Glyphosate findings spark ‘war of words’ between WHO, European agencies

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

The latest dispute to blow up around the International Agency for Research on Cancer concerns glyphosate, an ingredient in one of the world’s most widely used weed killers, Roundup, made by Monsanto.

In March 2015, an IARC monograph concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic.”

Yet seven months later the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an independent agency funded by the EU, published a different assessment, saying glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.”

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A public war of words between EFSA and IARC has ensued. It began with a letter last November from 96 scientists who wrote to a senior EU official urging him to ignore what they said was a “flawed” EFSA assessment of glyphosate and to prefer IARC’s judgment instead.

The letter was led by the American scientist Chris Portier, who has worked part-time since 2013 with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a U.S. non-governmental campaign group.

Related article:  Glyphosate cancer lawsuits 'needlessly alarm' the public abut a 'critical farming tool'

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IARC said his involvement presented no problem, since he took part only as an invited specialist, who does not draft any text or participate in the evaluation.

. . . .

EFSA defended its finding on glyphosate and hit back.

In a speech to the European parliament in December 2015, EFSA executive director Bernhard Url described the letter from 96 scientists as “Facebook science.”

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. . . .

Url also published an 18-page response to the letter from the 96 scientists, explaining how EFSA took a different approach to IARC.

In it he invited IARC to a meeting to discuss their evidence and methodologies. IARC declined, demanding instead that EFSA issue a correction to its letter, which it alleged contained “factual errors.”

Read full, original post: European, WHO agencies in war of words over glyphosate findings

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