Consumer groups and law firms are raising awareness for farm worker and consumer health after internal emails leaked this week show Monsanto’s leading herbicide Roundup could cause cancer, and previous research showing no health risks was completed by company employees.
The Organic Consumers Association has called on members of Congress to conduct a full investigation into whether or not officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) colluded with Monsanto to withhold scientific evidence stating the company’s flagship product potentially could cause cancer.
“Consumers are told to rely on the EPA to determine the safety of chemicals like glyphosate, and products like Roundup,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association in a statement. “When credible sources indicate that EPA officials have deliberately compromised the safety of the public, consumers have a right to know. Monsanto should not be allowed to continue to profit from sales of a product that some EPA scientists, and scientists at World Health Organization, have determined is likely to cause cancer.”
Court documents comprised of internal emails show that some research previously relied upon actually had been conducted by Monsanto’s employees.
A March 2015 study from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer unanimously concluded that Roundup is a “probable” human carcinogen.
On Friday, 136 new cases were filed in St.Louis, the location of Monsanto headquarters, on behalf of U.S. farm workers who say glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, caused them to develop cancer. That same law firm expects more than 3,000 cases to be filed in the next few months, according to St. Louis Public Radio.
Monsanto was contacted for comment but has not responded as of press time.