FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Extensive Chemical Safety Fraud Uncovered at German Testing Laboratory

monkey subject at LPT Hamburg

Monkey subject at LPT Hamburg. Photo: Cruelty Free International and SOKO Tierschutz.

The case of an animal rights activist who infiltrated an independent German chemical testing laboratory has triggered the discovery of an apparently extensive chemical testing fraud.

LPT Hamburg, with around 175 employees, is one of the largest contract laboratories in Germany. It is a family owned private company. It prepares regulatory studies on behalf of the pharmaceutical and pesticide industries and has three locations: Mienenbüttel in Lower Saxony, Neugraben in Hamburg and Wankendorf in Schleswig-Holstein.

An initial case of fraud was reported in 2019 by the German magazine FAKT, which worked with the animal rights organisations Cruelty Free Internationaland SOKO-Tierschutz to expose the findings of the undercover employee. The disturbing irregularities they discovered included the death and replacement of animals without this being reported to authorities.

This distressing video from FAKT summarises the findings and was filmed at LPT.

But since the initial investigation by FAKT five former employees of LPT Hamburg have come forward with new information.

In interviews broadcast by FAKT in November of 2019, one employee told the magazine of testing fraud:

“I not only experienced it, I did it myself. I forged documents; our studies. If the results did not meet expectations, I was asked to improve them. The data that did not fit in were marked so that I could enter it on the blank protocol the new values that were given to me. The new report was also marked with the old date and my signature…”

A second employee who came forward told FAKT:

“These animals, especially in the high-dose group, actually had completely open skin – so it was the raw meat that was visible, miserable really miserable. […] In fact, one animal died in the high-dose group and was replaced by another animal. Here, too, the tattoo number, which is in the chest area of the animal, was cut out of the dead animal and added to the organs of the replaced animal after the end of the study. So that it looks as if this animal had not died at all.“

A third told FAKT that they had observed repeated falsification of studies and that they later reported this to the German authorities:

“So, a few months after I left LPT, I contacted the responsible authorities here. And had an appointment. And in this appointment we discussed the LPT issue together. It was also about manipulation of data and of course about the fact that studies were so strongly influenced that it was not compatible with my conscience.”

However, the employee never heard from the authority again.

These revelations have major implications for public and environmental health. They undermine the idea that testing by commercial laboratories is independent of the chemical industry, thereby challenging the validity of the entire system of toxicological evaluation of chemicals like pesticides and pharmaceuticals. These allegations echo previous cases of chemical testing fraud, such as the IBT scandal of the late 1970s, including the more recent realisation that this fraud was covered up by the overseeing government agencies, such as the US EPA.

A further implication, according to a new report on the LPT case carried out by PAN Germany, Corporate Europe Observatory and Global 2000 of Austria, is that many of the studies supporting the EU’s reapproval of glyphosate came from LPT.

According to the EU’s reassessment of glyphosate, all industry-derived studies on genotoxicity concluded that glyphosate was safe, or nearly so. On the other hand, the majority of peer-reviewed studies concluded it was not. In its reauthorization process the EU agency which evaluated glyphosate concluded that the industry studies submitted were reliable and the peer-reviewed studies were “not reliable”. This designation cleared the way for reauthorization. At least 21 studies submitted by Monsanto supporting glyphosate’s reauthorization came from LPT.

The primary given reason why peer reviewed studies are deemed inadmissible by regulators is that they do not have the technical certification known as Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). GLP follows OECD guidelines which were adopted by the EU in 2004.

GLP has long been criticised as failing to guarantee high quality research (Elliott et al. 2016, Myers et al. 2009, Wagner and Michaels 2004). It has always been defended, however, on the basis that it prevented exactly this kind of fraud.

References.

Elliott, Kevin C. Standardized study designs, value judgments, and financial conflicts of interest in research. Perspectives on Science 24.5 (2016): 529-551.

Myers, John Peterson, et al. Why public health agencies cannot depend on good laboratory practices as a criterion for selecting data: the case of bisphenol A. Environmental health perspectives 117.3 (2009): 309-315.

Wagner, Wendy, and David Michaels. Equal treatment for regulatory science: extending the controls governing the quality of public research  to private research. American journal of law & medicine 30.2-3 (2004): 119-154.

More articles by:

Jonathan Latham edits Independent Science News.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
March 27, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Bailouts for the Rich, the Virus for the Rest of Us
Louis Proyect
Life and Death in the Epicenter
Paul Street
“I Will Not Kill My Mother for Your Stock Portfolio”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Scum Also Rises
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Stimulus Bill Allows Federal Reserve to Conduct Meetings in Secret; Gives Fed $454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts
Jefferson Morley
Could the Death of the National Security State be a Silver Lining of COVID-19?
Ruth Hopkins
A Message For America from Brazil’s First Indigenous Congresswoman
Kathleen Wallace
The End of the Parasite Paradigm
Anthony DiMaggio
Misinformation and the Coronavirus: On the Dangers of Depoliticization and Social Media
Andrew Levine
Neither Biden Nor Trump: Imagine Cuomo
David Rosen
God’s Vengeance: the Christian Right and the Coronavirus
David Schultz
The Covid-19 Bailout: Another Failed Opportunity at Structural Change
Evaggelos Vallianatos
In the Grip of Disease
Edward Leer
Somebody Else’s World: An Interview with Kelly Reichardt
Robert Fisk
What Trump is Doing in the Middle East While You are Distracted by COVID-19
Daniel Warner
COVID-19: Health or Wealth?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
Corona in Germany: Hording and Authoritarianism
Ramzy Baroud
BJP and Israel: Hindu Nationalism is Ravaging India’s Democracy
Richard Moser
Russia-gate: the Dead But Undead
Ron Jacobs
Politics, Pandemics and Trumpism
Chris Gilbert
Letter From Catalonia: Alarming Measures
Richard Eskow
Seven Rules for the Boeing Bailout
Jonathan Carp
Coronavirus and the Collapse of Our Imaginations
Andrew Bacevich
The Coronavirus and the Real Threats to American Safety and Freedom
Peter Cohen
COVID-19, the Exponential Function and Human the Survival
César Chelala - Alberto Luis Zuppi
The Pope is Wrong on Argentina
James Preston Allen
Alexander Cockburn Meets Charles Bukowski at a Sushi Bar in San Pedro
Jérôme Duval
The Only Oxygen Cylinder Factory in Europe is Shut down and Macron Refuses to Nationalize It
Neve Gordon
Gaza Has Been Under Siege for Years. Covid-19 Could Be Catastrophic
Alvaro Huerta
To Survive the Coronavirus, Americans Should Learn From Mexicans
Prabir Purkayastha
Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Fundamental Challenges to All Societies
Raouf Halaby
Fireside Chatterer Andrew Cuomo for President
Thomas Drake
The Sobering Realities of the American Dystopia
Negin Owliaei
Wash Your Hands…If You Have Water
Felice Pace
A New Threat to California’s Rivers:  Will the Rush to Develop Our Newest Water Source Destroy More Streams?
Ray Brescia
What 9/11 Can Teach Us About Responding to COVID-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Covid-19 Opportunity
John Kendall Hawkins
An Age of Intoxication: Pick Your Poison
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Propaganda Virus: Is Anyone Immune?
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 1: Dispatches From a Terrified Heartland
Nolan Higdon – Mickey Huff
Don’t Just Blame Trump for the COVID-19 Crisis: the U.S. Has Been Becoming a Failed State for Some Time
Susan Block
Coronavirus Spring
David Yearsley
Lutz Alone
CounterPunch News Service
Letter from Truthdig’s Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer to the Publisher Zuade Kaufman
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Striking Truthdig Workers
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail