A federal judge in the United States recently ordered Monsanto to release 250 pages of internal documents, and what they revealed is practically criminal: Monsanto has known for 17 years that glyphosate, the main ingredient in its pesticide Roundup, could cause cancer.
And they launched a massive coverup to make sure we never found out.
The released documents — dubbed the “Monsanto papers” — show the agricultural giant has been manipulating research, colluding with a senior government official at the US Environmental Protection Agency, and providing bogus articles to government agencies — all to refute the fact that glyphosate is a carcinogen.
Monsanto has proven itself completely untrustworthy and an ongoing risk to public health. It should never be allowed to merge with Bayer — which would only make both companies more powerful and give them control over our food supply from seed to plate.
Here’s what happened: In 1999, Monsanto commissioned a researcher to study glyphosate and prove that it does not cause cancer. However, the scientist found just the opposite — that glyphosate had properties likely to be carcinogenic.
Rather than do the ethical thing and stop using glyphosate, Monsanto buried the study and began a massive campaign to “prove” that glyphosate did not cause cancer.
Internal corporate communications uncovered by the courts show that Monsanto conspired with an EPA deputy director to stop reviews of the effects of glyphosate by government agencies. The same EPA official also tipped off the company to a glyphosate report released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, giving Monsanto the time it needed to build a public relations onslaught against the findings.
The agri-giant paid for their own studies defending glyphosate use, and then hired scientists to write articles for academic journals using the studies. These articles were then used by the EPA and the European Food Safety Authority to determine that Roundup was safe to use on food crops.
And we only know about the coverup because of a lawsuit by people claiming they got cancer from using Roundup.
Monsanto has put people’s lives at risk for decades.
Now, even though the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, Monsanto is still denying that Roundup is harmful.
Monsanto needs to be held accountable for the damage it’s done to the environment and to the people who use its products.