The House Science, Space and Technology Committee [Tuesday, Feb. 6] is likely to consider whether Congress should cut off millions of dollars of U.S. funding for an international cancer agency.
The potential move was prompted by a controversial 2015 determination that the widely used herbicide glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic.”
The finding by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has been questioned by Monsanto Co., which uses glyphosate in its popular Roundup weed killers, as well as many Republican lawmakers.
The science committee, in particular, has been dogged in its second-guessing of IARC’s work. Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), who leads the Environment Subcommittee, have signed onto several letters to top officials at WHO, the Department Health and Human Services, and U.S. EPA asking about their potential roles in the glyphosate decision.
Late last year, Smith, Biggs and Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), the vice chairman of the full committee, went so far as to threaten to withdraw American support for IARC. The international body has received more than $48 million from the U.S. since 1985, $22 million of which has gone to its Monograph Programme.
The science committee leaders’ warning was part of an attempt to secure a witness from IARC for Tuesday’s hearing. It appears those efforts were unsuccessful.
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