Internal Monsanto documents procured during pretrial discovery hold a wealth of evidence of the company’s ghost writing practices. These documents were discovered by The Miller Firm, which is representing plaintiffs who contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma after exposure to Monsanto’s Roundup® herbicide. The Miller Firm is co-lead counsel in the consolidated litigation against Monsanto on behalf of these victims and is currently accepting new clients.
The emails contained in the document release clarify how agrotech giant Monsanto worked with a consulting firm called Intertek Group Plc to covertly co-write a 2016 review of Roundup’s® effects on human health in the scientific journal, Critical Reviews in Toxicology, which was falsely labeled as “independent.” Monsanto undertook this ghost writing endeavor in an attempt to discredit a 2015 finding by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that glyphosate, Roundup’s® key ingredient, is a probable human carcinogen.
The review of Roundup® that Monsanto employees helped to write, titled “An Independent Review of the Carcinogenic Potential of Glyphosate,” was published in a September 2016 special supplement. As reported by Bloomberg, Monsanto’s
Chief of Regulatory Science, William Heydens, and other employees were deeply involved in “organizing, reviewing and editing drafts submitted by the outside experts” (Bloomberg.com). Heydens also repeatedly refused to tone down criticisms of IARC, ignoring panelists’ requests that characterized them as “inflammatory.” One of the official authors, John Acquavella, requested extensive revisions of the article but was denied by Heydens. In one invoice, Acquavella billed Monsanto $20,700 for one month’s work. He worked almost a year on the “independent” review with the company.
Before the review was released, the journal’s Editor, Roger McClellan, sent Monsanto explicit Acknowledgment and Declaration of Interest directions, including that, “If there was any review of the reports by Monsanto or their legal representatives, that needs to be disclosed.” Monsanto proceeded to produce a false Declaration of Interest statement that left out any mention of their employees’ direct involvement. Since this incidence of ghost-writing has been publically unveiled, the journal and its publisher in England have initiated an investigation into the matter.
Another batch of documents reveals Monsanto’s Lead toxicologist, Donna Farmer, made numerous changes and edits to a 2011 study on glyphosate’s reproductive effects but was removed as a co-author and not even listed in the acknowledgments. These released internal documents add to the growing mountain of evidence showing Monsanto uses unethical practices to hide the dangers of its herbicide, including burying scientific findings and colluding with EPA officials.
The Miller Firm is presently accepting clients who developed non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after exposure to Roundup®. If this has happened to you, we invite you to visit our Roundup Lawsuit Page to request a free consultation. You also can call the Miller Firm at 1-800-882-2525.
Illustration from Bloomberg article by Elizabeth Pich