The Monsanto Papers: Poisoning the scientific well

Int J Risk Saf Med. 2018;29(3-4):193-205. doi: 10.3233/JRS-180028.


Objective: Examination of de-classified Monsanto documents from litigation in order to expose the impact of the company's efforts to influence the reporting of scientific studies related to the safety of the herbicide, glyphosate.

Methods: A set of 141 recently de-classified documents, made public during the course of pending toxic tort litigation, In Re Roundup Products Liability Litigation were examined.

Results: The documents reveal Monsanto-sponsored ghostwriting of articles published in toxicology journals and the lay media, interference in the peer review process, behind-the-scenes influence on retraction and the creation of a so-called academic website as a front for the defense of Monsanto products.

Conclusion: The use of third-party academics in the corporate defense of glyhphosate reveals that this practice extends beyond the corruption of medicine and persists in spite of efforts to enforce transparency in industry manipulation.

Keywords: Carcinogenicity; Intertek; Monsanto; Roundup; conflicts of interest; genotoxicity; ghostwriting; glyphosate; herbicides; key opinion leaders; non-Hodgkins lymphoma; third parties.

MeSH terms

  • Conflict of Interest*
  • Ethics, Research*
  • Glycine / adverse effects
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glyphosate
  • Herbicides / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / chemically induced*
  • Peer Review


  • Herbicides
  • Glycine