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Credit: University at Albany

SUNY-Albany professor reinstated after Monsanto attempts to discredit his work

David Carpenter, a longtime toxics researcher and frequent expert witness for those suing Monsanto, can resume teaching and research at University at Albany.

State University of New York at Albany ended its investigation against researcher David Carpenter, determining there will be no discipline taken and he can resume teaching and researching.

Carpenter — a public health physician who has spent his career researching the impacts of pollutants on the brain, particularly PCBs ( or polychlorinated biphenyls) and their effect on IQ — was placed on “alternate assignment” about nine months ago by the university after three public records requests were sent to the University at Albany from a law firm that has represented Monsanto in pollution cases. The records were regarding Carpenter’s service as an expert witness against Monsanto in cases involving PCB exposure.

Monsanto was the primary U.S. manufacturer of PCBs until they were banned in the U.S. in 1979.

Carpenter was barred from his office and laboratory, prohibited from teaching and initially forbidden all contact with his students.

Yesterday the university lifted his restrictions, saying the university completed its internal investigation and "no discipline will be imposed based on such investigation."

"Consistent with procedure and practice, Dr. Carpenter is no longer on an alternate assignment and may now teach and conduct research on campus. As is standard, UAlbany and Dr. Carpenter also entered into a Conflict Management Plan to ensure future activities are carried out in compliance with all applicable laws and policies," the statement read.

Carpenter said in a statement that he is "very happy that the University has concluded its investigation and announced that my work as an expert witness did not merit discipline."

"I am very proud of my work with plaintiffs around the country who seek to hold Monsanto responsible for the damage done by its products, and I am humbled and deeply appreciative of the thousands of people who heard about my situation and supported me," Carpenter added.

Public records request by Monsanto 

The issue stemmed from a Freedom of Information Law request filed by a law firm that represents Monsanto in PCB lawsuits.

Earlier this month Bayer, the parent company of Monsanto, filed an emergency motion in a pending case where Carpenter testified on behalf of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, who allege increased risk of cancer due to PCB exposure. "The university’s disciplinary investigation of Dr. Carpenter," the motion states, "is critically material to the jury’s determination of Dr. Carpenter’s credibility and bias."

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