Republicans have, for several years, waged a war against the International Agency for Research on Cancer. IARC is the World Health Organization’s cancer research division which declared glyphosate (in Monsanto’s Roundup) a probable carcinogen in 2015. Now, according to freshly-released documents in a report by Lee Fang for The Intercept, Republicans’ anti-IARC campaign was prompted, pushed, and aided and abetted by Monsanto’s attorneys and lobbyists.
Lee Fang reports that documents ranging from e-mails to deposition transcripts have been made public by the law firm that represents Dewayne Johnson. He is the cancer patient and former groundskeeper who won the first Roundup lawsuit trial last August in California. A jury awarded Mr. Johnson $289 million (later reduced to $78 million).
Editor’s Note: Some democrats have also helped Monsanto. Hillary Clinton has been called the queen of Monsanto, and Barack Obama firmly backed the biotech bully from Missouri.
Republicans attack IARC, NIH for Monsanto
Mr. Fang reports that company e-mails, documents and deposition transcripts show “Monsanto lawyers and lobbyists guided lawmakers, coordinating efforts to question the IARC’s credibility and slash U.S. support for the international body.”
In June 2015, Monsanto’s vice president of government affairs – Michael Dykes – outlined Monsanto’s plans to discredit the IARC. Mr. Dykes emailed that he had sent teams of lobbyists to talk to “key staff” at the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the State Department, and members of Congress. Monsanto executed the plan three months after the IARC had first declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen, in March 2015. At the same time, Mr. Dykes also updated his Monsanto colleagues with additional ways the company could discredit the IARC. That plan included Monsanto interests taking control of a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing where senators would ask the EPA about glyphosate’s safety.
“We will make sure Committee members ask EPA the glyphosate safety question,” wrote Dykes, who was well aware the EPA sat firmly in Monsanto’s pocket. (See: EPA Monsanto ties cancerous)
Monsanto ghostwrites for a Republican Rep.
According to Mr. Fang, FTI Government Affairs was one of the consulting firms that has helped Monsanto discredit the IARC. FTI ghost-wrote a letter in 2016 that was attributed to Republican Rep. Rob Aderholt of Alabama. The letter written in Mr. Aderholt’s name insisted glyphosate “does not cause cancer. ” It charged that the IARC was promoting “bunk science.” Mr. Aderholt’s name was on that letter, but it was written by FTI lobbyists.
That misrepresented letter, says Mr. Fang, was followed by other letters from Republican Congress members demanding an investigation of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for IARC. Republicans who wrote those letters – or perhaps only signed their names as Mr. Aderholt did – included Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz (who chaired the House Oversight Committee), South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy (who succeeded Chaffetz as House Oversight chair), and Texas Rep. Lamar Smith (who chaired the House Science Committee). All of them echoed Monsanto’s on-point inquiries into IARC funding and the IARC’s designation of glyphosate as a carcinogen.
Kill the Messenger
In 2018, according to Mr. Fang’s report, Rep. Smith sent letters to cancer researchers in Norway demanding that they “correct the flaws in IARC.” Republicans further aided Monsanto when the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee cut $2 million in IARC funding.
Monsanto-Supreme Court Connection
Republican support for Monsanto extends all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, to former Monsanto lawyer Clarence Thomas. High court justices are supposed to recuse themselves when even the suggestion of a conflict of interest is evident. “Justice” Thomas has twice refused to recuse himself when Monsanto cases have come before the nation’s highest court. He has also voted along Republican or corporate-controlled party lines in virtually every case he has seen in all of his 28 years on the bench.
Monsanto has also been caught in bed with the U.S. EPA in the Roundup Lawsuit litigation. The Monsanto Papers have shown just how friendly the relationship has been between regulator and regulated. It is an especially important relationship on which to shine the light of truth, because Monsanto lawyers point again and again to the U.S. EPA’s refusal to look at the science behind Roundup and glyphosate – all the considerable science which has not been paid for by Monsanto. Rather than look at independent studies as the IARC did to determine glyphosate’s carcinogenicity, EPA continues to look primarily at studies bought and paid for by Monsanto. The agency initially recognized glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential back in the 1970s when Roundup was first introduced. The EPA then blew the whistle on the toxic poison, but then inexplicably altered its position years later and allowed it on the market.
Republicans help Monsanto
The EPA-Monsanto Collusion story should come out more fully in the next Roundup lawsuit trial, which is scheduled to begin this fall in Monsanto’s home town of St. Louis. The monster from the midway has lost all three of the Roundup trials held thus far, as more and more of the world is waking up to the horrendous damage Monsanto has done to our food and environment.
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