GM Free Cymru

Monsanto -- more than 30 years of successful scientific fraud

Date Added to website 27th May 2014

Now that there is close focus on GMO crops which will be planted with the use of 2,4-D (a successor of Agent Orange) it is worth reminding ourselves of the scale of scientific fraud that exists in the GMO regulatory business and in the "tame" scientific community. We have been looking at some ancient history, from the year 1990, and have been appalled at what we found:

Cate Jenkins seems like a tough lady -- sacked twice by the EPA for whistleblowing, once on Monsanto's scientific fraud re Agent Orange and then again on the issue of toxic dust from 9/11.........

See also the Greenpeace Report called "Science for Sale" (1990),%20fraude%20sur

Based on careful examination of Monsanto and EPA records, the Greenpeace scientists concluded: "Based on the published studies themselves, intra-Monsanto memoranda, and sworn testimony of Monsanto staff and consultants, this report outlines a pattern of manipulation of data and study methods in order to obtain the predetermined result that dioxin had no negative effects on worker health."

Greenpeace also made this firm recommendation: "Discontinue reliance on the Monsanto studies and revoke / revise all policy decisions, regulations and recommendations in which these studies were given any credence........."

Almost 25 years have passed, and it is extraordinary that in spite of many other cases of Monsanto scientific fraud being brought to light, the regulators of both the USA and Europe still accept Monsanto findings at face value, use their dossiers and commissioned studies as "proof of no harm" and give consents for Monsanto GMOs including those dependent upon large doses of Roundup herbicide for their "protection." These regulators are not naive, and it can only be concluded that they are therefore corrupt, and that they see their task as one of facilitating the commercial success of Monsanto rather than protecting the environment and public health.

The Cate Jenkins & Bill Sanjour cases

After Greenpeace and Joe Thornton published their revelations in the 1990 report, Science for Sale, about Monsanto’s falsified scientific research, the campaign group decided to refer these issues once again to the EPA. They sent their report to Cate Jenkins, the EPA scientist who was responsible at the time for detecting toxic industrial discharges and for developing a regime to control them. An acknowledged expert on dioxin, with a reputation for taking a hard line with polluters, she had already had some run-ins with her bosses, who took the view that she pursued some of her investigations too thoroughly.

As soon as she saw the report Cate Jenkins understood what impact its revelations could have on regulation of dioxins in the US. It was on the basis of the only epidemiological studies available at the time, that’s to say those that had been done by Monsanto, that the EPA had concluded in 1988 that “The human evidence supporting an association between 2,3,7,8-TCDD [dioxin] and cancer is considered inadequate”. [1] The agency had therefore decided to classify dioxin as a group B2 carcinogen, that’s to say a “probable human carcinogen” for which there existed only “sufficient animal evidence”. [2]For Cate Jenkins, it was obvious that if Monsanto’s research had not been rigged, the conclusions drawn by the EPA – and also by the rest of the world, which copied its position from the US – would have been different.

Hence she decided to draw up a confidential report, titled “Newly revealed fraud by Monsanto in an epidemiological study used by EPA to assess human health effects from dioxins” [3]which she sent, on 23 February 1990, to the President of the Executive Committee of the Agency’s Science Advisory Board, as well as to the Office of the Administrator. She included several documents including exhibits from the Kemner trial and asked for a scientific audit of Monsanto’s research to be carried out. At that point Cate Jenkins became a “whistleblower”. Whistleblowers are “men and women who work in a public institution or in a large private enterprise and who, at a given moment, realise that their employer is putting the public interest in danger by violating a law or regulation, a crime often doubled by fraud or corruption”.

Under pressures from Monsanto, including correspondence with the EPA’s directorate, among others, Ms Jenkins was “given the push” for being too independent.

It seems clear that Monsanto had highly placed allies inside the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Thus the firm was informed about Cate Jenkins’ internal and confidential report, as is evidenced by a letter from James H Senger, Vice President of Monsanto, to Raymond C Loehr, the President of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board. We can read JH Senger’s remarks as follows: “Monsanto has learned of the EPA’s receipt of highly inflammatory and inaccurate information pertaining to epidemiology studies involving Monsanto’s Nitro, West Virginia plant (...) The allegations of fraud are not credible (...) We are very disturbed by the false charges being made against Monsanto and Dr. Suskind.” Less than three weeks later, it was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Monsanto, Richard J Mahoney, who wrote in person to William Reilly, Administrator of the EPA, enclosing an article from the Charleston Gazette : “Unfortunately, that internal EPA memorandum has now found its way to the news media and is being treated as the official EPA position (...) This is creating a serious problem for Monsanto that we simply don’t deserve. We request a prompt statement from your office to the effect that Ms. Jenkins does not speak for the US EPA on this issue and that her views are hers alone and not the official position of the agency”. There followed a response from R. Clay, the Assistant Administrator, who apologised for any trouble caused by the report: “The opinions expressed in the internal EPA memorandum were those of Dr. Jenkins not the EPA (...) We regret any problem that Monsanto may have had as a result of the news media’s use of this memorandum. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me”.

An enquiry was begun by the EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement but it turned out to be very brief, as is shown by the reports of the investigators’ activities. Finally, the EPA announced that it did not have the capability to check the allegations of fraud that had been made by Cate Jenkins. At the end of the day the affair was to be buried by the twists and turns of bureaucracy…

Another EPA whistleblower, William Sanjour, commented about this affair that: “The EPA is simply more concerned with protecting the interests of the people it is supposed to regulate than in protecting the public interest”.

In a report entitled “The Monsanto Investigation” William Sanjour, who had already been removed from his job by his bosses because he had sounded the alarm on another issue, took the EPA authorities to task for their inability to investigate the allegations that the Monsanto Company had falsified its research on the carcinogenic nature of dioxin. In the end these two people who had been gagged by their bosses, took their employer the EPA to court, and obtained a judgement in the US confirming that whistleblowers have the right to expose their employer when the employer is manifestly breaking the law.

[1] EPA, Drinking Water Criteria Document for 2,3,7,8_Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, Office of Research and Development, Cincinnati, ECAO-CIN-405, April 1988

[2] The EPA system of classification followed that recommended by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. At the time this was designated under 6 groups: group A (human carcinogen); group B (probable human carcinogen), with two categories; group B1 (sufficient animal and limited human evidence) and group B2 (sufficient animal but no human evidence), etc.; down to group E (not a human carcinogen).

[3] Cate Jenkins, “Memo to Raymond Loehr: Newly revealed fraud by Monsanto in an epidemiological study used by EPA to assess human health effects from dioxins”, 23 February1990