Secret Documents Show Monsanto Led Brutal Attack on International Cancer Agency

Posted on Aug 4 2017 - 1:02am by Sustainable Pulse

In secret internal Monsanto documents released on Tuesday by legal firms in the U.S. it was revealed how Monsanto led the attack on the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), after the Agency announced that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is a probable human carcinogen in 2015.

IARC

The new revelations follow similar revelations in May, which showed how the same Monsanto manager, Dr. George Levinskas, who helped hide the carcinogenic potential of PCBs in the 1970s,  also influenced the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate in the 1980s.

On Tuesday it was shown how Monsanto edited and wrote an ‘independent’ Expert Panel Manuscript to refute IARC’s findings. It was also revealed that Monsanto paid members of the ‘independent’ Expert Panel as consultants and also planned a press attack with a Forbes contributor on the IARC findings, even before they were published.

Amazingly the secret documents have shown that Monsanto went even further than just attacking IARC over their glyphosate decision. They decided to try and “invalidate relevance of IARC” so as to “prevent future bad IARC decisions on pesticides/GMOs” . Monsanto did this by using U.S. political influence to pressure the World Health Organization and others to try and control IARC.

The secret documents that unveil this outrageous attack on IARC can be found here:

Monsanto Executive William Heydens’ Edits and Comments on Expert Consultant Manuscript
No:
 MONGLY01000676, MONGLY01000680
Date: 2/8/2016 – 2/9/2016

Description
This document contains correspondence between Dr. William Heydens and Ashely Roberts regarding the Expert Panel Manuscript.  Dr. Heydens went “through the entire document and “indicated what I think should stay, what can go, and in a couple spots I did a little editing. I took a crack at adding a little text: on page 10 to address John’s comments about toxicologists’ use of Hill’s criteria … see what you think; it made sense to me, but I’m not sure if it will to others – please feel free to further modify and/or run by Cary.” at *1. The edited draft is also attached and challenged for confidentiality.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it demonstrates Monsanto’s significant role in drafting and editing the manuscript by its expert consultants without disclosing its contributions.  The document is related to how the inherent conflict of interest may affect the credibility of manuscript which refuted IARC’s general causation conclusion.  The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation.  These documents also go to witness credibility.

Internal Email: Monsanto Executive William Heydens Admits to Ghostwriting Introductory Chapter in Expert Panel Manuscript
No: MONGLY00999487
Date: 1/6/2016

Description
This document contains email correspondence between Dr. Heydens and Ashley Roberts (Intertek) wherein Dr. Heydens admits to writing “a draft introduction chapter back in October/November…[a]nd then comes the question of who should be the ultimate author … you or Gary? I was thinking you for the Introduction chapter and Gary for the Summary chapter, but I am totally open to your suggestions.” at *2.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it again indicates that Monsanto was a significant contributor to the Expert Panel Manuscript without disclosing its substantive role in the final publication which refuted IARC’s general causation conclusion. Dr. Heydens explicitly suggests that affiliated consultants appear as authors instead of himself. Indeed, Monsanto own experts rely on the “Expert Panels” analysis. The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation.  This document also goes to witness credibility.

Internal Emails Show Monsanto Made Substantial Contributions to Published Expert Panel Manuscript
No: MONGLY00998682, MONGLY00998687
Date: 1/9/2016 – 1/13/2016

Description
The documents contain email correspondence between Dr. William Heydens and Ashley Roberts (Intertek) wherein Dr. Heydens heavily edits (“here are my suggested edits to the Draft Combined Manuscript” at *1) the Expert Panel’s manuscript drafted in opposition to IARC’s classification of glyphosate. The edited draft is also attached and challenged for confidentiality.

Relevance
The documents are relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as they demonstrate that the manuscript published under the authorship of the Expert Panel was composed with substantive contributions by Monsanto. Monsanto did not disclose its role in drafting the manuscript which directly challenged the general causation “2A probable carcinogen” conclusion by IARC.  Indeed, Monsanto own experts rely on the “Expert Panels” analysis. The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation.  These documents also go to witness credibility.

Internal Email Further Demonstrating Heydens’ Involvement in Drafting Expert Panel Manuscript
No: MONGLY02085862
Date: 2/4/2016

Description
This document contains an email from Dr. Heydens to Ashely Roberts regarding the introduction to the Expert Panel Manuscript. Among other features, Dr. Heydens’ draft attempts to convey “that glyphosate is really expansively used.” at *1.

Relevance
It is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation for the same reasons as the above (MONGLY01000676) document. The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation.  This document also goes to witness credibility.

Internal Email Shows Monsanto Involvement with Scientific Studies Without Disclosing Conflicts of Interest
No:
 MONGLY01023968
Date: 5/8/2015 – 5/11/2015

Description
This document contains email correspondence between Michael Koch and Dr. William Heydens regarding “Post-IARC Activities to Support Glyphosate”. Dr. Heydens explicitly identifies one of the goals as “Publication on Animal Data Cited by IARC…Manuscript to be initiated by Mon as ghost writers”. at *1.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it demonstrates Monsanto’s involvement in scientific publications without disclosing inherent conflicts of interest. Through ghost-writing, Monsanto is able to populate the scientific discourse with favorable studies on glyphosate without appearing to be involved in the dissemination of data. Regulators and consumers are thus not provided with an impartial and transparent assessment of Roundup and glyphosate; assessments which are then relied upon to evaluate the biological plausibility of Roundup and/or glyphosate as a carcinogen. This document is of similar nature to a document already de-designated by the Court in which Dr. Heydens advocates ghostwriting. See MONGLY00977267. The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation. This document also goes to witness credibility.

Monsanto Scientist Admits to Ghostwriting Cancer Review Paper
No: MONGLY01723742
Date: 8/4/2015

Description
This document is from the custodial file of Dr. David Saltmiras and is titled “Glyphosate Activities”. Dr. Saltmiras’ activities for 2015 included: “IARC prep: AHS Sorahan reanalysis for multiple myeloma presented at EUROTOX 2012, Kier & Kirkland (2013), ghost wrote cancer review paper Greim et al. (2015), coord Kier (2015) update to K&K, pushed for Sorahan (2015).”

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it demonstrates Monsanto’s involvement in ghostwriting studies discussing the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate which is subsequently relied upon by the scientific community in determining general causation issues such as the biological plausibility of glyphosate as a carcinogen. The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation. This document also goes to witness credibility.

Editor of Journal That Published Expert Panel Manuscript States Intention of the Panel was to Discredit IARC
No: MONGLY02356274, MONGLY02356209
Date: 6/19/2016 – 7/7/2016

Description
This document contains email correspondence between Roger McClellan (editor of the journal which published the Expert Panel Manuscript) and Ashley Roberts regarding the Expert Panel Manuscript. Mr. McClellan notes several issues with the initial daft of the Manuscript and states: “These reports are essentially a rebuttal of IARCs process and conclusions. There appears to be a reluctance to be absolutely clear in presenting exactly what IARC concluded, the Panels conclusions and how they differ.” at *4. The attached initial draft of the manuscript is also challenged for confidentiality.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it contains an opinion by the editor of the journal which published the Expert Panel Manuscript that the Manuscript essentially sought to discredit IARC and IARC’s methodology which offered a general causation conclusion regarding glyphosate carcinogenicity that was adverse to Monsanto’s commercial agenda. The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation.  These documents also go to witness credibility.

Internal Monsanto Email Detailing Company Effort to Preemptively Criticize IARC in the Press Ahead of Glyphosate Report
No: MONGLY01005425
Date: 2/23/2015 – 2/24/2015

Description
This document contains email correspondence between Eric Sachs (Monsanto) and Henry Miller, a Forbes contributor and fellow of the Stanford Hoover institute. Mr. Sachs asks Mr. Miller: “Are you interested in writing a column on this topic? Ideally, your article would precede the IARC decision. Why not set the table with the weight of scientific evidence before IARC convenes? Then, regardless of what they do, your article will set the stage for a science-based response.” at *2. Moreover, Mr. Sachs informs his Monsanto colleagues: “Henry agreed to author an article on Forbes.com. John will work with a team internally to provide a draft and Henry will edit/add to make it his own.” at *1.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it demonstrates Monsanto’s effort to criticize IARC in anticipation of a general causation classification. Monsanto is a significant contributor to the article without disclosing its interest and involvement. The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation.  This document also goes to witness credibility.

Internal Email Demonstrating Monsanto Ghostwriting Article Criticizing IARC for Press
No: MONGLY02063611, MONGLY02063572
Date: 3/12/2015 – 3/18/2015

Description
This document contains email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel and Henry Miller. Mr. Miller is asked by Monsanto to write about the IARC decision and Mr. Miller responds with a request for a “high quality draft.” at *6. Mr. Eric Sachs (Monsanto) informs Mr. Miller that “We have a draft nearly done and will send to you by tomorrow.” at *5.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it demonstrates Monsanto ghostwriting an article criticizing and discrediting IARC following the latter’s general causation opinion that was adverse to Monsanto’s commercial agenda. The attachment (MONGLY02063572) is a publicly available article and is thus inappropriately labeled confidential by Monsanto. The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation.  These document also go to witness credibility.

Email Showing Monsanto Paid a Consultant on Expert Panel Believed to be Composed of Independent Scientists

No: MONGLY01680756
Date: 8/17/2015

Description
This document is a consulting agreement between Monsanto and Larry D. Kier, one of the individuals on the Intertek Expert Panel. Although the Expert Panel was supposed to be composed of scientists independent of Monsanto, the consulting agreement demonstrates that Dr. Kier worked directly for Monsanto and this relationship was not disclosed in the published manuscript.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it indicates the inherent conflict of interest between Dr. Kier as a consultant for Monsanto and his participation on the expert panel, which was concerned with addressing the general causation conclusion by IARC.  The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation.  This document also goes to witness credibility.

Email Showing Monsanto Paid Multiple Individuals on Expert Panel Prior to and During Review on Glyphosate
No: MONGLY02816607
Date: 8/6/2015 – 8/14/2015

Description
This document contains email correspondence between various Monsanto employees wherein Dr. Donna Farmer comments with respect to the Expert Panel: “We have another consulting doing the same thing that John Acquavella is doing for the epidemiology area… Larry Kier is facilitating the gentox area of the expert, panel. We have had a contract with Larry Kier before. How do we get this set up for Larry so that he too can be paid – 12K in 2015? at *2.

Relevance
The document does not contain trade secrets, sensitive commercial information or privileged material. This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it demonstrates that Drs. Acquavella and Kier were hired Monsanto consultants prior to and during the expert panel- this inherent conflict of interest was not disclosed by the published manuscript which offered a rebuttal of IARC’s general causation opinion.  The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation.  This document also goes to witness credibility.

Invoice Showing Monsanto Paid $20,000 to Expert Panel Member Dr. John Acquavella
No: MONGLY03934897
Date: 8/31/2015

Description
This document is an invoice dated August 31, 2015 from Monsanto to Dr. John Acquavella in the sum of $20,700 for “consulting hours in August 2015 related to the glyphosate expert epidemiology panel.” at *1.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it speaks to the inherent conflict of interest between Dr. Acquavella as a paid consultant for Monsanto and his participation on the expert panel, which was concerned with addressing the general causation conclusion by IARC. The reliability and consensus of scientific literature is directly relevant to general causation.

Internal Monsanto Document: Company Goals to ‘Invalidate Relevance of IARC’ and ‘Prevent Future Bad IARC Decisions…’
No: MONGLY03316369
Date: 3/24/2015

Description
This document is titled: “IARC Follow Up Demonstrating Safety of Glyphosate” and details a number of goals including “invalidate relevance of IARC”; “prevent future bad IARC decisions on pesticides/GMOs”; and “Make sure determination doesn’t get more widely adopted within WHO”. at *1.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it confirms Monsanto’s intention to discredit an international research agency which rendered a general causation opinion that was adverse to Monsanto’s commercial agenda.

Internal Email: Monsanto Lobbying Efforts in U.S. to Pressure WHO to ‘Clarify’ IARC Classification of Glyphosate
No: MONGLY02953363
Date: 6/5/2015

Description
This document contains a forwarded email which outlines Monsanto’s regulatory strategy with respect to “addressing widespread confusion in the wake of the IARC classification…” at *1. “Recent Actions” include “significant outreach within the U .S. government to secure its engagement with the WHO in an effort to obtain that clarification.  We have briefed key staff at EPA, USTR, USDA and the State Department as well as members of Congress.” at *2.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it demonstrates Monsanto’s lobbying activities through the U.S. government in order to pressure the WHO to “clarify” the IARC classification.  Monsanto’s governmental influence has featured extensively in general causation discovery and motions practice and this particular effort is directed at influencing the organization which offered a general causation conclusion with respect to glyphosate carcinogenicity.  The document is also relevant to Daubert, since it undermines the reliability and purported “independence” of the EPA’s evaluation of glyphosate.

Internal Email: Monsanto Lobbying Efforts in U.S. to Pressure WHO to ‘Clarify’ IARC Classification of Glyphosate
No: MONGLY02953363
Date: 6/5/2015

Description
This document contains a forwarded email which outlines Monsanto’s regulatory strategy with respect to “addressing widespread confusion in the wake of the IARC classification…” at *1. “Recent Actions” include “significant outreach within the U .S. government to secure its engagement with the WHO in an effort to obtain that clarification.  We have briefed key staff at EPA, USTR, USDA and the State Department as well as members of Congress.” at *2.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it demonstrates Monsanto’s lobbying activities through the U.S. government in order to pressure the WHO to “clarify” the IARC classification.  Monsanto’s governmental influence has featured extensively in general causation discovery and motions practice and this particular effort is directed at influencing the organization which offered a general causation conclusion with respect to glyphosate carcinogenicity.  The document is also relevant to Daubert, since it undermines the reliability and purported “independence” of the EPA’s evaluation of glyphosate.

Document Details Monsanto’s Goals After IARC Report – ‘Orchestrate Outcry with IARC Decision…’
No: MONGLY02913526
Date: 2/23/2015

Description
This document details a number of goals to be pursued by Monsanto prior to and following the anticipated IARC decision.  Under “Post-IARC”, the following objective is identified: “Orchestrate Outcry with IARC Decision a March 10, 2015”. at *5.

Relevance
This document is relevant and likely to be used in this litigation as it demonstrates Monsanto’s intention to discredit IARC prior to the 2A classification.  Following the classification, Monsanto galvanized a campaign to discredit and defund an international research agency which rendered a general causation opinion and found that it is biologically probable for glyphosate to act as a human carcinogen.

Internal Email: Monsanto’s Political Influence Could be Used as Motivator for IARC to ‘Change Their Current Inappropriate Practices’
No: MONGLY03558820
Date: 4/28/2016 – 7/6/2016

Description
This document contains email correspondence between various Monsanto employees wherein John Lynch states: “To date I have eight industry associations, plus CropLife Canada, who have expressed interest in engaging in further discussions on how to collaborate as a more substantial critical mass, representing a significant chunk of Canada’s GDP and innovation investments, to capture the attention of the federal government and encourage an approach to motivate IARC to make adjustments to their current inappropriate practices.” at *2.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it demonstrates efforts by Monsanto to leverage political influence in an attempt to impact the procedures of a research agency (IARC) which arrived at a general causation opinion adverse to Monsanto’s commercial agenda.

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