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EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is the forward written by attorney Michael Baum to “The Whole Truth About the Monsanto Papers,” a book by scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini and Jérôme Douzelet.
Baum, senior managing partner in the law firm Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, served on the trial team for the first three Monsanto Roundup lawsuits to go before juries.
“The Whole Truth About the Monsanto Papers,” available in French and English, details how Monsanto compromised scientific journals, academies, regulatory agencies, media and governments to deceive the public about the toxicity of the chemical maker’s flagship herbicide, Roundup.
In 2013, a couple of years before the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) analyzed Monsanto’s weed killer, glyphosate, and found it to be a probable human carcinogen, a technical chemical journal retracted an article about a group of rats fed Monsanto’s genetically modified corn and some of the company’s flagship herbicide, Roundup.
Until then, no animal studies longer than 90 days had been conducted using glyphosate and all the other chemicals in the herbicide’s formulation that made Roundup so effective at killing weeds.
Short term-trials or trials using just glyphosate alone were used to get Roundup approved and marketed. One hundred days was about the time rats or mice started to show tumors — so keeping trials at 90 days or less prevented the observation of tumor formation and enabled Monsanto to market Roundup as not carcinogenic.
Contrary to the accepted regulatory orthodoxy at the time, the retracted study showed otherwise — Roundup might be carcinogenic.
Understandably, with billions of dollars at stake and the agribusiness industry dependent on Roundup, the orthodox scientific community appeared to rally to Roundup’s defense, asserting the study was flawed, it wasn’t properly peer reviewed, it used cancer-prone rats and had all sorts of other nefarious methodological and scientific defects.
“Science” prevailed with the “flawed” article and its author tarred and feathered out of science town.