Thursday, March 23, 2017 by Vicki Batts
Is the day we’ve all been waiting for finally on the horizon? Monsanto and the EPA have been caught red-handed in the midst of a legal controversy. Unsealed court documents have shown that not only is the EPA severely lacking in the standards department, but that the federal agency colluded with one of the nation’s most menacing companies, Monsanto. And in doing so, the EPA helped to keep Monsanto’s star product, Roundup, on store shelves and safe from being reviewed for its cancer-causing effects.
Court documents show that the EPA declared that Roundup was safe for use without ever testing the entire formulation’s effects, and instead relied on the industry testing done on just the key active ingredient, glyphosate.
As you can see in the graphic below, not only does the EPA not require testing of the actual product in its entirety, Monsanto itself as not conducted any studies on the chronic carcinogenic studies related to Roundup’s formulation. While this alone is certainly more than enough cause for concern — both about Roundup’s safety and the EPA’s apparent lack of integrity — this revelation is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
Recently, former EPA official Jess Rowland has come under fire for his collusion with Monsanto. The industry giant even reached out to Rowland to garner his assistance in putting the brakes on an investigation of glyphosate that was being pioneered by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
“If I can kill this I should get a medal,” Rowland said to a Monsanto employee, who then relayed the conversation to coworkers via email.
Another damning email shows that Monsanto executive William Heydens even conspired to “ghostwrite” a paper on glyphosate’s safety. Heydens claimed that having the company write their own research on key areas of the product’s safety would be “less expensive” and “more palatable.” It also appears that they were preparing for what may come of the IARC’s report on glyphosate, and how they would go about defending themselves. See below:
Heydens also noted that this same practice of ghostwriting and getting “independent” researchers to “sign their names” on studies is how they’d handled research on glyphosate’s safety in the past. And as NPR explains, while that earlier paper that is mentioned in the email did note that Monsanto helped to “assemble” the information, no Monsanto employees are noted as co-authors.
While the EPA contends that glyphosate is safe, the World Health Organization and numerous independent studies on the chemical’s safety seem to disagree. The WHO made tremendous waves when they declared that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen, and several independent investigations of the product’s safety have shown that it’s linked to liver damage, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, digestive disorders and other ailments.
Monsanto, of course, has wasted no time defending their product and themselves. Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s vice president of global strategy, has reportedly said that it would be “remarkable” if the corporate giant was capable of manipulating the EPA under the Obama administration.
This comment surely must have been in jest, as the EPA’s corruption runs deep; impervious to the rules of reality, the EPA has continuously proven itself to either be an agency of sheer ineptitude or great deception — look no further than the Gold King Mine spill for proof of that.
Regardless, Partridge — like any corporate talking head — maintains that glyphosate is completely safe, and cites the EPA’s assessment as proof. But as the emails show, the EPA’s assessment is little more than a regurgitated form of Monsanto’s data. So, who’s really calling the shots here?