Monsanto paid scientists for Roundup cancer safety studies, court documents reveal

by Eric Pearson

Newly unsealed court documents show that Monsanto – the manufacturer of Roundup weed killer – worked to stop a safety review of Roundup by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and had ghostwritten studies about the safety of Roundup that were later attributed to academic researchers. The documents were unsealed recently by a federal judge who is hearing a lawsuit filed against Monsanto by individuals who allege they developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma due to exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup.

Roundup and other weed killers containing glyphosate are among the most widely used herbicide products in the United States. About 220 million pounds of glyphosate were sprayed in the U.S. in 2015. Over the last two decades, Monsanto has re-engineered corn, soybeans, and cotton plants so that they could be more easily sprayed with glyphosate, dubbing these seeds “Roundup Ready.”

According to lawsuits filed against Monsanto, exposure to Roundup or other glyphosate herbicides may increase the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The lawsuits allege that Monsanto has known about the cancer risks of exposure to glyphosate for decades.

Many of the lawsuits against Monsanto over Roundup have been filed on behalf of migrant farm workers in Texas, California, or other states who developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other illnesses after being exposed to the herbicide. Other lawsuits have been filed on behalf of farmers or home gardeners who became ill after exposure to Roundup.

Monsanto Ghostwritten Studies Helped Stop EPA Glyphosate Review

According to the documents unsealed as part of the Roundup lawsuits, Monsanto was alerted to the forthcoming HHS review of Roundup and other glyphosate products by Jess Rowland, a deputy division director with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This tip enabled Monsanto to prepare a public relations assault in order to counter potential findings from the EPA review about the health risks of Roundup and glyphosates.

A Monsanto executive wrote in a 2015 email that Rowland told him, “If I can kill [the EPA review of Roundup], I should get a medal.” Rowland also promised to help stop efforts to review the safety of glyphosate at HHS, and said that he “could be useful as we move forward with ongoing glyphosate defense” following his upcoming retirement from the agency.

In another email, a Monsanto executive wrote that the company could ghostwrite studies about the safety of glyphosate by hiring researchers to put their names on studies that were actually written by Monsanto. The email cited previous instances in which Monsanto had paid researchers to give their names to articles that had been ghostwritten by Monsanto.

An investigation published last year by the New York Times showed that a research paper on the safety of glyphosate financed by Monsanto was published in the journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology. Emails that were made public by the New York Times showed that Monsanto officials paid a consulting firm to hire researchers for the project and helped to shape the study’s findings.

Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Roundup Cancer Victims

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other cancers after being exposed to Roundup or other herbicides containing glyphosate, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. The first step in taking legal action is to speak with an attorney who can advise you regarding your legal rights and guide you through the first steps of filing a claim.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have the experience with personal injury and product liability claims against the chemical industry to handle your case from start to finish. Our firm also has the financial resources to take on some of the biggest corporations in the world on behalf of our clients. In many instances, our firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in a case in order to take it to trial. Our attorneys are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are trial lawyers in the truest sense of the term, and have achieved verdicts and settlements for our clients totally hundreds of millions of dollars, including cases filed against chemical companies, pharmaceutical giants, oil and gas companies, multinational conglomerates, and other corporations. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that all individuals should have access to experienced, professional legal counsel to ensure that their legal rights are protected in a court of law.

For more information about filing a lawsuit over non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or other cancers caused by exposure to Roundup and other glyphosates, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few questions about your case to get started.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.