The pressure on U.S.-based Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) has turned up a notch after Bloomberg reported a recent release of internal emails allegedly reveals how scientific reviews of Roundup were not as independent as thought.
Monsanto had previously disclosed that it paid Intertek Group Plc’s consulting unit to develop the review, but claimed that was the extent of the multinational’s involvement, according to Bloomberg.
The review, that was published along with subpapers in a September 2016 supplement, was reportedly aimed at rebutting the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)’s 2015 assessment that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.
However, the publication reported dozens of internal Monsanto emails released on August 1 by plaintiffs’ lawyers who are suing the company reveal how company employees were heavily involved in organizing, reviewing, and editing drafts submitted by the outside experts prior to being published in the scientific journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology.
Monsanto defends the review’s independence, with vice president for global strategy Scott Partridge reportedly saying it only did “cosmetic editing” of the Intertek papers and nothing “substantive” to alter panelists’ conclusions.
Genna Reed, a science policy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy reportedly said the company’s editorial involvement appears “in direct opposition to their disclosure.”
“It does seem pretty suspicious,” she was quoted as saying.