Environment

Monsanto Caught Warning EPA About Activists

Congress must investigate obvious collusion between the EPA and Monsanto.

ZAGREB, CROATIA - MAY 21, 2016 : Protesters march with signs raised through Zagreb in a protest against US biotechnology group Monsanto and against TTIP agreement.
Photo Credit: Photoman29/Shutterstock

Recent news is revealing to the mainstream public that Monsanto has been covering up the carcinogenic effects of its best-selling glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup. Congressman Ted Lieu has called for a congressional hearing on glyphosate and the possible collusion. 

Growing evidence is exposing the cozy and corrupt relationship between the chemical company and the EPA, which is supposed to be regulating its products.  

Following the exposure of emails between Jess Rowlands of the EPA and Dan Jenkins, a Monsanto employee, one of the supporters of my group, Moms Across America, visited the EPA portal FOIA where they found and alerted me to a particular email. This separate email was also sent by Jenkins and addressed to four individual EPA employees.

In this previously undisclosed email, Jenkins clearly warned the EPA that Moms Across America, Dr. Edward Group, Truth in Labeling and a few others were demonstrating in Washington, D.C. at the Food Justice Rally against glyphosate in October 2015. This was the same time period that the EPA was expected to release a decision about the approval or denial of the license for glyphosate. The delay continues, and Roundup continues to pollute our food, water, air, streams, babies and children.

This email brings up a few important questions. What type of relationship does this Monsanto employee have in which he feels it is appropriate to warn the EPA of activists' behavior? Should chemical companies have relationships like this with taxpayer-funded federal employees? And in order to have this level of familiarity with so many important officials at the EPA, using what other forms of communication, and how often, have Monsanto employees colluded with the EPA, especially regarding the pending approval or denial of the license for glyphosate?

Representative Lieu told me he is concerned by reports that Monsanto and an EPA employee engaged in inappropriate conduct to stifle reviews of glyphosate. He has called for the EPA to look into any potential misconduct. Several other House Members have also expressed support. After over 20 years of deceitful slogans, the façade of a “sustainable agriculture company” is quickly unraveling for Monsanto. Consumers, parents, Congress members, doctors and scientists are seeing the Big Ag company for what it really is: a huge racket with the intention of colluding with and influencing public officials to retain their shareholder profits.

Recent studies, proving that Roundup causes non alcoholic liver disease and that Roundup is an endocrine disruptor and a neurotoxin, raise the highly contested debate about glyphosate’s carcinogenic effects to a whole new level. The harm caused by Roundup and glyphosate-based herbicides is being revealed as too great a cost for the American public, and the emails reveal the company's desperation to cover this fact up.

It’s time to demand that monopoly buy-outs be abolished and local officials take back the roles of protecting their communities. Across the country and around the world, city councils, school boards, homeowner’s associations and universities are discontinuing the use of toxic chemicals such as Roundup, regardless of our federal government’s lack of action. It’s time our federal government and shareholders take bold action as well.

Congress must step in and maintain integrity in our regulatory system. A congressional hearing on the coverup and collusion between the EPA and Monsanto is needed to protect our democracy.

Zen Honeycutt is founder of Moms Across America.

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