Rowland has been named in dozens of lawsuits filed against Monsanto and its Roundup weed killer. And a February 10 court filing claims that the EPA has actually tried to protect Monsanto`s interests and “unfairly aid the agrichemical industry,” according to EcoWatch(Feb. 14, 2017).
The filing (MDL No. 2742, Case No. 16-md-02741-VC) refers to Rowland as a private citizen who formerly served as Monsanto’s chief “friend” within the EPA. It says he “left EPA mysteriously within days of an “inadvertent” leak and subsequent retraction of an EPA draft report on the safety of glyphosate, that bore Mr. Rowland’s signature.”
Rowland, who chaired the agency’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC), resigned from his position a few days after the CARC report was posted and then taken off the EPA website on May 2. The report, which stated that glyphosate was “not likely to be carcinogenic”, was based on an EPA cancer assessment for glyphosate that Rowland had been responsible for overseeing. But the report had been leaked to the media before it was removed from the agency’s website.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria is presiding over the case. He agrees that the evidence demonstrates a “highly suspicious” relationship between Rowland and Monsanto, and said, “When you consider the relevance of the EPA’s reports, and you consider their relevance to this litigation, it seems appropriate to take Jess Rowland’s deposition.”
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In the filing, Copley said, “I have cancer and I don’t want these serious issues in HED to go un-addressed before I go to my grave. I have done my duty.”