Scientists criticize IARC for withholding data showing glyphosate herbicide does not cause cancer

| | June 19, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

According to a new Reuters investigation, Aaron Blair, the scientist who led IARC’s [the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization] review panel on glyphosate, had access to data from a large study that strongly suggested that [glyphosate] did not cause cancer after all—but he withheld that data from the [glyphosate] review panel. Weirder still: Blair himself was a senior researcher on that study.

[Editor’s note: Read the GLP’s coverage of the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Reuters article.]

So why on Earth would a scientist fail to mention his own work—and blithely let a powerful agency come to a conclusion that his own data suggested was wrong? IARC told Reuters it’s because Blair’s data wasn’t published yet, and the agency has a policy against taking unpublished data into consideration.

Related article:  Glyphosate dangers in breast milk challenged as 'junk science'

[Michael Eisen, a professor of genetics, genomics, and development at the University of California-Berkeley, founder of the Public Library of Science, and an outspoken advocate of transparency in science, said] that in this particular case, he found IARC’s rule “silly.”

“This is a board of people whose job it is to assess evidence, so they should be able to do that before it’s published,” he said. “The broader issue is that they seem eager to have reached the conclusion that they reached.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: A Scientist Didn’t Disclose Important Data—and Let Everyone Believe a Popular Weedkiller Causes Cancer

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