The inspector general for the Environmental Protection Agency is initiating a probe into possible collusion between a former high-ranking EPA official and Monsanto, the maker of the herbicide glyphosate, according to a letter the IG sent to a lawmaker [June 2] that HuffPost has obtained.
The inspector general’s move comes in response to a request from Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) for an investigation into whether the EPA staffer colluded with the agricultural giant to bias research on glyphosate, a key component of the product Roundup. His request was based on media reports of documents released in the course of a lawsuit against Monsanto alleging glyphosate causes cancer, and that the company may have spun research and hired scientists to cover this up.
“As you are aware, there is considerable public interest regarding allegations of such collusion,” wrote Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. in his response to Lieu, dated May 31. “As a result, I have asked the EPA OIG Office of Investigations to conduct an inquiry into several agency review-related matters.”
Documents released in [a] lawsuit reference internal Monsanto emails mentioning Jess Rowland, who was previously a manager in the EPA’s pesticide division, allegedly bragging to company officials in April 2015 that he could “kill” investigations into glyphosate.
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