Talking Biotech: Epidemiologist Geoffrey Kabat debunks flawed glyphosate-cancer meta-analysis. Were the mistakes deliberate?

glyphosate hr
Credit: Greenpeace Europe

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, ‘increases cancer risk by 41%.’  This alarming statistic saturated news reports in mid February, based on a new meta-analysis of old data performed by a research team at the University of Washington.

Related article:  GMO alfalfa has higher yields than conventional, according to USDA survey

The study did not examine all cancers, but instead focused on a rare cancer known as Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL).  The conclusion was generated from a re-analysis of previous reports, the most important of which showed absolutely no association between glyphosate use and NHL.

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Epidemiologist Geoffrey Kabat

So how did studies with marginal or no associations and a powerful study with no association morph into a meta-analysis showing a definitive link between glyphosate and cancer? University of Florida plant geneticist Kevin Folta and cancer epidemiologist Geoffrey Kabat take a deep dive into the new study, exploring concerns that the data put into the meta-analysis may have been selectively chosen to produce a desired outcome.

Kabat has been on the faculty of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. In addition to 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers, he has written two books on risk and more than 50 health-related articles for Forbes and Slate.

 

Follow Dr. Kabat on Twitter at @GeoKabat and visit his website.

Talking Biotech podcast, produced by Kevin Folta, available for listening or subscription:

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