Recently a federal court unsealed some documents that are part of a lawsuit against the company. The legal action is focused on Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, which some believe is a cancer causing substance.
While Monsanto, like any company has the right to defend its product, it may have crossed the line in its defense of Roundup.
Two years ago, a United Nations scientific study said glyphosate probably causes cancer. Monsanto, then started a campaign against the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s findings.
According to the released documents, Monsanto decided to conduct its own studies into glyphosate. Company executive William Heydens suggested the company “ghost-write” one paper.
In email, Heydens said, “…we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit ” He also mentions this is how the company has handled previous papers on glyphosate’s safety.
Monsanto officials argue that Heyden was a minor player in the study and that the company does not ghostwrite papers.
There’s also evidence suggesting a warm relationship between Monsanto and a former official with the Environmental Protection Agency. Their alleged goal was to downplay the health risks of glyphosate.
In 2016, the EPA did conclude that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer. “Unlikely” is a bit of a gray area when it comes to your health.
Who knows, Monsanto may be a victim in all of these studies and legal cases. And the company does have the right to engage in lobbying.
But we are also talking about a product that is widely used around the world and could affect countless people. A high level of caution seems warranted.
Monsanto seems more concerned with protecting its business than public health.
Hopefully, independent researchers will be able to give us a determination of Roundup’s safety. Sometimes trust has to be verified.