IARC’s designates herbicide 2,4-D ‘possibly carcinogenic’ but no data suggesting carcinogenicity

Crop spraying at Rulesmains Farm Duns geograph org uk

A near kin to the GMO controversies that ITIF deconstructed earlier this year in a comprehensive guide for policymakers is the drumbeat of often specious criticism directed at some of the other essential inputs for innovative, commercial-scale agriculture. The latest case in point was an announcement last week from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that one of the world’s most widely used weed killers, this time 2,4-D, is “possibly carcinogenic.”

The announcement from IARC comes in the form of a brief report of barely 1,000 words, of which one-third (about one page of text) is devoted to 2,4-D. This is not a reputable approach to science, nor to policy.

IARC states that, “The Working Group conducted a meta-analysis of 11 studies that showed no association of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with ever-exposure to 2,4-D…. The consensus of the Working Group was that there is inadequate evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of 2,4-D, although a substantial minority considered that the evidence was limited.” [Emphasis added.]

Related article:  Ronald Bailey: Legal vultures use activist claims about glyphosate for 'bogus' Quaker Oats lawsuit

Part of what’s going on here is admitted by IARC in its press release, which says, “The IARC Monographs Programme evaluates cancer hazards but not the risks associated with exposure.”

The most difficult issues with which regulatory agencies around the world must deal are how to assess risk accurately (exposure to a hazard) and how to manage risks appropriately. To stop at merely identifying a potential hazard, as IARC does, is not helpful to regulators, and an IARC spokesperson admits as much. The question, then, is what purpose is served by provoking concerns with classifications unsupported by data, and failing to provide regulators with something they might actually find to be helpful?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Caught in the Crosshairs: The Flawed and Flimsy Case Against a Widely Used Weed Killer

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend