Monsanto Papers | Secret Documents | Page Eight 2017-10-10T10:28:45+00:00

Monsanto Papers | Secret Documents | Page Eight

Issue: Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism & Excretion

69. Monsanto Paper: ‘Clustering Glyphosate Formulations with Regard to Testing for Dermal Uptake’
No: MONGLY01839476
Date: 7/2001
Documents Released: 3/15/2017

Description
This document contains a paper written by Mark Martens, Christophe Gustin and C. Bates on how the surfactants in Roundup formulations increase the absorption of glyphosate in the human skin.

The paper includes the following passage:

“Surfactants are able to increase glyphosate absorption through the skin by (1) removal of lipids (sebum) from the epidermal surface due to surfactant action, (2) increase of the hydration state of the skin (under closed exposure conditions), (3) increase of skin contact (spreading of water droplets by surfactant action), (4) increase of contact time with the skin due to decrease of evaporation of water from the droplets containing surfactant (surfactant monolayer at surface of droplets slows down passage to vapour phase,) increase of sub epidermal blood flow due to irritant action of surfactant, (6) intraepidermal and sub epidermal intercellular water accumulation due to the irritant action of the surfactant.”

70. (a) Monsanto Executive: Roundup Dermal Absorption Studies Could ‘Blow Roundup Risk Evaluations’
(b) “TNO Study” on Dermal Absorption Referenced in Email Correspondence 
No: MONGLY03738295, MONGLY00888353
Date: 3/29/2002 – 4/2/2002
Documents Released: 8/1/2017

Description
These documents contains email correspondence (MONGLY03738295) between various Monsanto personnel regarding a Monsanto (MONGLY00888353) study on the dermal absorption of the formulated Roundup product as precipitated by the surfactant (“TNO Study”). Dr. Heydens expressed concerns with continuing such studies: “My primary concern is with the glyphosate in terms of the potential for this work to blow Roundup risk evaluations (getting a much higher dermal penetration than we’ve ever seen before.” at *1.

Relevance
The documents are relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as they pertain to (and contradict) Monsanto’s causation defense that Roundup has a low absorption rate.  The results of the TNO study show “in vitro dermal penetration of glyphosate [with surfactant] through rat skin [to be] between 5 and 10%,” but lower than 1.5% “in the absence of surfactants[.]” This scientific data is particularly relevant since it relates to the effects of the formulated product, i.e. Roundup, versus the effects of glyphosate alone.  Since the EPA only examined glyphosate, and expressly excluded studies that used the formulation—the substance Plaintiffs’ actually used—this provides evidence from which a Trier of Fact could conclude the EPA’s analysis was limited. Importantly, this study was never turned over to the EPA or European regulatory officials.

71. Monsanto Personnel: Further Study on Glyphosate Absorption ‘Not Likely to Help Us Meet the Project Objective’
No: MONGLY03737014
Date: 4/4/2002 – 4/5/2002
Documents Released: 8/1/2017

Description
This document contains email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel wherein it is discussed that the Monsanto programs, including the TNO study (MONGLY00888353, challenged above), evaluating the absorption of glyphosate and formulations (including surfactants) will be ceased “because a further study was not likely to help us meet the project objective.” at *2. Abandoning this scientific inquiry, however, “[w]e are left behind with too many questions after all this.” at *1.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it is directly related to the ADME issue of biological plausibility and Monsanto’s refusal to conduct further studies when results from the TNO study demonstrated higher absorption of glyphosate based on the presence of the formulated product.  It also goes to the heart of this Court’s Daubert inquiry, showing that the lack of any scientific consensus is, in part, the product of Monsanto’s malfeasance, not honest scientific investigation.

72. Email Details Operator Exposure Level When Spraying Roundup Under UK Conditions
No: MONGLY06509236
Date: 10/21/2002
Documents Released: 8/1/2017

Description
This document is an internal Monsanto summary of the “operator exposure when spraying Roundup under UK conditions.” at *1. It provides an explanation of measuring the rate of Roundup absorption using the UK POEM (discussed in the above MONGLY04107778 document).

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it pertains to the absorption of glyphosate and Monsanto’s basis for measuring the rate of absorption to be in compliance with regulatory standards—a feature of general causation as Monsanto contests that Roundup and glyphosate can have adverse effects based upon negligible rates of absorption.

73. (a) Monsanto Aware of Dermal Penetration Studies Showing Formulated Roundup is Absorbed at Higher Rate and is More Toxic
(b) Monsanto Scientist Acknowledges Humectant in Most Roundup Formulations is Toxic to Children 
(c) Monsanto Fact Sheet on Ethylene Glycol: Humectant Found in Most Roundup Formulations is Listed on California Prop 65 List of Reproductive Toxicants
No: MONGLY06653096, MONGLY01832749, MONGLY01745304
Date: 5/20/2003 – 5/22/2003, 10/19/1999 -10/21/1999
Documents Released: 8/1/2017

Description
The first document (MONGLY06653096) contains email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel regarding “dermal penetration studies” wherein Dr. William Heydens notes the presence of “certain co-formulants like humectants that will make it highly likely we will get large amounts penetrating the skin.” at *1. The second document (MONGLY01832749) contains acknowledgments by Dr. Daniel Goldstein that a humectant such as ethylene glycol (which is present in most Roundup formulations) is toxic to children at 70 cc of Roundup with 5% of ethylene glycol. at *1. The Third document (MONGLY01745304) is a fact sheet about ethylene glycol which indicates its presence in Roundup formulations (“less than 2%”) and that “EG is a significant human toxin”. at *1.

Relevance
These documents are relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as they are related to the issue of ADME absorption and that the formulated product is both absorbed at a higher rate and is more toxic—significant questions for the biological plausibility of glyphosate and Roundup as a carcinogen.  Such information is likely to be considered vital by regulators and researchers when assessing the carcinogenicity of Roundup and glyphosate.

74. Monsanto Executive Acknowledges Acute Toxicity in Glyphosate Study Caused Death of Test Animals
No: MONGLY06722561
Date: 8/8/2003 – 8/11/2003
Documents Released: 8/1/2017

Description
This document contains email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel wherein Dr. William Heydens observes with respect to two Monsanto rat studies: “Regarding acute toxicity, Terry, Donna and I reviewed mortality data from the inhalation database for IPA, NH4-, MEAand K-glyphoste formalations. Based on the mortality data seen in those studies, it is not outside the realm of possibilities that the 3 deaths were treatment – related.” at *2.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in litigation as it contains an acknowledgment by Monsanto that glyphosate ADME—exposed through inhalation—has resulted in acute toxicity and caused the death of the test animals. Such “treatment-related deaths” via inhalation are directly relevant to the issue of whether it is biologically plausible for glyphosate to act as a human carcinogen.

75. (a) Monsanto Scientist: Due to Higher Rate of Glyphosate Absorption, Monsanto Cannot Justify Avoiding ‘Toxicity Testing with Similar Inert Ingredients’
(b) Further Concern Over Surfactant Absorption in the Gastrointestinal Tract
No: MONGLY06424476, MONGLY06409924
Date: 6/1/2004 – 7/9/2004, 3/5/2002 – 3/8/2002
Documents Released: 8/1/2017

Description
The first document (MONGLY06424476) contains email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel regarding a 2002 Monsanto study which observed absorption of the surfactant (without glyphosate) in the GI Tract. Dr. Charles Healy (Monsanto) reports that the results showed “Absorption was at least 56% of dose at dosages of 1 and 10 mg/kg.  Approximately 17-27% of the dose was eliminated in the urine and approximately 31-36% of the dose was found in the bile.” at *2. The second document (MONGLY06409924) contains further discussion of this issue, stating that Monsanto’s purpose for conducting the study, which was “to see results which show no GI tract absorption of a surfactant in the tallow/ether amine groups.” MONGLY06409924 at *1.  Indeed, Dr. Healy states in MONGLY06424476 that: “Basically what we demonstrated was that the material is absorbed through the GI tract as shown. Nothing I am aware of that needs to be reported. We were hoping that we could demonstrate that the material was not absorbed as a means to obviate the need to perform toxicity testing with similar inert ingredients. Obviously that hope was not realized.” at *2.

Relevance
These documents are relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as they pertain to the ADME issue of biological plausibility—indeed Dr. Healy concedes that given the higher rate of absorption, Monsanto cannot justify avoiding “toxicity testing with similar inert ingredients.” Given that the rate of absorption is one of the features Monsanto relies upon to argue that there is no biological plausibility for glyphosate and/or Roundup to be carcinogenic, these documents go to the heart of such defense and are related to issues in general causation.

76. Monsanto Europe Executive States Glyphosate Would be ‘Toxic by Inhalation’ Based on Cited Study
No: MONGLY02335782, MONGLY02335784
Date: 8/13/2008 – 8/20/2008

Description
These documents contain email correspondence between various Monsanto personnel wherein Richard Garnett discusses the issue of acute toxicity via inhalation. Mr. Garnett states that glyphosate would be classified in the EU as “T Toxic; R23 Toxic by inhalation” based on a study he cites. at *1. The attachment is Monsanto Study “An Acute Nose-Only Inhalation Toxicity Study in Rats with Mon 78623”. This study is one of the studies referenced by Dr. Heydens in the previous (MONGLY06722561) document to conclude that “it is not outside the realm of possibilities that the 3 deaths were treatment-related.” MONGLY0672256 at *2.

Relevance
The documents are relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as they are directly related to the issue of whether it is biologically plausible for glyphosate to act as a human carcinogen by virtue of respirational toxicity.

77. Internal Monsanto Email from Richard Garnett: ‘Dermal Exposure is the Greatest Risk of Exposure for Operators
No: MONGLY02155826 – MONGLY02155831
Date: 11/10/2008
Documents Released: 3/15/2017

Description
This document contains email correspondence between Richard Garnett, David Saltmiras, Donna Farmer and other Monsanto employees discussing glyphosate ADME. Garnett writes that Monsanto “needs solid data for ADME arising from dermal exposure.” He continues:

“The movement of glyphosate in the blood flow from dermal contact, is different to that through oral or intravenous exposure. The little data we have suggests that the excretion is significantly more through the faeces than the urine…Dermal exposure is the greatest risk of exposure for operators. Therefore, we need to be secure on the ADME of such exposure.”

Unfortunately, despite Garnett’s recommendation, Monsanto declined to do additional testing on dermal absorption because the potential of finding a new glyphosate metabolite was “too risky.

The issue of whether glyphosate is excreted through the urine rather than feces is important because Monsanto only considers urine levels of glyphosate in an effort to underestimate glyphosate exposure and does not measure levels in feces. In their depositions, David Saltmiras and Donna Farmer both deny that dermally absorbed glyphosate is excreted through the feces.

78. Monsanto Europe Executive: Company’s Low Glyphosate Absorption Claim is Weak
No: MONGLY06385823
Date: 9/23/2009
Documents Released: 8/1/2017

Description
This document contains email correspondence between Monsanto personnel wherein Richard Garnett acknowledges that: “The ADME has always been the weak link in our argument and the Spanish response highlights that we have not got rid of the problem.” at *1.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in this litigation as it is a recognition by Monsanto that there are fundamental flaws in Monsanto’s argument for absorption and excretion of glyphosate—a fact observed by regulators in Spain in their assessment of glyphosate—which is related to the issue of whether it is biologically plausible for glyphosate to act as a human carcinogen.  This document relates specifically to Monsanto’s contention that glyphosate does not cause cancer because of low absorption rates.

79. Monsanto Europe Executive Acknowledges Roundup Would Fail Absorption Testing Using UK Metric
No: MONGLY04107778
Date: 8/16/2011 – 8/23/2011
Documents Released: 8/1/2017

Description
This document contains email correspondence between Maurice De Billot (Monsanto) and Christophe Gustin, wherein Mr. De Billot discusses the difficulties of dermal absorption using the UK POEM (The UK Predictive Operator Exposure Model) metric: “In Europe we are getting prepared to submit MON 79991 (720g/kg) for approval under the new Reg 1107/2009. We ran the UKPOEM model using a dermal penetration value of 3% and do not pass when applying 3.6kg/ha for the tractor mounted sprayer. I am aware of the set of studies that you ran on dermal absorption using pure K-salt and IPA-salt and also MON 52276 and MON 79351 which showed dermal absorption values of 1%. Putting 1% in the model we get a good result, so will need to show that the 1% dermal absorption numbers are equally valid for the MON 79991 formulation.” at *2.

Relevance
This document is relevant and reasonably likely to be used in litigation as it demonstrates that a difference of a couple of percentage points on dermal absorption using the UK POEM can change the regulatory risk assessment of glyphosate from safe to unsafe. A key element of Monsanto’s defense on causation is that even if glyphosate could conceivably cause cancer it would require extremely high doses which do not occur in a realistic environment.

80. Monsanto EU Regulatory Affairs Specialist: Using Default Value on Surfactant Dermal Absorption Study: “…We Do Not Pass the Risk Assessment”
No: MONGLY05359546
Date: 10/9/2014 – 11/14/2014
Documents Released: 3/15/2017

Description
This document contains email correspondence in which dermal absorption studies are discussed. Due to pending requests from two authorities (UK and Denmark), a dermal absorption study “for high load gel” is needed. Per Monsanto EU Regulatory Affairs Specialist Sarah Dreissens: “If we use the default value we do not pass the risk assessment.”

81. Deposition of David Saltmiras Discussing Dermal Absorption and Excretion of Roundup
No: N/A
Date: 1/31/2017
Documents Released: 3/15/2017

Description
This document contains a segment of David Saltmiras’ deposition. The questioning centers on dermal absorption and excretion of Roundup. Saltmiras did not appear to have all the data:

Plaintiffs Counsel: [Y]ou’re aware that it’s more appropriate to measure — the excretion [of glyphosate] is significantly more in the feces than in the urine for dermal absorption of Roundup, right?

Saltmiras: There is no scientific basis for saying that glyphosate absorbed through the skin is found in the feces. That’s utter nonsense. I don’t know where you’re coming up with this.

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