There is growing evidence that the agricultural giant Monsanto and the EPA allegedly worked together to hide evidence which links Roundup to cancer, as a new court filing shows. Sixty people that contracted cancer have been named on behalf of the recent court filing which purports that the Environmental Protection Agency worked with Monsanto officials to hide evidence that Roundup is toxic.
Included in the court filing is evidence from an EPA scientist who worked with the agency for 30 years and specifically singles out Jess Rowland, one of the top EPA officials, for using “political conniving games with the science” in order to hand out favors to Monsanto.
The reason Rowland is being named is because this official was in charge of the assessment for glyphosate, which is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and other weed killers and Rowland was also responsible as the main author of a report which found that glyphosate was not deemed to be toxic. However, in correspondence, Marion Copley, a top EPA toxocologist, stated, “It is essentially certain that glyphosate causes cancer,” which came after numerous animal studies. Marion Copley’s correspondence was written on May 4, 2013.
This letter was dated after Marion Copley stopped working for the EPA in 2012, but before she passed away from breast cancer in 2014. Marion alleged that the EPA’s Jess Rowland “intimidated staff” by colluding with Monsanto to change reports in their favor. Copley also wrote that there has been ample research conducted which proves that glyphosate and Monsanto’s Roundup should be considered a “human carcinogen,” as Huffington Post reported.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, A branch of the World Health Organization, has also said that glyphosate was a carcinogen in March 2015. Monsanto, meanwhile, has gone out of their way to try to discredit the IARC and any scientific studies they have conducted or cited.
If the communication from Marion Copley is proven to be legitimate, this could have a major effect on this multi-district litigation case with Monsanto and the EPA. The plaintiffs that are involved in this lawsuit have all either contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma or have lost someone to the disease. These plaintiffs are citing growing evidence that Monsanto was able to sell their allegedly toxic Roundup because the agricultural company has so much influence within the Office of Pesticide Program, run by the EPA.
— Mike Brosnahan (@MikeMtk63) February 28, 2017
The lawsuit also alleges that Monsanto specifically had very close ties with EPA official Jess Rowland. It was Rowland’s job to manage a group of scientists who researched the effects of glyphosate on humans. He also ran the Cancer Assessment Review Committee and said publicly that glyphosate was “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”
Lawyers that are acting on behalf of the plaintiffs in this case are asking a federal judge to unseal documents which show all of the interactions between Monsanto and Jess Rowland with regard to the EPA determining that Roundup and its main ingredient glyphosate are not harmful or toxic to humans. Monsanto did give these documents to the court during discovery, but they are currently sealed, and the EPA and Monsanto have both said that the request to allow these sealed documents to be read is, in their own words, “improper.”
Bloomberg reports that ex-EPA official Jess Rowland now may not be able to escape from testifying in this lawsuit. Rowland is currently the main figure in more than 20 lawsuits that have been springing up which accuse the EPA and Monsanto of suppressing evidence that Monsanto’s products cause cancer. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said on Monday that he would probably order Rowland to be questioned.
“My reaction is when you consider the relevance of the EPA’s reports, and you consider their relevance to this litigation, it seems appropriate to take Jess Rowland’s deposition.”
Monsanto’s Scott Partridge has released a statement asserting that their products, and glyphosate in particular, do not cause cancer.
“While we empathize with anyone facing these terrible illnesses, there is no evidence that glyphosate is the cause. The very long and well-established history of safe glyphosate use, over 40 years in more than 160 countries, shows clearly that these claims are supported neither by the science nor the facts.”
Do you think the EPA and Monsanto have both been working together to hide the claim that glyphosate causes cancer, and what outcome do you hope for with this lawsuit?
[Featured Image by Reed Saxon/AP Images]