Brussels, Belgium – Oct. 5, 2017 – – Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman attorneys R. Brent Wisner and managing partner Michael Baum have asked European Union (EU) officials to conduct an official inquiry into Monsanto’s manipulation of science and potential collusion with regulators.
The request comes days before an October 11 hearing organized by the EU environmental and agricultural committees to discuss allegations that Monsanto unduly influenced studies on glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. Wisner and Baum, along with two Roundup cancer victims, who are suing Monsanto, were invited to Brussels this week to visit with EU media outlets, lawmakers from Germany and France, and staffers for various Members of European Parliament (MEPs).
In a letter sent today to the European Parliament, Wisner and Baum cite several documents from ‘The Monsanto Papers’ to call attention to “an alarming story of corporate malfeasance” on the part of Monsanto. The Monsanto Papers consist of documents discovered during the course of the pending federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Monsanto in the United States. Baum Hedlund clients Teri McCall and John Barton, both from California, also submitted similar letters to the EU Parliament.
Baum Hedlund represents some 500 plaintiffs from across America who allege exposure to Roundup caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The plaintiffs accuse Monsanto of burying the health risks associated with its flagship herbicide as worldwide sales skyrocketed.
According to the attorneys, the documents demonstrate that Monsanto manipulated the science surrounding glyphosate to make the chemical appear safe when a growing body of evidence suggests otherwise. Wisner and Baum say that regulators in the US, EU, and around the world have relied upon Monsanto-influenced science to form their conclusions on glyphosate.
The documents also show that Monsanto made it a company goal to discredit scientific bodies that conclude glyphosate and/or the Roundup formulated product is harmful. This begs the question: If Monsanto stands by its long-held assertion that the science proves glyphosate is safe, why would the company feel the need to discredit scientists studying glyphosate?
Baum Hedlund Asks EU to Look at Documents Detailing Monsanto Science Manipulation and Possible Collusion
Below is the letter Baum Hedlund sent to EU officials in its entirety:
October 5, 2017
Re: Official Inquiry Regarding Monsanto’s Manipulation of Science and Potential Collaboration with Regulators
Dear Chairs, dear Vice-Chairs, dear Group Coordinators, dear Deputy Group Coordinators, dear Members of the European Parliament:
Thank you for protecting the public and environmental well-being of Europeans. We appreciate that the European Parliament is working hard to ensure that the decision to relicense glyphosate is supported by a robust evaluation of the available scientific data. To that end, we would like to assist Parliament by bringing your attention a number of documents discovered during the course of the pending federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Monsanto Company.
These documents, which are attached and described in the accompanying flash disk, tell an alarming story of corporate malfeasance. They reveal that Monsanto has been manipulating the science of glyphosate for decades by ghostwriting scientific literature designed to make glyphosate look safe, bullying scientists that publish anything negative about their billion-dollar product, and colluding with regulators to ensure “positive” assessments. Monsanto’s systematic efforts to hide the risks of glyphosate has remained in the shadows for too long—and these documents, which are just the tip of the iceberg (with many more documents to come) are an important first step to bringing Monsanto’s misconduct into the light.
That said, as lawyers working on the litigation in the United States, there is only so much we can do to aid the Parliament in its important responsibility. We recommend that you, consistent with your responsibilities and obligations, open an official inquiry about Monsanto’s influence on the scientific debate over the safety of glyphosate. Specifically, we recommend that the Parliament examine the following issues:
Monsanto’s relationship with members of the European Food Safety Authority and the BfR;
Monsanto’s sponsorship and implementation of ghostwritten scientific literature, specifically designed to influence European authorities;
Monsanto’s decisions to terminate studies showing much higher absorption rates of glyphosate than previously reported to the EU;
Monsanto’s efforts to bully and intimidate members of the International Agency for Research on Cancer and other researchers publishing data and analysis that glyphosate is carcinogenic;
Monsanto’s knowledge concerning the carcinogenicity of Roundup formulations (glyphosate + other ingredients like surfactants) and Monsanto’s deliberate refusal to study formulated products;
Monsanto’s internal strategy to discredit IARC; and Monsanto’s knowledge of the effects of glyphosate on the micro biome, and the various life-sustaining microorganisms that dwell within the human body.
I, obviously, believe that glyphosate and Roundup are dangerous. I believe they cause cancer. And, in my work as an attorney in the United States, I intend to prove that to a court of law. But, you do not need to take my word on this. These documents show, at the very least, that the EU needs more information before it can make an informed decision about the relicensing of glyphosate. The stakes are simply too high to make a decision without all the information and data. Quite literally, millions of lives are at risk.
If you have any questions or concerns, I would be happy to work with any EU Parliament member.
Brent Wisner, Esq.
Michael L. Baum, Esq.
BAUM HEDLUND ARISTEI & GOLDMAN, P.C.