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Monsanto Was Its Own Ghostwriter for Some Safety Reviews

Ever since Monsanto introduced its “Roundup Ready” seeds and glyphosate-laden herbicide, Roundup, it’s been hailed as a safe product that went through “rigorous scientific review.” But now, as Bloomberg Businessweek reports, it turns out Monsanto ghost-wrote some its own reviews — tantamount to a Broadway play producer writing rave reviews for a new production, and then having someone else sign their name to them. This is especially disconcerting as the World Health Organization (WHO) recently listed glyphosate as a known human carcinogen.

Reports like this have been leaking out for months, as lawsuits mount against Monsanto, with more than 800 people claiming Roundup gave them cancer. Even more disconcerting is the news that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not only may have helped keep this information from the public, but a key EPA official actually helped stop a glyphosate investigation by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry on Monsanto's behalf.

Also implicated is the online medical news site, WebMD, whose director of nutrition participates in Monsanto’s Leaders Engaged in Advancing Dialogue (LEAD) Initiative, and essentially is being paid by Monsanto (the company won't say how much) to talk about the benefits of Monsanto products.

The good news is that California has taken a leadership role in recognizing glyphosate’s dangers by ordering Monsanto to begin labeling glyphosate as a chemical known to cause cancer. Monsanto, of course, is fighting it, but the bottom line is it's more important than ever to be able to gain access to the full set of data on research studies and identify potential conflicts of interest, as well as seek opinions from experts you know and trust, before making or taking a health recommendation — something that mainstream news Bloomberg is finally reporting.
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