Monsanto, glyphosate (Roundup) and Swedish cancer epidemiologist

Documents are now becoming publicly available in the US glyphosate litigation. Here are some of the first results indicating secret work by the Swedish cancer epidemiologist Hans-Olov Adami for Monsanto. The whole document can be found here.

It includes Monsanto emails regarding Hardell study rebuttal:

  • “We are creating a scientific outreach network of prominent epidemiologists in Europe and the U.S., including Dimitrios Trichopoulos (Harvard/Greece) and Hans-Olov Adami (Harvard/Sweden), who will assist us in defending glyphosate. we are planning meetings with them and with four prominent epidemiologists in each of the following areas; UK (this meeting is set for August 17th), Scandinavia (targeting sept.), Italy/Greece (targeting August), Netherlands/France/Germany (targeting Sept.) and the US (targeting October). The purpose of these meetings is to raise awareness of the limitations of Hardell’s research and gain support for glyphosate in the epidemiologic community worldwide.”
  • “Hans-Olav and Dimitrios were good friends of John Acquavella. We worked with them a lot when John was here.”

John Acquavella was epidemiologist at Monsanto defending herbicides. This attack on our studies concerns our findings of increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and use of herbicides including glyphosate. Glyphosate is a large product for Monsanto used in e.g. genetically modified crops.

These documents are new and were filed 28 October 2017. The above paragraph goes back to activities in 1999. There are much more documents on glyphosate that Monsanto has been forced to disclose in the US litigation. However, they are so new that they are not organized yet.

Maybe this is the tip of an iceberg similar to that released about tobacco and lung cancer since before in US litigations revealing scientists with hidden industry work. Regarding Adami – his industry defense of cancer causing agents is especially remarkable since he at the same time gained large grants from the Swedish Cancer Fund aimed at preventing cancer.

More about ’Corporate Ties that Bind’ can be read in a book published this year. Some of the Adami industry activities can be found in .e.g. Chapter 9 ’Greenwashing: The Swedish Experience’ by Bo Walhjalt.

Finally it should be noted that I am not aware of any contacts from Monsanto regarding our studies. I have not contacted journalists about our findings. I am quite neutral to Monsanto with a professional attitude to that company.


Pentachlorophenol is a human carcinogen, Group 1

In October 2016 18 scientists met at IARC for evaluation of pentachlorophenol (PCP) as a human carcinogen. The panel classified PCP as ‘carcinogenic to humans’ Group 1. PCP is a persistent organic pollutant under the Stockholm Convention. Chlorophenols, mostly PCP, have been used as wood preservatives. The use was banned in Sweden in 1978 with few exceptions. Wood impregnated with PCP may still entail a health hazard. In case-control studies we associated use of chlorophenols, as well as phenoxy herbicides, with increased risk for soft-tissue sarcoma (1979) and malignant lymphoma, both Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (1981). These results were the first studies in the world showing a carcinogenic potential of these agents, and further discussed in an article published in 1982.

Our results associated exposure to chlorophenols and the weed-killers phenoxy herbicides, with contaminating TCDD, with increased risk for soft-tissue sarcoma and malignant lymphoma. The results were soon questioned by industry and its allied experts including scientists with their own hidden agenda, even with funds from the Swedish Cancer Society aimed at preventing cancer, see


The lesson is that it took 37 years from the first publication showing PCP as a human carcinogen to establish causation, years that were lost for cancer prevention.