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March 27 2017

surveyork
21:31

Monsanto Manufactured Scientific Studies and Then Used Those Studies To Influence EPA, Other Regulators

Newly-accessible court papers allege that agrichemical giant Monsanto manufactured scientific studies affirming the safety of their star product, the hugely-popular weedkiller Roundup, and paid scientists to publish them. In February 2015, Monsanto executive William “Bill” Heydens emailed his staff instructions to ghostwrite portions of a scientific study on the safety of Roundup, and that he would tell scientists to, quote: “just sign their names” to the study.  According to this same email, Heydens knew that ghostwriting the study would work: he said that Monsanto had already ghostwritten a study on Roundup in the year 2000.

In the 2015 emails, Bill Heydens and his employees scramble to prepare for an international review of glyphosate by the the cancer arm of the World Health Organization. The emails reveal that some Monsanto employees were apprehensive about “noise” coming from independent scientific studies―studies that indicated Roundup is carcinogenic. In the emails, executives weigh the cost of paying independent experts to create studies ($250,000) versus the free option of “ghost-writing” studies.

“A less expensive/more palatable approach might be to involve experts only for the areas of contention...and we ghost-write the Exposure Tox & Genetox sections,” one email reads. Bill Heydens suggested that Dr. David Kirkland may put his name on the study.  In response to these allegations, Dr. Kirkland told The New York Times yesterday that: “I would not publish a document that had been written by someone else.” He added, “We had no interaction with Monsanto at all during the process of reviewing the data and writing the papers.”

However, this is not the only released email chain about Dr. Kirkland. In another series of emails, Monsanto negotiates with chemical giants Dow and Syngenta for money to pay Dr. Kirkland to review internal, unpublished studies on Roundup, and then for him to sign-off on a published study with another Monsanto-paid scientist.  The emails reveal that Christophe Gustin, Monsanto’s Crop Protection Regulatory Affairs Lead at Monsanto Europe, had to negotiate heavily with other chemical manufacturers before they could raise the money to pay Dr. Kirkland.

Despite Monsanto’s attempts to influence the World Health Organization’s agency decision in 2015, the agency concluded that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen weeks after this exchange. Monsanto spent huge amounts of money attempting to delegitimize the agency’s conclusion. These new emails, coupled with countless well-funded attacks from the chemical industry on independent science, are deeply troubling. Scientific research, and in turn our regulatory system, has become infected by corporate influence. Incredibly powerful companies like Monsanto have the ability to push out their agenda, cloaked in a legitimate white coat.

The most disturbing allegation in these court documents is that the Environmental Protection Agency relied on these studies in its scientific panel on Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate. The EPA is currently reviewing the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate―but has yet to publish the final results. Court documents indicate that the EPA is relying on the above-mentioned 2000 study and Dr. Kirkland’s 2013 publication, which was paid for by Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, and other companies.

Monsanto Manufactured Scientific Studies And Then Used Those Studies To Influence EPA, Other Regulators | The Huffington Post

April 13 2014

surveyork
12:57
Tabb, who grows Roundup Ready corn as well, says he didn't find raising the older non-GMO variety much harder to grow. He said the yield from his non-GMO fields were the same as those from his GMO fields, and that his costs were the same.

April 27 2013

surveyork
20:49

April 25 (Reuters) - Heavy use of the world's most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson's, infertility and cancers, according to a new study.

The peer-reviewed report, published last week in the scientific journal Entropy, said evidence indicates that residues of "glyphosate," the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, which is sprayed over millions of acres of crops, has been found in food.

Those residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, according to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, Inc. Samsel is a former private environmental government contractor as well as a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

"Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body," the study says.

We "have hit upon something very important that needs to be taken seriously and further investigated," Seneff said.

January 16 2013

surveyork
01:48

Exploiting their patent on transgenic corn, soybean and cotton, Monsanto asserts an insidious control of those agricultural industries in the US, effectively squeezing out conventional farmers (those using non-transgenic seeds) and eliminating their capacity to viably participate and compete on the market. (Until the end of 2012, Monsanto was under investigation by the Department of Justice for violating anti-trust laws by practicing anticompetitive activities towards other biotech companies, but that investigation was quietly closed before the year's end.) 

The seemingly modest objective of the current lawsuit, OSGATA et al v Monsanto, originally filed in March 2011, is to acquire legal protection for organic and conventional farmers from Monsanto's aggressive prosecution of inadvertent patent infringements. But the implications of the suit are momentous. If the DC Court of Appeal reverses the dismissal, a process of discovery will be instigated that could unveil a reservoir of information, access to which Monsanto has withheld from public knowledge - both by not disclosing it and preventing independent research. 

January 02 2013

surveyork
03:26
When Monsanto revolutionized agriculture with a line of genetically engineered seeds, the promise was that the technology would lower herbicide use—because farmers would have to spray less. In fact, as Washington State University researcher Chuch Benbrook has shown, just the opposite happened.
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