The publisher of the academic journal Critical Reviews in Toxicology, which analyzes health risks of chemicals, issued an “Expression of Concern” regarding published safety reviews involving Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, because the authors “have been unable to provide an adequate explanation to why the required level of transparency was not met on first submission.”
Monsanto, which was recently acquired by Bayer AG, was accused of allegedly ghostwriting scientific literature to counter claims that the chemical glyphosate in its Roundup causes cancer. The research was published in the journal in 2016.
The allegations came up during the first trial against Monsanto over Roundup cancer claims. In that case, a school groundskeeper claimed that regular use of Monsanto’s Roundup and Ranger Pro weed killers, both of which contain glyphosate, caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Last month, a California jury sided with the plaintiff and awarded the man $289 million.
Monsanto argued that its safety review was conducted by an independent party. The publisher of Critical Reviews in Toxicology isn’t changing the articles. A Monsanto spokesman also told Bloomberg that the articles are “a small part of an extensive body of research” into the safety of glyphosate-containing herbicides, and that the conclusions “are those of the authors and the authors alone.”
However, the Expression of Concern raises definite red flags and may have an impact on the more than 9,500 lawsuits that allege exposure to the weed killers contributed to non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnoses.