GM Free Cymru

The Monsanto files: fraud in Roundup / Glyphosate testing

A reminder (if any is needed) that companies working for Monsanto have in the past delivered the results Monsanto wanted, even if the evidence pointed somewhere else....... note the wonderful remark about uterus samples being taken from male rabbits!

Journal of Pesticide Reform, Volume 15, Number 3, Fall 1995. Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Eugene, OR. Glyphosate, Part 1: Toxicology, by Caroline Cox


Tests done on glyphosate to meet registration requirements have been associated with fraudulent practices.

Laboratory fraud first made headlines in 1983 when EPA publicly announced that a 1976 audit had discovered "serious deficiencies and improprieties" in toxicology studies conducted by Industrial Biotest Laboratories (IBT).44 Problems included "countless deaths of rats and mice that were not reported," "fabricated data tables," and "routine falsification of data."44

IBT was one of the largest laboratories performing tests in support of pesticide registrations.44 About 30 tests on glyphosate and glyphosate-containing products were performed by IBT, including 11 of the 19 chronic toxicology studies.45 A compelling example of the poor quality of IBT data comes from an EPA toxicologist who wrote, "It is also somewhat difficult not to doubt the scientific integrity of a study when the IBT stated that it took specimens from the uteri (of male rabbits) for histopathological examination."46 (Emphasis added.)

In 1991, laboratory fraud returned to the headlines when EPA alleged that Craven Laboratories, a company that performed contract studies for 262 pesticide companies including Monsanto, had falsified test results.47 "Tricks" employed by Craven Labs included "falsifying laboratory notebook entries" and "manually manipulating scientific equipment to produce false reports."48 Roundup residue studies on plums, potatoes, grapes, and sugarbeets were among the tests in question.49

The following year, the owner/president of Craven Laboratories and three employees were indicted on 20 felony counts. A number of other employees agreed to plead guilty on a number of related charges.50 The owner was sentenced to five years in prison and fined $50,000; Craven Labs was fined 15.5 million dollars, and ordered to pay 3.7 million dollars in restitution.48

Although the tests of glyphosate identified as fraudulent have been replaced, these practices cast shadows on the entire pesticide registration process.

References (relevant to the above extract)

44. U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on Government Operations. 1984. Problems plague the Environmental Protection Agency's pesticide registration activities. House Report 98-1147. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

45. U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1983. Summary of the IBT review program. Washington, D.C. (July.)

46. U.S. EPA. 1978. Data validation. Memo from K. Locke, Toxicology Branch, to R. Taylor, Registration Branch. Washington, D.C. (August 9.)

47. U.S. EPA. Communications and Public Affairs. 1991. Note to correspondents. Washington, D.C. (March 1.)

48. U.S. EPA. Communications, Education, And Public Affairs. 1994. Press advisory. Craven Laboratories, owner, and 14 employees sentenced for falsifying pesticide tests. Washington, D.C. (March 4.)

49. U.S. EPA. Communications and Public Affairs. 1991. Press advisory. EPA lists crops associated with pesticides for which residue and environmental fate studies were allegedly manipulated. Washington, D.C. (March 29.)

50. U.S. Dept. of Justice. United States Attorney. Western District of Texas. 1992. Texas laboratory, its president, 3 employees indicted on 20 felony counts in connection with pesticide testing. Austin, TX. (September 29.)