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The New York Times reports that documents in a new lawsuit against Monsanto "raised new questions about the company’s efforts to influence the news media and scientific research and revealed internal debate over the safety of its highest-profile product, the weed killer Roundup." While glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been declared safe by the majority of regulators, "a case in federal court in San Francisco continues to raise questions about the company’s practices and the product itself."

Here's the specific problem, as described by the Times:

"Documents show that Henry I. Miller, an academic and a vocal proponent of genetically modified crops, asked Monsanto to draft an article for him that largely mirrored one that appeared under his name on Forbes’s website in 2015. Mr. Miller could not be reached for comment.

"A similar issue appeared in academic research. An academic involved in writing research funded by Monsanto, John Acquavella, a former Monsanto employee, appeared to express discomfort with the process, writing in a 2015 email to a Monsanto executive, 'I can’t be part of deceptive authorship on a presentation or publication'."

Now, the Times also points out that "a Monsanto official said the comments were the result of 'a complete misunderstanding' that had been 'worked out,' while Mr. Acquavella said in an email on Tuesday that 'there was no ghostwriting' and that his comments had been related to an early draft and a question over authorship that was resolved."

The story also says that the documents "show that a debate outside Monsanto about the relative safety of glyphosate and Roundup, which contains other chemicals, was also taking place within the company," with ongoing discussion about whether there was enough proof to be able to say confidently that glyphosate - the ingredient in a product used by many farmers - is not carcinogenic.
KC's View:
It may not confirm anything so much as deeply ingrained cynicism on my part that none of these accusations surprise me. Gosh, big companies like Monsanto spending money to get its own way and even engaging in "deceptive authorship"?

Yeah, and I'm shocked to learn that there is gambling at Rick's in Casablanca.