(Bayer), Monsanto, et la fabrique du doute

Une firme, qui ne s’estime ni responsable ni coupable, et fait appel de ses condamnations ?

Les “Monsanto Papers” ont révélé comment le géant américain a fait rédiger en secret, par ses propres scientifiques, des études pour prouver que le glyphosate n’était pas dangereux.

Le glyphosate, l’herbicide le plus vendu au monde, a fait couler beaucoup d’encre en 2017 et 2018.

Envoyé spécial, un reportage de Tristan Waleckx, Guillaume Beaufils et Mikael Bozo publié sur YouTube le 22 janvier 2019.

Référence : “Envoyé spécial”. Glyphosate : comment s’en sortir ?.

The corruption of science by the industry (agrochemical)

The Monsanto Papers: Poisoning the scientific well

Monsanto flooded scientific journals with ghostwritten articles and interfered in the scientific process in order to defend its glyphosate herbicides

GMWatch reports, 14 August 2018.

The research article The Monsanto Papers: Poisoning the scientific well is a useful peer-reviewed source detailing Monsanto’s – corporate science – deceptive activities aimed at defending glyphosate herbicide, as revealed in the company’s internal documents force-disclosed in US cancer litigation and obtained by US Right to Know in freedom of information requests.

What is it about?

Examination of de-classified Monsanto documents from litigation in order to expose the impact of the company’s efforts to influence the reporting of scientific studies related to the safety of the herbicide, glyphosate

Why is it important?

The use of third-party academics in the corporate defense of glyhphosate reveals that this practice extends beyond the corruption of medicine and persists in spite of efforts to enforce transparency in industry manipulation.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE
Examination of de-classified Monsanto documents from litigation in order to expose the impact of the company’s efforts to influence the reporting of scientific studies related to the safety of the herbicide, glyphosate.

METHODS
A set of 141 recently de-classified documents, made public during the course of pending toxic tort litigation, In Re Roundup Products Liability Litigation were examined.

RESULTS
The documents reveal Monsanto-sponsored ghostwriting of articles published in toxicology journals and the lay media, interference in the peer review process, behind-the-scenes influence on retraction and the creation of a so-called academic website as a front for the defense of Monsanto products.

CONCLUSION
The use of third-party academics in the corporate defense of glyhphosate reveals that this practice extends beyond the corruption of medicine and persists in spite of efforts to enforce transparency in industry manipulation.

Glyphosate found in popular breakfast products

Weed Killer in $289 Million Cancer Verdict Found in Oat Cereal and Granola Bars

No one wants a breakfast that is contaminated with weed killer. Well, according to independent laboratory tests commissioned by EWG, popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars come with a hefty dose of the weed-killing poison in Roundup.

Glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer by California state scientists and the World Health Organization, was found in all but two of 45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats. Almost three-fourths of those samples had glyphosate levels higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health with an adequate margin of safety. About one-third of 16 samples made with organically grown oats also had glyphosate, all at levels well below EWG’s health benchmark.

More information

  • Breakfast With a Dose of Roundup? EWG’s Children’s Health Initiative, AUGUST 15, 2018.
  • The Roundup Chemical Found Responsible for Cancer Might Also Be in Your Cereal, motherjones, Aug. 15, 2018.
  • Report: Oatmeal, breakfast foods contain unsafe amounts of weed killer, eu.freep, Aug 17, 2018.

Quelles vont être les conséquences de la récente condamnation de Monsanto ?

Le procès de tous les dangers pour Monsanto

Monsanto : un jugement historique, avec Emilie Gaillard, maître de conférences à l’Université de Caen Normandie et spécialiste du droit des générations futures, elle a participé à l’organisation du « Tribunal Monsanto » qui s’est tenu à la Haye en octobre 2016 et Stéphane Foucart, journaliste au Monde, lauréat en 2018 du Prix de la Presse Européenne avec Stéphane Horel pour leur enquête sur les Monsanto Papers.

  • Quelles vont être les conséquences de cette condamnation pour Monsanto, qui prévoit déjà de faire appel ?
  • Que va-t-il se passer pour les milliers d’Américains qui ont lancé des procédures similaires?
  • Et quels effets sur les débats autour de la toxicité du glyphosate ?

Monsanto condamné à payer 289 millions de dollars à un jardinier américain atteint d’un cancer

Dewayne Johnson, un jardinier atteint par un cancer du système lymphatique incurable, à la suite de l’utilisation de pesticides du groupe : le roundup et le ranger pro, a gagné son procès

Le tribunal de San Francisco a rendu cette décision la nuit dernière après que le jury populaire ait jugé que c’était bien le Round up et le Ranger pro, pesticides à base de glyphosate utilisé par le jardinier pendant plusieurs années qui ont contribué à la maladie du plaignant.

Mais le jury a également affirmé que Monsanto connaissait la dangerosité de ces produits et a volontairement choisi de ne pas avertir le consommateur de cette dangerosité. Image credit @olbesancenot.

« Générations Futures salue cette décision historique qui reconnait le caractère cancérogène de ces produits à base de glyphosate et la responsabilité de Monsanto dans le fait de les avoir mis sur le marché sans en avertir le consommateur »

déclare François Veillerette, Directeur de Générations Futures.

« Même si Monsanto a fait appel, nous espérons que cette condamnation est la première d’une longue série, aux Etats Unis ou des milliers de procédures similaires ont été lancées, mais aussi en France- avec la famille Grataloup par exemple- et ailleurs dans le monde. Par ailleurs cette décision souligne l’urgence de retirer les pesticides à base de glyphosate du marché ce que nous appelons le gouvernement français à faire au plus vite !»

ajoute-t-il.

Le Roundup face à ses juges, livre de Marie-Monique Robin

Les ravages provoqués par l’herbicide

Depuis plusieurs années, l’inquiétude ne cesse de croître quant aux dangers du pesticide le plus utilisé au monde dans les champs et les jardins : le glyphosate. D’autant qu’en 2015, le Centre international de recherche sur le cancer l’a déclaré “cancérigène probable” pour l’homme, contredisant ainsi les agences de santé américaines ou européennes qui avaient assuré l’innocuité du Roundup de Monsanto, puissant herbicide dont le principe actif est le glyphosate.

Les victimes du glyphosate…

Prolongeant son enquête retentissante de 2008 sur les dangers des produits toxiques de la firme américaine (Le Monde selon Monsanto, livre et film), Marie-Monique Robin montre dans ce livre (et le film associé) que la dangerosité du glyphosate est plus grande encore qu’on le craignait. Dans le monde entier, il rend malades ou tue sols, plantes, animaux et humains, car l’herbicide est partout : eau, air, pluie, sols et aliments. Le produit, cancérigène, est aussi un perturbateur endocrinien, un puissant antibiotique et un chélateur de métaux. D’où autant d’effets délétères documentés ici par des entretiens très forts avec des victimes aux États-Unis, en Argentine, en France et au Sri Lanka, ainsi qu’avec de nombreux scientifiques.

Ce livre choc révèle l’un des plus grands scandales sanitaires et environnementaux de l’histoire moderne. Il montre que, face à l’impuissance ou l’absence de volonté des agences et des gouvernements pour y mettre fin, la société civile mondiale se mobilise : en octobre 2016, s’est tenu à La Haye le Tribunal international Monsanto, où juges et victimes ont instruit le procès du Roundup, en l’absence de Monsanto, qui a refusé d’y participer. Donnant son fil conducteur au livre, ce procès a conduit à un avis juridique très argumenté, qui pourrait faire reconnaître le crime d’”écocide“, ce qui permettrait de poursuivre pénalement les dirigeants des firmes responsables.

En savoir plus

Herbicide le plus vendu au monde et cancérogène, c’est possible

Bon plan désherbant… Ré-homologation du Glyphosate…

Bon plan désherbant…

“Les experts de l’ONU classent le Roundup de Monsanto dans la liste des cancérogènes, mais en vingt ans, cet herbicide est devenu le plus vendu au monde, et les petites mains de l’industrie des pesticides ont eu le temps de saloper toutes les rivières de France et de Navarre.”

altermonde-sans-frontiere, 10 avril 2015.

Cachez ces pesticides qui nous empoisonnent

Et les agriculteurs tombent comme des mouches face aux cancers, ils empoisonnent notre terre, et ses produits, sans jamais sourciller.”

ladywaterlooblogdunegrandmereindigne, 16 juin 2015.

Ré-homologation du Glyphosate

Après demain le Glyphosate sera ré-homologué. Je vous prends le pari !
Certainement pour 2,3 voir 5 ans. Le ministère de l’agriculture va nous sortir un plan ecophyto Glypho, pour soigneusement éviter son retrait immédiat, ce qui obligerait à envisager sérieusement le changement de modèle agricole et non le remplacement d’une substance active cancérogène par une autre qui elle, n’est pas encore classée.”

alerteauxtoxiquesn, 23 OCTOBRE 2017.

The Glyphosate Saga : Press conference, 27 September 2017

The Monsanto Papers : proof of scientific falsification

Video published on 18 Oct 2017 by Greens EFA.

Speakers:
Michèle RIVASI, Greens/EFA MEP
Kathryn FORGIE, Attorney / Avocate, Cabinet Andrus Wagstaff
Carey GILLAM, journalist, Research Director U.S. Right to Know

The Monsanto Papers, secret internal documents, have now been made public thanks to over 10,000 farmers who have taken Monsanto to court, accusing the company’s glyphosate weedkillers of causing them to develop a cancer called non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

The documents reveal the various strategies and tactics used by Monsanto to ensure that they can sell their star product, RoundUp, despite the clear dangers for humans and for the environment.

Alternatives to pesticides

Bad strategies, unethical tactics used by the pesticide industry

This 2017 trailer highlights some of Monsanto’s tricks

Video published on 10 Oct 2017 by Greens EFA.

The Monsanto Papers are secret, internal documents that have now been made public thanks to over 10,000 farmers who have taken Monsanto to court, accusing the company’s glyphosate weedkillers of causing them to develop a cancer called non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

The documents reveal the various strategies and tactics used by Monsanto to ensure that they can sell their star product, RoundUp, despite the clear dangers for humans and for the environment.

Alternatives to pesticides

Will experts prove a cover-up of the toxicity and dangers of the herbicide glyphosate ?

Of mice, Monsanto and a mysterious tumor

By Carey Gillam, for Environmental Health News, June 8, 2017.
Glyphosate spraying image via Chafer Machinery.

Call it the case of the mysterious mouse tumor.

It’s been 34 years since Monsanto Co. presented U.S. regulators with a seemingly routine study analyzing the effects the company’s best-selling herbicide might have on rodents. Now, that study is once again under the microscope, emerging as a potentially pivotal piece of evidence in litigation brought by hundreds of people who claim Monsanto’s weed killer gave them cancer.

This week tissue slides from long-dead mice in that long-ago research study are being scrutinized by fresh eyes as an expert pathologist employed by lawyers for cancer victims looks for evidence the lawyers hope will help prove a cover-up of the dangers of the weed killer called glyphosate.

Glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s branded Roundup products, is the most widely used herbicide in the world, and is applied broadly in the production of more than 100 food crops, including wheat, corn and soy, as well as on residential lawns, golf courses and school yards.

Residues have been detected in food and human urine, and many scientists around the world have warned that exposure through diet as well as through application can potentially lead to health problems. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen in 2015 based on a review of scientific literature, triggering the wave of lawsuits against Monsanto, and pushing California regulators to announce they would add glyphosate to a list of known carcinogens.

What the expert finds, or doesn’t find, is expected to be key evidence in hearings slated for the week of Dec. 11 in dozens of consolidated cases being overseen by a federal judge in San Francisco.

Rewind to 1983

Monsanto, as well as many other scientists and regulatory bodies, have defended glyphosate’s safety. They say research showing a cancer connection is flawed and hundreds of studies support its safety.

And yet—rewind to July 1983 and a study titled “A Chronic Feeding Study of Glyphosate (Roundup Technical) in Mice.” Following the document trail that surrounds the study offers an illuminating look into how science is not always clear-cut, and the lengths Monsanto has had to go to in order to convince regulators to accept scientific interpretations that support the company’s products.

The two-year study ran from 1980-1982 and involved 400 mice divided into groups of 50 males and 50 females that were administered three different doses of the weed killer or received no glyphosate at all for observation as a control group. The study was conducted for Monsanto to submit to regulators. But unfortunately for Monsanto, some mice exposed to glyphosate developed tumors at statistically significant rates, with no tumors at all in non-dosed mice.

February 1984 memo from Environmental Protection Agency toxicologist William Dykstra stated the findings definitively: “Review of the mouse oncogenicity study indicates that glyphosate is oncogenic, producing renal tubule adenomas, a rare tumor, in a dose-related manner.” Researchers found these increased incidences of the kidney tumors in mice exposed to glyphosate worrisome because while adenomas are generally benign, they have the potential to become malignant, and even in noncancerous stages they have the potential to be harmful to other organs. Monsanto discounted the findings, arguing that the tumors were “unrelated to treatment” and showing false positives, and the company provided additional data to try to convince the EPA to discount the tumors.

“Glyphosate is suspect. Monsanto’s argument is unacceptable.”

Herbert Lacayo, EPA, wrote in response to Monsanto’s 1985 defense of the weedkiller

But EPA toxicology experts were unconvinced. EPA statistician and toxicology branch member Herbert Lacayo authored a February 1985 memo outlining disagreement with Monsanto’s position. A “prudent person would reject the Monsanto assumption that Glyphosate dosing has no effect on kidney tumor production,” Lacayo wrote. ”Glyphosate is suspect. Monsanto’s argument is unacceptable.”

Eight members of the EPA’s toxicology branch, including Lacayo and Dykstra, were worried enough by the kidney tumors in mice that they signed a consensus review of glyphosate in March 1985 stating they were classifying glyphosate as a Category C oncogen, a substance “possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Research rebuttal

That finding did not sit well with Monsanto, and the company worked to reverse the kidney tumor concerns. On April 3, 1985, George Levinskas, Monsanto’s manager for environmental assessment and toxicology, noted in an internal memorandum to another company scientist that the company had arranged for Dr. Marvin Kuschner, a noted pathologist and founding dean of the medical school at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, to review the kidney tissue slides.

Kushner had not yet even accessed the slides but Levinskas implied in his memo that a favorable outcome was assured:

“Kuschner will review kidney sections and present his evaluation of them to EPA in an effort to persuade the agency that the observed tumors are not related to glyphosate,”

Levinskas wrote. Notably, Levinskas, who died in 2005, was also involved in efforts in the 1970s to downplay damaging findings from a study that found rats exposed to Monsanto’s PCBs developed tumors, documents filed in PCB litigation revealed.

Kuschner’s subsequent re-examination did —as Monsanto stated it would—determine the tumors were not due to glyphosate. Looking over slides of the mouse tissue from the 1983 study, Kuschner identified a small kidney tumor in the control group of the mice – those that had not received glyphosate. No one had noted such a tumor in the original report. The finding was highly significant because it provided a scientific basis for a conclusion that the tumors seen in the mice exposed to glyphosate were not noteworthy after all.

Additionally, Monsanto provided the EPA with an October 1985 report from a “pathology working group” that also rebutted the finding of the connection between glyphosate and the kidney tumors seen in the 1983 study. The pathology working group said “spontaneous chronic renal disease” was “commonly seen in aged mice.” Monsanto provided the report to the EPA stamped as a “trade secret” to be kept from the prying eyes of the public.

The EPA’s own scientists still did not agree, however. An EPA pathologist wrote in a December 1985 memo that additional examination of the tissue slides did not “definitively” reveal a tumor in the control group. Still, the reports by the outside pathologists brought into the debate by Monsanto helped push the EPA to launch a reexamination of the research.

And by February 1986 an EPA scientific advisory panel had dubbed the tumor findings equivocal; saying that given the tumor identified in the control group by some pathologists, the overall incidences of tumors in the animals given glyphosate were not statistically significant enough to warrant the cancer linkage.

The panel did say there may be reason for concern and noted that the tumor incidences seen in the mice given glyphosate were “unusual.”

The advisory panel told the EPA the studies should be repeated in hopes of more definitive findings, and that glyphosate be classified into what the agency at that time called Group D—“not classifiable as to human carcinogenicity.” The EPA asked Monsanto for a repeat of the mouse oncogenicity study but Monsanto refused to do so.

The company argued “there is no relevant scientific or regulatory justification for repeating the glyphosate mouse oncogenicity study.” Instead, the company provided EPA officials with historical control data that it argued supported its attempt to further downplay the tumor incidences seen in the worrisome 1983 study.

“There is no relevant scientific or regulatory justification for repeating the glyphosate mouse oncogenicity study.”

– Monsanto, in response to EPA requests to replicate the mouse study

The company said the tumors in mice appear “with some regularity” and were probably attributable to “genetic or environmental” factors. “It is the judgement of Monsanto scientists that the weight-of-evidence strongly supports a conclusion that glyphosate is not oncogenic in the mouse.” Monsanto said repeating the mouse study would “require the expenditure of significant resources… and tie-up valuable laboratory space.”

Feds fold

The discussions between Monsanto and the EPA dragged on until the two sides met in November 1988 to discuss the agency’s request for a second mouse study and Monsanto’s reluctance to do so. Members of the EPA’s toxicology branch continued to express doubts about the validity of Monsanto’s data, but by June of 1989, EPA officials conceded, stating that they would drop the requirement for a repeated mouse study.

By the time an EPA review committee met on June 26, 1991, to again discuss and evaluate glyphosate research, the mouse study was so discounted that the group decided that there was a lack of convincing carcinogenicity evidence in relevant animal studies. The group concluded that the herbicide should be classified far more lightly than the initial 1985 classification or even the 1986 classification proposed by the advisory panel. This time, the EPA scientists dubbed the herbicide a Group E chemical, a classification that meant “evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans.” At least two members of the EPA committee refused to sign the report, stating that they did not concur with the findings. In a memo explaining the decision, agency officials offered a caveat. They wrote that the classification “should not be interpreted as a definitive conclusion that the agent will not be a carcinogen under any circumstances.”

Despite the EPA’s ultimate conclusion, the mouse study was among those cited by IARC for classifying glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. Indeed, many other animal studies have similarly had questionable results, including a 1981 rat study that showed an increase in incidences of tumors in the testes of male rats and possible thyroid carcinomas in female rats exposed to glyphosate and a 1990 study that showed pancreatic tumors in exposed rats. But none have swayed the EPA from its backing of glyphosate safety.

Christopher Portier, who was an invited specialist to the IARC review of glyphosate and is former director of the National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, believes the evaluations applied to glyphosate data by regulators are scientifically flawedand putting public health at risk.

“The data in these studies strongly supports the ability of glyphosate to cause cancer in humans and animals; there is no reason to believe that all of these positive studies arose simply by chance,”

Portier said.

Monsanto fought the plaintiffs’ request to view the mouse tissue slides, calling it a “fishing expedition,” but was overruled by U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria who is overseeing the roughly 60 combined lawsuits under his purvey. Monsanto has confirmed that roughly 900 additional plaintiffs have cases pending in other jurisdictions. All make similar claims – that Monsanto manipulated the science, regulators and the public in ways that hid or minimized the danger posed by its herbicide.

“The importance of the original kidney slides and the re-cut kidney slides is immense to the question of general causation and played a critical role in the EPA’s decision to re-categorize glyphosate…”

the plaintiffs’ attorneys stated in a court filing.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Aimee Wagstaff reiterated that in a recent court hearing, telling Judge Chhabria that the events surrounding the 1983 mouse study “sort of dominoed,” and potentially are “extremely relevant” to the cancer litigation.

Carey Gillam,
Research Director at U.S. Right to Know and veteran journalist who specializes in coverage of food, agriculture and environmental issues.