Monsanto the company behind a huge majority of GMO crops has been accused in court of essentially ghostwriting scientific literature over its glysophate ingredient that led a U.S. regulator to conclude a key chemical in its Roundup weed killer shouldn’t be classified as carcinogen
Documents reveal from company emails made public Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco that Monsanto executives discuss ghostwriting research papers on Roundup, the company’s best-selling product, that would be signed by scientists. Two papers on Roundup were eventually published, one in 2000 and one in 2013.
Farmers and others are suing chemical company Monsanto, alleging that the company failed to warn them that its glyphosate-based week killer can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
The documents, which were unsealed by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria, include Monsanto’s internal emails and also emails between the company and federal regulators.
In one email specifically , a Monsanto scientist, Dr. William Heydens, mentioned that he could write the 2013 report.
“We would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak,” Heydens wrote, noting it was done in 2000.
Monsanto said that Heydens’ contributions in 2000 were fully disclosed in the report’s acknowledgments section, and said the paper underwent a rigorous peer review process before being published.”Plaintiffs’ attorneys have cherry picked a single email – out of more than 10 million pages of documents produced – to allege that Monsanto scientists ghostwrote” the report, the company said on the blog.
Jess Rowland an EPA official in charge of evaluating whether glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, causes cancer, relied on the reports to conclude that glyphosate shouldn’t be classified as carcinogenic. Jess Rowland who is a highly supsicious retired EPA employee has been involved in many lawsuits and was begged by his former colleague who died of cancer in a letter to him to stop being manipulated by companies such as Monsanto.
In an April 2015 phone conversation with a Monsanto executive, he was found to have he could kill an investigation, according to the court documents. Adding later “If I can kill this I should get a medal,” Rowland told a Monsanto regulatory affairs manager, Dan Jenkins, who related the conversation to his colleagues in an email.
The company, according to the filing, sought Rowland’s help stopping an investigation of glyphosate by a separate office, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
The company has defended glyphosate saying that the “The allegation that glyphosate can cause cancer in humans is inconsistent with decades of comprehensive safety reviews by the leading regulatory authorities around the world,” Monsanto said in a statement.
On March 10, the company lost a court case to keep glyphosate off California’s public list of cancer-causing chemicals. The plaintiff lawyers said in the filing that Monsanto’s toxicology manager and his boss were ghost writers for two of the reports, including one from 2000, that the EPA committee relied on to reach its conclusion.