Glyphosate, more fraud in scientific studies produced by ‘corporations’

0
28

Glyphosate is like a magician’s top hat, out of which dead animals and other nefarious deeds of the pesticide and seed monopolists keep coming, the
Big 4
. The latest news concerns a series of frauds in scientific studies that a prestigious laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, has published over the years. For the express purpose of concealing the genotoxic and carcinogenic effects of the world’s best-selling herbicide.(1)

The fake studies were commissioned and used by the Corporations to obtain renewal of glyphosate use authorization, including in Europe in 2017. Authorization that must be revoked immediately, precisely because it stems from a risk assessment based on false papers.

Hamburg, LPT. The science fraud laboratory

An undercover investigator worked between December 2018 and March 2019 at the Mienenbüttel center of the Laboratory of Pharmacology and Toxicology (LPT) in Hamburg. The investigation aimed to verify compliance with rules protecting the animals used for testing, violations of which were in fact found and documented. However, the undercover agent also noted the case of the death of a monkey in the course of research, which was concealed in the relevant scientific study.

ARD Fakt magazine-after reporting this case of serious scientific fraud in its 10/15/19 broadcast-has collected reports from some former employees of the LTP laboratory. Who in turn described a series of repeated and systematic manipulations and falsifications within scientific studies conducted between 2005 and 2019.

Scientific fraud was carried out by substitution of animals used in the tests. Monkeys and rats that died as a result of the experiments were replaced with live animals to falsely validate the safety of the tested substances. Data on the occurrence of cancers following exposure to active ingredients have been falsified. In the more general context of systematic falsification of study protocols and their results.

The role of LPT studies in glyphosate approval procedures

1 in 7 new ‘GLP’(Good Laboratory Practice) studies, of the 150 used in glyphosate approval procedures, could be attributed to LPT Hamburg. In fact, an electronic screening of the list of studies submitted by Monsanto in May 2012 shows 14 papers with the abbreviation LPT and 7 other studies prepared by the same authors on the same active ingredient, during the same period (2009-2010). Pending further verification of numerous other studies.

The evaluation of the genotoxicity of glyphosate-at the time carried out by the German Federal Agency for Risk Analysis (BfR), under delegation from the European Commission-had considered a total of 46 GLP studies, conducted by the manufacturers themselves or their contracted laboratories, 3 of which were carried out by LPT. These studies, with one exception, converged in indicating that glyphosate and pesticides containing it do not cause genotoxicity.

Genotoxicity of glyphosate. EU and IARC, assessments compared

In contrast, the genotoxicity of glyphosate had emerged in the vast majority of 72 independent studies from university or government research institutions, subject to peer review and scientific publication. The German Federal Risk Analysis Authority, however-as this writer had also complained since 2011 (2)- nevertheless considered the aforementioned studies ‘unreliable’ or ‘reliable with restrictions,’ due to the lack of GLP status. Conversely, considering studies performed by private individuals under GLP(Good Laboratory Practice) as ‘reliable’ a priori. (3) With disruptive impact on the outcome of the evaluation.

The IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer established by the WHO, has instead recognized the ‘strong evidence’‘ of the genotoxicity of glyphosate in the same studies – the subject of peer review and scientific publication-that first the BfR, then ECHA (European Chemical Agency) and EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) considered insufficient to prove the serious danger identified. Neglecting, however, the
Monsanto Papers
. Namely, documents and other evidence already collected by various U.S. courts that demonstrated the falsification of previous GLP studies produced by Monsanto, as well as the Corporation ‘s collusion with senior Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials.

Agrotoxics, hazard conundrum. Immediate withdrawal of glyphosate authorization

The European Commission must address the LPT scandal with safeguard measures to be adopted urgently:

Immediately revoke the authorization of glyphosate. Risk assessments, because they are carried out on the basis of false studies, have no legal value. The European Commission must revoke the authorization hic et nunc (here and now), pending new assessments,

likewise for active substances-between pesticides and herbicides, medicines, MOCAs (Materials and Objects for Food Contact) and other chemicals-authorized in the EU through studies conducted at the LPT.

The fake studies revealed by PAN-Europe appear to be the tip of the iceberg of a system of fraud, political pressure and lobbying, and corruption. Between December 2019 and January 2020, it is worth mentioning, they emerged:

other scientific fraud, again from Germany, paid for by Monsanto and also used by Bayer for the renewal of the EU authorization of glyphosate,

bogus scientific studies and viral deception, in the U.S., to favor authorization and prevent the introduction of limits on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides,

The falsity of glyphosate consumption data reported by the Corporation for risk assessments and subsequent approvals, in the EU as in the US, compared to actual average consumption (by more than double the amount) and residues in GMO soybeans.

Agrotoxics, reform needs

The coalition Citizens for Science in Pesticide Regulation (CSPR)-in which more than 140 environmental and public health advocacy groups participate-has long called for reform of the European regulation of agrotoxics. Calling for the precautionary and transparency principles to be fully affirmed in this area. Which involve, among other things:

a ban on allowing the use of pesticides and herbicides until it is established that there is no risk to human health and ecosystems (by EFSA) and that safer alternatives (substances or treatments) do not exist,

– The concrete application of the key-principle of the SUD(Sustainable Use of Pesticides, dir. 2009/128/EC) directive. That is, pesticides and herbicides can be used only as a last resort, when all other nonchemical alternatives have been applied and failed,

Full access to documents related to risk assessments and authorizations, as a right recognized by the EU Court of Justice precisely in the glyphosate case, (4)

PAN (Pesticides Action Network) Europe, an active member of the Coalition, reiterates the primary need to outsource experimental risk assessment testing to independent laboratories, to be chosen by the authorities on a case-by-case basis after verifying that there are no conflicts of interest between the laboratories and their researchers, on the one hand, and the applicant industries, on the other.

Italy of the three monkeys

Acclaimed reports of scientific fraud in acts underlying the authorization in the EU of the world’s most widely used herbicide, also currently used in Italy, find no voice in the Bel Paese. And if ‘tothink wrong is a sin but it is often guessed‘ (quoting Giulio Andreotti), how is it possible that the Empire of Evil grinds away at ten-figure revenues poisoning the planet and its inhabitants in the stony silence of the mainstream media and from politics in Italy? Shame!

Dario Dongo

Notes

(1) PAN Europe. Fraud in German laboratory casts additional doubts on the 2017 re-approval of glyphosate and on the entire EU pesticide safety evaluation procedure. Press release 11.2.20, https://www.pan-europe.info/press-releases/2020/02/fraud-german-laboratory-casts-additional-doubts-2017-re-approval-glyphosate

(2) Notes on independent scientific studies and BfR assessments of glyphosate safety in previous articles https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/armi-di-distruzione-di-massa-il-glifosato
and https://www.greatitalianfoodtrade.it/idee/glifosato-ora-basta (see footnote 15)

(3) On the dangers associated with aprioristic confidence in AQA studies, see Burtscher Schaden H., Clausing P., Van Scharen H. (2020) Dangerous Confidence In “Good Laboratory Practice”. Factsheet. A PAN Germany, Global2000, Corporate Europe Observatory Report, https://pan-germany.org/download/factsheet-dangerous-confidence-in-good-laboratory-practice/

(4) The right of full access at dossier EFSA’s risk assessment was affirmed by the EU General Court in its 7.3.19 judgment. See footnote 5 to the previous article (5) EU General Court, Cases T-716/14 Anthony C. Tweedale v. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and T-329/17 Hautala and Others v. EFSA, judgment 7.3.19.