Copy-Paste Scandal

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Copy-Paste Scandal

In 2017, a scandal broke when it became clear that major sections of the EU assessment report were copy-pasted directly from the industry's original application by Germany’s BfR and officials from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Questions were raised about the impartiality of the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) decision-making when it became clear that sections of dozens of pages of the EU assessment report were identical to passages in an application submitted by the Glyphosate Task Force (GTF), an industry body of pesticide companies. Under EU law, EFSA is responsible for conducting independent assessments of active substances used in plant protection products. However, a study commissioned by the European Parliament in 2019 found that in the chapters of the assessment that discussed academic studies reporting health risks, 50% of the text had been directly copied from the industry's dossier. In addition, the chapter that evaluated published studies on the genotoxicity of glyphosate consisted of as much as 96% of text that had been copied verbatim from Monsanto's application. Hence, EFSA drew on industry-sponsored review papers to guide its assessment of glyphosate.

In 2017, EFSA said that where the renewal assessment report was concerned, “every scientific study is scrutinised for relevance and reliability by EU risk assessors based on the evidence contained within the study”. According to the agency, these industry papers “served to summarise or substantiate the industry position on glyphosate”. In reality, the EFSA assessment report not only cited industry-sponsored review papers but also endorsed the views expressed in them, often repeating their descriptions and analyses verbatim.



The Guardian (2019) : EU glyphosate approval was based on plagiarized Monsanto text, report for European parliament finds

The Guardian (2017) : EU report on weedkiller safety copied text from Monsanto study

Politico (2019) : Researchers accuse German authority of plagiarism in glyphosate review

CEO, HEAL, GLOBAL 2000, PAN GERMANY. The Glyphosate Story so far: Controversy over Science, Lawsuits and Dodgy Lobbying Tactics.

Friends of the Earth Germany (2019) : Scandalous: Monsanto allegedly influenced glyphosate studies, Lobbycontrol showed that Monsanto commissioned 2 studies from Institute for Agribusiness in Giessen.

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