The Monsanto Company is embroiled in legal trouble on several different fronts, but few cases have been more high profile than the more than 100 allegations that its flagship weed killer Roundup has caused cancer.
In an effort to make the public as aware as possible about the company’s alleged dealings, one of the many firms representing these plaintiffs has made over 700 pages of documents available, and as you may have guessed they don’t exactly paint the company in a good light.
Collusion With EPA, Scientific Manipulation by Monsanto?
As noted in this article from the website EcoWatch, the aforementioned firm; Baum, Hedlun, Aristei & Goldman, posted the documents online, which were obtained through a court-ordered discovery process and are also available through the U.S. Right to Know organization.
The documents were posted for public viewing this past April, and shed light on corporate influence over government regulatory bodies, according to attorneys Brent Wisner and Pedram Esfandiary from the law firm.
“This is a look behind the curtain,” said Wisner in the article. “These show that Monsanto has deliberately been stopping studies that look bad for them, ghostwriting literature and engaging in a whole host of corporate malfeasance.”
He said that the contents of the documents cast serious doubt on the alleged “safety” of Monsanto’s products.
“They [Monsanto] have been telling everybody that these products are safe because regulators have said they are safe, but it turns out that Monsanto has been in bed with U.S. regulators while misleading European regulators.”
Monsanto has fought to keep most of the documents from being released, according to the article, but the information has continued to flow into the public sphere.
Within the documents, it was revealed that there is a lack of robust testing of formulated Roundup products, and in one email Monsanto scientist Donna Farmer offered up a stunning and revealing admission, writing that “you cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen … we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement. The testing on the formulations are not anywhere near the level of the active ingredient.”
Other revelations from the documents include “ghostwriting” research studies, text messages and discussions about payments to scientists, and close ties between Monsanto and a top EPA official (the deputy division director in the health effects division) Jesse Rowland.
Rowland infamously said “if I can kill this, I should get a medal” about a pending study on Monsanto’s Roundup while in contact with a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager that the company preferred would not see the light of day.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, had the following to say about the revelations in the documents:
“This trove marks a turning point in Monsanto’s corporate life. They show Monsanto executives colluding with corrupted EPA officials to manipulate and bury scientific data to kill studies when preliminary data threatened Monsanto’s commercial ambitions, bribing scientists and ghostwriting their publications, and purchasing peer review to conceal information about Roundup’s carcinogenicity, its toxicity, its rapid absorption by the human body, and its horrendous risks to public health and the environment.”
For more information, check out the full article from EcoWatch by clicking here. You can also read the full set of documents via U.S. Right to Know dubbed ‘The Monsanto Papers: MDL Glyphosate Cancer Case Key Documents & Analysis’ by clicking here.