Nov. 10, 2017 – Los Angeles, California – Attorney R. Brent Wisner of the law firm Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman appeared as a guest on an episode of The Doctors this week to discuss the growing controversy and health risks associated with glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.
“This is almost verbatim what big tobacco said about cigarettes causing cancer,” Wisner said during the episode, comparing Monsanto’s tactics in defense of Roundup to those of the tobacco industry’s defense of cigarettes.
“For years, [big tobacco] generated studies saying it didn’t cause cancer, saying ‘we need more science, we need more science.’ It took lawyers, a coalition of activists, and people who really cared to expose the fraud for what it was…and we are in the middle of that right now.”
In The Doctors glyphosate episode, Roundup cancer attorney Brent Wisner talks about the Monsanto Papers, court documents containing internal Monsanto emails, text messages, studies, and other memoranda. These documents, Wisner says, tell an alarming story of ghostwriting, scientific manipulation, collusion with regulators from around the world, and previously undisclosed information about how the human body absorbs glyphosate.
Wisner was joined on the program by Teri McCall, whose husband, Jack, used Roundup on their Cambria, California farm for decades. Jack died on Dec. 26, 2015 after a painful battle with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). In the wake of her husband’s death, Teri McCall hired Wisner and his firm, Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, and filed a lawsuit against Monsanto, alleging exposure to Roundup caused her husband to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“Roundup was supposed to be safe,” McCall’s lawsuit states. “The truth, however, is far more insidious. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is a carcinogen, and Monsanto has known this fact for decades.”
The twelve videos below are segments from The Doctors episode on glyphosate. Each video includes a brief summary describing the topics covered.
The Doctors Glyphosate Episode Comments on Health Effects and Controversy
Doctors Exclusive: Glyphosate Lawsuit Claims Cancer Link
In the introduction to the episode, The Doctors ask: Does Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer cause cancer? Dr. Travis Stork, Dr. Andrew Ordon, and guest co-host Dr. Judy Ho discuss the health effects and underlying controversy associated with Roundup. Guests include attorney Brent Wisner; plaintiff in the federal Roundup litigation, Teri McCall; Dr. Joseph Tuscano from the University of California at Davis; and consumer advocate Jeffrey M. Smith.
Could a Key Chemical in Roundup Lead to Cancer?
In March of 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. Following the IARC conclusion, The Doctors invited Monsanto toxicologist Donna Farmer to discuss Roundup. “I am extremely confident in this product as a mom and as a scientist,” Dr. Farmer said on the show (more on this statement in the next video).
In this segment, attorney Brent Wisner provides background on Roundup and glyphosate, which was initially used to descale industrial boilers. Wisner also discusses the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) initial conclusion on glyphosate back in the 1980s – that glyphosate is a likely carcinogen (the conclusion later changed after pressure from Monsanto). “There have been researchers for years that have been ringing the alarm bell [on glyphosate]…study, after study, after study that showed a real risk.”
Is Key Chemical in Roundup and Other Herbicides a Known Carcinogen?
The previous video shows footage from 2015 in which Dr. Donna Farmer (Monsanto) said she was “extremely confident” in the safety of Roundup. In this segment, Wisner shows the Doctors an internal Monsanto email from Dr. Farmer herself that casts serious doubt on her statement. The internal Monsanto email from Dr. Farmer states: “You cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen … we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.”
What is Glyphosate and Is It a Health Risk?
The Doctors ask Wisner about other health risks besides the link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. “There is no question that as this litigation unfolds…I think science is going to show that it might not just be limited to NHL. There might be a relationship with, for example, with GMOs, and how the products themselves that are genetically-manipulated and exposure to Roundup can have a combination effect.” In an exchange with Dr. Tuscano, Wisner shows another Monsanto email that shows a Monsanto executive suggesting the company ghostwrite a study on glyphosate.
Were Potential Cancer Links Covered Up by Monsanto?
How do you prove cause and effect with glyphosate and Roundup? The Doctors discuss this issue with Wisner, who says proving whether or not glyphosate is the only cause of each individual case of NHL is not the issue. As attorneys, they only need to prove that it is a cause of NHL.
“The simple fact is Monsanto did a study in 1999…we are talking 17 years ago,” Wisner said in this segment. “They hired an independent scientist who did this research. And what did he conclude? That Roundup causes cancer. What did Monsanto do with that study? They buried it.”
Will We Ever Know the Truth About Glyphosate?
The Doctors discuss the government’s role in regulating Roundup and glyphosate. According to Wisner, The Monsanto Papers show questionable relationships between Monsanto and officials at EPA. One exchange shows a former EPA official bragging to a Monsanto executive that he should “get a medal” if he could kill another U.S. government agency’s review of glyphosate.
Could Eating GMO Foods Harm Your Health?
“Seeds of Deception” author Jeffery Smith discusses his findings from people who reported positive health effects after switching from a GMO diet to consuming organic produce. Smith adds that the areas in which people are seeing benefits from switching to an organic diet were also found among pets and livestock that switched to an organic diet.
Widow of Farmer Says She “Watched Husband Deteriorate”
Teri McCall joins the Doctors to share the story of her husband Jack, an avocado farmer who died of cancer that she claims was caused by Roundup. What inspired Teri to come forward and share Jack’s story?
“I think that he died because of exposure to glyphosate, and if he hadn’t used it for 35 years he’d still be alive,” Teri says. “Roundup was the only chemical he ever used because he believed it was safe, and I believe that’s what killed him…that’s what gave him cancer.”
Is There Cause to Ban Glyphosate?
California is the first state to require a label for glyphosate as a potential carcinogen. The Doctors asked Dr. Joseph Tuscano about the potential for a glyphosate ban. He responded by saying there is data to suggest the potential for glyphosate. “But that goes a long way from saying there is absolute truth.”
Wisner responded: “This is almost verbatim what big tobacco said about cigarettes causing cancer. For years, they generated studies saying it didn’t cause cancer, saying ‘we need more science, we need more science.’ It took lawyers, a coalition of activists, and people who really cared to expose the fraud for what it was…and we are in the middle of that right now.”
Should Genetically Modified Crops Be Banned?
According to Dr. Travis Stork, Americans are surrounded by a lot of chemicals that were not around 50-60 years ago. In an effort to reduce chemical exposure in the typical American diet, should the United States follow the lead of countries in Europe and ban genetically modified crops? The Doctors discuss the topic and read a statement from Monsanto.
How Can You Protect Yourself from Harmful Chemicals?
Dr. Travis Stork: It was estimated recently that nearly one in six deaths was related to pollution in some form, be it from the air, water, soil, chemical, or occupational pollution. In this segment, The Doctors discuss how can you protect yourself.
According to Jeffery Smith, one way to protect yourself is to eat an organic diet. If buying organic is not an option, people should do their best to avoid GMO foods. Smith also suggests using the site https://www.nongmoproject.org/ to find out more.
Drs. Rx: How to Wash Your Produce to Remove Pesticides
Dr. Travis Stork concludes this episode by offering a cleaning tip to help reduce pesticide exposure in produce.