Organic Consumers Association

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Monsanto Accused of Ghostwriting Papers on Roundup Cancer Risk

Lawyers suing the company on behalf of farmers and others, who claim exposure to glyphosate caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, alleged in a court filing which was partially blacked out until Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency “may be unaware of Monsanto’s deceptive authorship practice.”

The filing was made public by a federal judge in San Francisco handling the litigation. The judge said last month he’s inclined to require a retired EPA official to submit to questioning by plaintiffs’ lawyers who contend he had a “ highly suspicious ” relationship with Monsanto. The former official oversaw a committee that found insufficient evidence to conclude glyphosate causes cancer and left his job last year after his report was leaked to the press.

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.

Among the documents unsealed Tuesday was a February 2015 internal e-mail exchange at the company about how to contain costs for a research paper. The plaintiff lawyers cited it to support their claim that the EPA report is unreliable, unlike a report by an international agency that classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.

Monsanto Loses Bid to Keep Glyphosate Off List of Carcinogens

“A less expensive/more palatable approach” is to rely on experts only for some areas of contention, while “we ghost-write the Exposure Tox & Genetox sections,” one Monsanto employee wrote to another.

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