New Monsanto Emails Raise Questions On Safety Of RoundUp Products

Documents released yesterday in a lawsuit against Monsanto have resulted in new questions about the company’s efforts to influence the news media and scientific research and revealed internal debate over the safety of its highest-profile product, the weed killer Roundup. 

As the New York Times notes today, new internal emails, among other things, reveal ethical objections from former employees to "ghost writing" research studies that were pawned off as 'independent' analyses.

The documents underscore the lengths to which the agrochemical company goes to protect its image. Documents show that Henry I. Miller, an academic and a vocal proponent of genetically modified crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that largely mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’s website in 2015. Mr. Miller could not be reached for comment.


A similar issue appeared in academic research. An academic involved in writing research funded by Monsanto, John Acquavella, a former Monsanto employee, appeared to express discomfort with the process, writing in a 2015 email to a Monsanto executive, “I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication.” He also said of the way the company was trying to present the authorship: “We call that ghost writing and it is unethical.”

The newly disclosed emails also reveal internal discussions which cast some doubt over whether internal scientists actually believed in the company's external messaging that Roundup was, in fact, safe.

“If somebody came to me and said they wanted to test Roundup I know how I would react — with serious concern."

And, here's more:

The documents also show that a debate outside Monsanto about the relative safety of glyphosate and Roundup, which contains other chemicals, was also taking place within the company.


In a 2002 email, a Monsanto executive said, “What I’ve been hearing from you is that this continues to be the case with these studies — Glyphosate is O.K. but the formulated product (and thus the surfactant) does the damage.”


In a 2003 email, a different Monsanto executive tells others, “You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen … we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.”



Not surprisingly, Monsanto's lawyers have argued that the comments above have simply been taken out of context... 

Monsanto said it was outraged by the documents’ release by a law firm involved in the litigation.


“There is a standing confidentiality order that they violated,” said Scott Partridge, vice president of global strategy for Monsanto. He said that while “you can’t unring a bell,” Monsanto would seek penalties on the firm.


“What you’re seeing are some cherry-picked things that can be made to look bad,” Mr. Partridge said. “But the substance and the science are not affected by this.” know, because the phrase, “we call that ghost writing and it is unethical," can be interpreted in so many different ways.

* * *

For those who missed it, below is our note on similar revelations that came to light back in March 2017.

If we had a dime for every kooky, left-wing theory we've heard alleging some vast corporate conspiracy to exploit the treasures of the earth, destroy the environment and poison people with unknown carcinogens all while buying off politicians to cover their tracks, we would be rich.  The problem, of course, is that sometimes the kooky conspiracy theories prove to be completely accurate.   

Lets take the case of the $60 billion ag-chemicals powerhouse, Monsanto,  and their controversial herbicide, Roundup as an example.  For those who aren't familiar, Roundup Ready is Monsanto’s blockbuster weedkiller, credited with transforming U.S. agriculture, with a majority of farm production now using genetically modified seeds resistant to the chemical. 

For years the company has assured farmers that their weed killing product was absolutely safe to use.  As proof, Monsanto touted the approval of the chemical by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

That said, newly unsealed court documents released earlier today seemingly reveal a startling effort on the part of both Monsanto and the EPA to work in concert to kill and/or discredit independent, albeit inconvenient, cancer research conducted by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)....more on this later.

But, before we get into the competing studies, here is a brief look at the 'extensive' work that Monsanto and the EPA did prior to originally declaring Roundup safe for use (hint: not much).  As the excerpt below reveals, the EPA effectively declared Roundup safe for use without even conducting tests on the actual formulation, but instead relying on industry research on just one of the product's active ingredients.

"EPA's minimal standards do not require human health data submissions related to the formulated product - here, Roundup.  Instead, EPA regulations require only studies and data that relate to the active ingredient, which in the case of Roundup is glyphosate.  As a result, the body of scientific literature EPA has reviewed is not only primarily provided by the industry, but it also only considers one part of the chemical ingredients that make up Roundup." 

Meanwhile, if that's not enough for you, Donna Farmer, Monsanto's lead toxicologist, even admitted in her deposition that she "cannot say that Roundup does not cause cancer" because "[w]e [Monsanto] have not done the carcinogenicity studies with Roundup."



And just in case you're the super skeptical type, here is Farmer's actual email, from back in 2009, which seems pretty clear:

"you cannot say that Roundup does not cause cancer..we have not done carcinogenicity studies with "Roundup".


And while the revelations above are quite damning by themselves, this is where things get really interesting. 

In early 2015, once it became clear that the World Health Organization's IARC was working on their own independent study of Roundup, Monsanto immediately launched their own efforts to preemptively discredit any results that might be deemed 'inconvenient'.

That said, Monsanto, the $60 billion behemoth, couldn't possibly afford the $250,000 bill that would come with conducting a legitimate scientific study led by accredited scientists.  Instead, they decided to "ghost-write" key sections of their report themselves and plotted to then have the independent scientists just "sign their names so to speak."

"A less expensive/more palatable approach might be to involve experts only for the areas of contention, epidemiology and possibly MOA (depending on what comes out of the IARC meeting), and we ghost-write the Exposure Tox & Genetox sections...but we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak."


Finally, when all else fails, you call in those "special favors" in Washington D.C. that you've paid handsomely for over the years. 

And that's where Jess Rowland, the EPA's Deputy Division Director for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention and chair of the Agency's Cancer Assessment Review Committee, comes in to assure you that he's fully exploiting his role as the "chair of the CARC" to kill any potentially damaging research..."if I can kill this I should get a medal." 



All of which begs the question of whether the D.C. swamp is just too large to be drained.


El Vaquero Decay is Constant Wed, 08/02/2017 - 20:49 Permalink

Good.  Maybe this will be the beginning of the end for this shit.  If Monsanto can't sell this shit to dump onto food crops, that kills their RoundUp Ready line of seeds.  It's a dead end technology anyway, but the sooner, the better.  We desperately need to change the way agriculture works here, and companies like Monsanto are guaranteed to stand in the way of the necessary changes because they can't make a fortune with the way things need to go.  Unless they are falling apart or cease to exist.   

In reply to by Decay is Constant

Billy the Poet El Vaquero Wed, 08/02/2017 - 21:16 Permalink

I'm growing this dent corn which was specifically bred to not cross with GMO corn: Rebellion (Cycle 0):  115 days.  This is a new Open Pollinated variety synthesized by crossing together classic inbreds and some Open Pollinated lines from the central corn belt and beyond. Its heritage includes lines descended from Reid's Yellow Dent, Lancaster, Minnesota 13, Pride of Saline, Cateto, flints from Argentina, Iowa Stiff Stalk Synthetic, Iodent, and more. It carries the Ga1s allele from popcorn and should be more resistant to outcrossing with other dent corn, but will readily cross with popcorn and will pollinate any corn. It should not be planted near any popcorn fields. The development of this variety was carried out by Frank Kutka with support from the Organic Farmig Research Foundation and the assistance of university corn breeders. Management of this trait will be very important for seed savers and everyone is invited to learn more about the trait via this video Breeding "Organic Ready" Corn with Gametophytic Incompatability on YouTube. Frank sent us this variety to help perpetuate it this year. I must say I was completely impressed with its vigor, yield and standability. I planted it on June 4, it tasseled from August 1 to 3, and was ready to harvest by late September. Every stalk had 2 full sized ears, one stalk even had 6 ears, 3 good and 3 half sized. This is a perfect corn for the person wanting good yields and performance of a modern development. Plants averaged 8 to 9 feet tall. Deep red cob with rich golden kernels. To help further Frank's important work, we will be sending a portion of the sales back to Frank to support his projects. 2 oz. Pkt. $3.00; 1 lb. $20.00; 5 lbs. $75.00; 10 lbs. $100.00 Certified Organic Seed

In reply to by El Vaquero

Implied Violins Giant Meteor Thu, 08/03/2017 - 00:37 Permalink

...and once again, into the breech:

I once worked with Bacillus thuringiensis, the bacteria from which the gene coding for BT toxin was taken and inserted into corn.

Did you know that B. thuringiensis is nearly 100% identical to Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) at the chromosomal level? Well, now you do. Bet you won't see that on a box of corn flakes.

They used to spray B.t. on crops directly. BT toxin produced by B.t. is deadly to Lepidoptera (moths), as it destroys their intestinal lining when ingested. This wasn't so bad for people, though, as you could just wash off most of the bacteria, and it is non-toxic when ingested (not so, anthrax!).

But this wasn't good enough for the corporate scientists - why not just take the gene itself and put it into corn? Heck, people's guts are millions of times larger than an insect's, it won't be a problem! Then we don't have to spray it with B.t., which doesn't make us much money; we will just use a broad-spectrum pesticide that we already make a lot of money on: Roundup!

Well, there was a problem with that. Actually, many problems. First, in order to isolate the BT gene and test it, and also add genetic markers to make it easy to work with, they took that gene and put it into Eschericia coli...which is present in large numbers in the human GI tract. This matters, as I will explain later.

Second, people eat a LOT of corn. It is the second or third most ingested grain after wheat and rice, after all. So, people get a heavier dose of BT toxin than expected, as corn is in almost everything in one form or another (corn syrup, maltodextrin, etc.).

Third, nearly all corn these days is GMO. Very little non-GMO corn is produced in the US. And, GMO crops are routinely treated with Roundup, which contains glyphosate...which has just been implicated as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Roundup is a pesticide, but it *also* kills other things...such as gut bacteria...

...but, not E. coli bacteria that have taken up BT toxin DNA from food that people eat, for that DNA came from corn that is ALSO resistant to Roundup, and THAT DNA was also expressed in E. coli for study.

So, now you have E. coli bacteria in your gut that: 1. are now present in greater numbers, due to the effects of Roundup on your gut bacteria; 2. contain the DNA for producing BT toxin, which they got from corn and which has ALREADY been shown to produce BT toxin in that strain; and 3. this bacteria is also immune to the effects of Roundup.

So, now, chronic eaters of corn products have BT-producing bacteria factories in their guts. And, this BT toxin destroys the intestinal lining, leading to chronic problems as now complex food molecules can enter the bloodstream directly - molecules that are not natural, and which the body determines is a foreign entity that it makes antibodies, now, when one eats corn their body ATTACKS ITSELF.

And, this will happen with almost ANY food that one eats a lot of. This is the genesis of 'Leaky Gut' syndrome, also known as Coeliac disease, and also the cause of many autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, arthritis, alopecia, etc.

Now, you know...the REST of the story.…………………………

In reply to by Giant Meteor

LindseyNarrate… (not verified) Hikikomori Wed, 08/02/2017 - 20:32 Permalink

For those unaware, what this asshole troll is saying is, "Do not expose your crops to water, or H2O, which is its molecule". We, or, at least, MOST of us, are very well-aware of what is happening, who is doing, and a pretty God damned good idea of WHY this evil is being done to us, and you are not helping in any way, shape, or form, common-humanity, by helping-to-perpetuate pure-malevolence, by a being a good-for-nothing troll. Eventually, common-humanity will FULLY-understand what has been done, and then things are going to get quite interesting... Lindsey 

In reply to by Hikikomori

Giant Meteor mofreedom Wed, 08/02/2017 - 21:38 Permalink

Well in fairness, eating regularly at McD's ™ is seriously hazardous to health. Over building that has occurred on shorelines, anywhere where there is a fairly large body of water, Oceans, shorelines, overbuilt ..Places on the Eastern Sea board, wherein in the early 70's one could still catch big game fish, right off the bank, no boat needed .., in comparison today. areas resembling more a dead sea ..You've got your genetically modified organism's, petroleum based products,  secret sauce fracking recipes,, ground water contaminations, your Fukishima's, BP oil rig disasters, air quality issues, erosion, die offs,  all manner of disturbances in the force .. and that's just the "non war" type festivities ..Sucking on tailpipes, never reccommended ..And sure as the Sun comes up in the mornin, it ain't comin up for a good many folks .. so philosophically speaking, something is gonna take us all out, likely chemo, but that of course is a whole other classroom.I often refer back to old, native American ways . Those unrepentant "heathens" at least understood a bit, respected the land, air, water, as it was connected to them in all ways, including the  spiritual ..True, the fires were put out on Lake Erie long ago, and by and large we've exported much of our "dirty industries" for others to handle ..I have heard some say. the water quality offshore is getting better , some species of fish returning in much better numbers. Good to know, as it was pointed out to me years ago, the tell tale signs of contaminated,  north Atlantic caught lobster ..Anyway, here is a pretty good roundup ..Posted 40 minutes ago ..

In reply to by mofreedom

Lumberjack LindseyNarrate… (not verified) Wed, 08/02/2017 - 20:49 Permalink

What needs to be done is look at forested areas that REIT's sprayed with Roundup to eliminte the deciduous trees by commercial spraying with aircraft which allow the more valuable conifers to grow better. Scott Paper, Weyerhauser, Plum Creek et. al.. Look for cancer clusters or rates that occurred in those localities exposed. Especially the loggers. I've seen too many cancers in Maine happen after the practice started in the mid 80's onward. Canada needs to look at that as well. I'd also recommend other timber bearing regions here in the US.

In reply to by LindseyNarrate… (not verified)

keep the basta… LindseyNarrate… (not verified) Thu, 08/03/2017 - 01:16 Permalink

Fresh ie alive sauerkraut (you can easily make it yourself) has  a microorganism which digests the active molecule in glyopshosate... an amino acid  which  replaces alanine in our proteins. This is not a natural amino acid and our bodies dont have the pathways to break it down so it accumulates in muscle skin brain.. everywhere. Even eating organic food and being careful every pretty well every meal eaten out of home is certain to contain it.Aus Landline  on ABC TV recently covered a farmer who voluntarily proudly showed his glyophosate spray rig. He was negative dopy with swollen mouth  and sores and also showed his lambs penned in a dusty small paddock with no shade or shelter and eating grain as he 'finished  them' for 3 months. Lambs looked at the camera/crew clearly in intelligent misery and never seen  such unhappy animals. For australians who didnt know it even lamb is not safe to eat unless guarenteed fully grass fed.

In reply to by LindseyNarrate… (not verified)

Bigly Wed, 08/02/2017 - 20:31 Permalink

Roundup EXPLAINS SO MUCH ABOUT OUR BAD CROPS.Plentiful does not equate to nutritious or acceptable. Ban it and WEED THE HERD instead Also talked about before, get an alexapure, propure, berkey or similar water filtration system. The take out gycosphate and basically everything else! 

LindseyNarrate… (not verified) Wed, 08/02/2017 - 20:29 Permalink

Mother-fucking traitors-to-the-human-race have known, FOR A FACT, that glyphosphate was/is THE, and I mean THE, cause for bee-colony-collapse-disorder, for AT LEAST eight years, now, and much more likely, a Hell-of-a-lot longer than that:… When all of this malevolence, on-ALL-levels in our "reality", is taken-in-totality, what more is there to say, except that common-humanity is, LITERALLY, under-attack by creatures that run the corporations, run our media, lying to us, all, about this shit, run our governments, that OPENLY-ALLOW this shit to be done to us, all, and run our financial-system(s) across the entire planet, which is used as tools-for-our-destruction? It REALLY makes-one-wonder what it all means, ultimately, once one sees REALITY for what it IS, not, necessarily, what we want it to be, doesn't it?.......... Yeah... Lindsey

bluskyes LindseyNarrate… (not verified) Thu, 08/03/2017 - 16:37 Permalink

Bull shit. Western canada uses roundup on all canola and soy. Their bee counts were never hurt. They use neonictonoids as well.The problem was the mite poison that the apiarists used on their hives in the east. mite poison kills bees as well as mites. Not to mention the effect on honey.

In reply to by LindseyNarrate… (not verified)