Members of the House Appropriations Committee are threatening to withhold funding for the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC), whose methods have been under fire recently not only from Congress, but also in the courts.
IARC is a member of the World Health Organization, which receives some funding from U.S. taxpayers via the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A new bill put in play last week from House appropriators tells the NIH that it cannot transfer funding to IARC unless the center increases the transparency behind its cancer research and adds other reforms.
The move comes amid a flurry of activity related to IARC’s controversial research in 2015 culminating in a decision to label the chemical glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. That label carries enormous implications because glyphosate is the key ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp, which besides being a popular home and garden retail product is also used in large-scale farming.
The American Council on Science and Health, self-described as a “pro-science consumer advocacy organization,” issued a 2017 staff report saying that, “IARC has continued to apply its classification system largely as if the last half-century of scientific research hadn’t happened, completely ignoring issues of dose and exposure that are fundamental to risk assessment as it has been practiced around the world for several decades.”
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