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European Food Safety Authority rejects WHO’s IARC conclusion that glyphosate is carcinogenic

| November 13, 2015

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

EFSA and the EU Member States have finalized the re-assessment of glyphosate, a chemical that is used widely in pesticides.

The peer review group concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to be genotoxic (i.e. damaging to DNA) or to pose a carcinogenic threat to humans. Glyphosate is not proposed to be classified as carcinogenic under the EU regulation for classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances. In particular, all the Member State experts but one agreed that neither the epidemiological data (i.e. on humans) nor the evidence from animal studies demonstrated causality between exposure to glyphosate and the development of cancer in humans.

Related article:  Pesticides Part III: Comparing pesticide use in agroecological and conventional agriculture

EFSA also considered the report published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans. The evaluation considered a number of studies not assessed by the IARC which is one of the reasons for reaching different conclusions.

The EFSA conclusion will inform the European Commission in deciding whether or not to retain the substance on the EU’s list of approved active substances. This is a condition for enabling Member States to authorize its continued use in pesticides in the EU.

Read full, original post: Glyphosate: EFSA updates toxicological profile

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

41 thoughts on “European Food Safety Authority rejects WHO’s IARC conclusion that glyphosate is carcinogenic”

  1. This is another painful nail in the coffin of the genetically illiterate enemies of science and farming who just got their butts handed to them with the classification of red meat as a carcinogen, on the exact same list with glyphosate, coffee, fried potatoes and lunchmeat preservatives. How many of those activists drink coffee, making a mockery of their holding up the IARC ruling as alleged evidence of how ‘dangerous’ it is?

  2. There’s a difference between being genotoxic and having other modes of action that can affect health outcomes negatively, such as affecting the gut microbiota. It’s not been studied, and it’s a reasonably likely hypothesis. This is a concern. We recently learned that PCBs cause hypertension with a low dose effect, and that people are exposed by breathing the volatile compounds in the air, such as long the Hudson River. This is something like 30 years after they were banned, and yet the new modes of action continue to be discovered. So let’s have some integrity and get on the ball, and study the molecule’s interaction with the human body, not just sit here and promote propaganda with wishful thinking. Let’s turn over the stones and see what’s underneath them.

    • This babbling ramble from the guy who vigorously defends Food Babe Vani Hari, and believes (without any scientific citations) that she is scientifically credible. Beliefs without any supporting evidence are just meaningless drivel. “I believe it because I want to, neener neener.”

      Good news from the European Food Safety Authority, based on evidence. The mountains of myth are crumbling.

      • Do you have anything of substance to say? I am concerned that glyphosate could increase rates of cancer due to other modes of action than have been studied to date lowering immune response, which could thereby reduce inhibition of cancer, as well as other disease outcomes. It’s a realistic concern.

        • Citation, please. Or is this all just speculation, based on what Food Boob has to say? Does she pay you? How much? Where DO you get your bizarre speculations, by the way? Why no citations, ever?
          Your post is, as I said, a babbling ramble from a Food Babe-supporting cracktivist.

          • Citation please, yourself…. you’re empty. Wasting my time. Who is babbling here? I’ve provided numerous citations elsewhere, when people were actually in dialogue and genuinely engaged. You’re not. You’re a waste of my time. People like you are so full of it. Completely empty rhetoric, so by the playbook. Do they give you a book of canned responses? Do you have an app and just need to type the “citation please?” button?

          • “They” ? “People like you”? Uh oh. Serious paranoia here.
            You have cited Food Babe’s website. Um, not real credible. Is that all you got?
            Your uninformed opinionated babbling has never been documented reliably. That’s why you keep regurgitating the same ole unlearned opinions based on nothing. Ever notice that I’m not the only one asking you for citations?
            Unless …. drum roll here … we are all the Same Person.

          • Note that the excuse about dose response being nonlinear is not a relevant excuse for hiding away this information. It’s a solid dataset showing glyphosate causing pancreatic adenoma. Whoever said that dose response must be linear to show carcinogenicity? That sounds like moving the goal posts. So what’s your problem? What’s your extreme bias against seeing this without a predisposed conclusion in your mind? Why aren’t you saying “Hmmm, this is interesting. Let’s think about it.” Instead you’re saying “No, you’re wrong, and you’re so stupid, you just don’t understand, etc…” the old playbook of the abusive gaslighting propagandist. Well, i don’t give a flying squirrel. It is what it is. Read it and weep. You’re welcome.

          • You can’t read studies correctly. But then again, as an avid supporter of Food Boob, you think her preachings are legit science, so what more needs to be said?
            Here is where you get your info on glyphosate, from Fraud Berb herself:
            “Hmmmnm, this is interesting. Let’s think about it,” you say.

            You do not believe that toxicity is related to dose. Bizarre. Your odd views are contrary those of scientists, researchers, physicians, and toxicologists. Your beliefs are so entrenched in concrete that they irrationally guide your thinking, and so does Fraud Boob. Whatevah.

            Take another class or two in science and statistics, and then come back here when you have something credible to say.

            Oh, and you need to look up the definition of gaslighting.

          • Dude you need soap in your mouth, you little … fill in the blank with a colorful phrase of your own choosing. You’re upset because the numbers don’t lie and you are desperately trying to push your agenda which is merely a PR message for god knows whom or what reason, perhaps related to an ideology or some client relationship.

          • I’m not little, and I may or may not even be a Dude, but I am smart, on-point, relevant, and scientifically literate (filling in the flank with a colorful phrase of my own choosing – thank you).

            Soap in my mouth? OK, as long as it’s organic and approved (and preferably sold by) your beloved Fraud Boob.

            I’m not upset (now, that IS gaslighting) because as you say, numbers don’t lie. I’m not trying to push a PR message (again, that IS gaslighting), but am interested in science and common sense, and fighting woo like your much-admired Fewd Bewb sells.

            You could do with a few classes in critical thinking, logic, statistics, and basic high school science. Take them, and then come back with some cogent arguments.

            You don’t believe that toxicity is based on dose, and there’s no use arguing with a turnup. Whatevah.

            My ideology is science and truth. Suck it up.

          • No. Maintaining that this “solid dataset” shows a causal relationship in the absence of the dose response is moving the goalposts. This data is all over the place.
            “Whoever said that dose response must be linear to show carcinogenicity?” I didn’t, but the 8000 ppm data isn’t even statistically significant. Points to a problem with the controls…what were they? Sprague-Dawley critters…starting to make sense.

          • Hey, try not beginning a comment with “No.” Anyway, those numbers don’t lie, Loren, so what’s your problem? That is extreme significance there of p < 0.02 for the lowest dose, and the others being higher p values is probably because the test looked for linear correlation. Anyway, not all such correlations are linear. The raw numbers are powerful. Ignore the p values then. Whatever. You can't deny it even though you want to. You can't change reality, you know? No amount of PR can make the sky green and the grass blue. PR cannot cover this. Sorry, Ketchum, you're out of luck now. Time to give our Earth back to the people.

          • No.
            Loren Eaton’s “no” response is perfect.
            Raw numbers are only powerful when interpreted correctly. Ask any scientist that. (seriously, you don’t know that, but are happy to throw around p values as if you actually understand them?)
            Reality is numbers interpreted correctly. I will repeat that: Numbers are fun, but only mean something when interpreted correctly. Otherwise you join the minions of Food Babe Army who can’t tell the difference between correlation and causation. You’ve seen the charts that beautifully appear to — I’ll repeat: appear to — show a “causation” between autism and the rise in sales of organic food. Meaningless.
            So, No. Numbers don’t lie. And you need to take some science and statistics classes so you don’t continue to misrepresent raw data, in the way that your beloved and much admired Fraud Barbie does. Maybe idiots on her FB page would go “oooooo” and “aaaaaah,” but your assertions here are pretty silly.

          • So uh yeah what you say frd brb khejel ekjqwkh elkjd adskdsj;l asdkjhs adljd oh yeah you fhldf kjlhklhjsd jdhjds ha h ha ha ha

          • Jason, that’s what reason and logic do to cement-fixed brains. They scramble the wiring. Actually, that babble is exactly what you find on his heroine Fewd Derp’s page from her syncophantic sheep. Pretty funny!

            I guess the dose (lots and lots of logic and science) did make the poison (irrational blathering), and finally did scramble his brains. But we’d need a few Sprague Dawson rats to experiment on, to confirm this.


          • Um, but you don’t know how to read them. And you don’t accept dose-related effects. And you think that Vain Hair is a good source of scientific info. Can’t argue with a turnup.

          • I sure as heck do know how to read them. That is pretty simple. One control group with 1 case of adenoma and three dosed groups with 5, 7, and 8 cases. N = 180.

            So, when you say i don’t know how to read them, you’re wrong. I do in fact understand dose-related effects, and i know that it doesn’t have to be linear. That requirement is based on one mode of action which is not the only one possible, and it’s just spurious. It was a way of evading the data, and weaseling out of this assessment that there seems to be carcinogenicity. So… that’s where i stand. We could keep going round and round, but if you don’t add anything of integrity and note to the conversation, i don’t see the point. One cannot argue with a turnip, as you write. So true. So true.

          • Said the dude who thinks Food Boob bases her fear-selling busine$$ on scientific accuracy. Spurious, my butt. If you think that dose related outcomes implay evading the data, then you are smoking turnip-weed. Talk to a scientist or a toxicologist. Learn something. Then come back here and make your point.

          • Yeah, Vani Hari’s work is really good. She’s a popularizer, an activist, with acumen and her heart’s in the right place. If you can look beyond a few silly blog posts from a few years ago (before she was professional and widely read) then you can see her for what she is, a uniter of people to stand up to the industry that you work for and defend.

          • “… precancerous adenomas in rat pancreases.”

            The rats didn’t go on to develop pancreatic cancer. You know this, don’t you?

            But far more importantly there is no evidence that humans are getting pancreatic cancer because of glyphosate.

          • There wouldn’t be such evidence even if it is happening, and that is why we do animal toxicology studies. Strengths and levels of correlations would be undetectable even if real and significant. Would you like to certify that 100 people have NOT died from cancer that would not have developed if glyphosate were not in our food supply. Can you prove that? And by the way, adenomas are of interest because the can develop into cancer. The rats were sacrificed you know, for the autopsies.

          • “The raw numbers are powerful. Ignore the p values then.” I’m not ignoring them. Treating that 8000 ppm concentration as an artifact, and accepting the other numbers as relevant is as we say ‘truncating your range.’ Treating the 8000 as real, leads one the conclusion that the really big numbers might just be, as we say again, NOISE!

          • If the fitting is based on linearity, then the p values would be affects by that assumption, which is not necessarily true. So, you can deny that if you wish but it’s denial.

  3. You know what’s very interesting in light of this discussion about glyphosate and cancer? That in this 1991 memo by the EPA, in which it appears that early rat studies of N=180 shows a strong correlation (p<0.02) to pancreatic adenoma formation in rats.

      • Dose response is non-linear here, but note that all the doses are fairly high. Probably there is a floor beyond which there is the response. That is how PCBs are with hypertension. There’s a base level that causes hypertension but additional PCBs exposure doesn’t add much more hypertension, if any. Some responses are like this. It means it’s likely not genotoxicity, but another mode of action that is carcinogenic, such as interference with signaling, like endocrine disruption.

      • Loren, it’s obviously because you can just throw out any numbers that don’t agree with your conclusion, or otherwise attempt to explain them away. That’s how science works… right?

      • And also because the significance test may have been geared toward linear response fitting, whereas the actual numbers are undeniable. N=180. Each of three dose groups contain 5, 7 or 8 adenoma cases, while the control contains 1. That is so unlikely to be random.

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