and interviewed, it’s Johnson’s story that makes Into the Weeds a compelling human drama. The film is definitely one-sided...no one representing Monsanto is interviewed, but I don't think many people were siding with them anyway. Screw those guys.
EXTRA KIBBLESFEATURETTES - Into the Weeds Call to Action; Bees, Guts and Glyphosate.