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Revealed: Monsanto’s Secret Funding for Weedkiller Studies

The research, used to help avoid a ban, claimed ‘severe impacts’ on farming if glyphosate was outlawed

Monsanto secretly funded academic studies indicating “very severe impacts” on farming and the environment if its controversial glyphosate weedkiller were banned, an investigation has found.

The research was used by the National Farmers’ Union and others to successfully lobby against a European ban in 2017. As a result of the revelations, the NFU has now amended its glyphosate information to declare the source of the research.

Monsanto was bought by the agri-chemical multinational Bayer in 2018 and Bayer said the studies’ failure to disclose their funding broke its principles. However, the authors of the studies said the funding did not influence their work and the editor of the journal in which they were published said the papers would not be retracted or amended.

Glyphosate is sold by Bayer as Roundup and is the world’s most widely used weedkiller. The World Health Organization’s cancer agency, the IARC, declared that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015 but several international agencies, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), subsequently came to opposite conclusions.

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