WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity today asked the Trump administration for public records to assess the pesticide industry’s influence on the Environmental Protection Agency proposal to reapprove the cancer-linked pesticide glyphosate.
The request targets communications between the EPA’s pesticide office, political appointees and the pesticide industry regarding the proposed reapproval of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.
Under federal law all pesticides must go through a re-approval process every 15 years to incorporate any new research and restrictions that may be necessary to protect public health and the environment. Glyphosate’s last review was in 1993 – 26 years ago.
This record’s request comes one day after court filings showed that a corporate intelligence firm hired by Monsanto reported to the company that an advisor at the Trump White House stated: “We have Monsanto’s back on pesticides regulation. We are prepared to go toe-to-toe on any disputes they may have with, for example, the EU. Monsanto need not fear any additional regulation from this administration.”
“Monsanto may have nothing to fear from the Trump administration, but the rest of us do,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist with the Center. “The public has a right to know just how far this corrupt administration is willing to go to appease its corporate masters.”
Last week, in a move that contradicted a 2015 World Health Organization analysis that determined glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, the EPA proposed to reapprove glyphosate with no further restrictions to protect humans from harm.
The corporate intelligence firm hired by Monsanto noted that there are major differences among professional, career EPA staff and Trump political appointees on glyphosate.
In addition to the WHO, other U.S. federal agencies have acknowledged evidence of glyphosate’s link to cancer. This includes the EPA’s Office of Research and Development and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
In the past nine months two juries have ordered Monsanto, which is now owned by Bayer, to pay multimillion-dollar awards to glyphosate users suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which independent research has linked to glyphosate.
The EPA’s recent proposed decision to reapprove glyphosate comes just as attorneys are wrapping up their final arguments in the third major case in which plaintiffs suffering from cancer are suing Monsanto.