What do the latest studies say about IARC’s lone conclusion that glyphosate could cause cancer? Faulty memories, statistical bias undermine conclusion

iarc facts img

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that is used to control many types of plants worldwide. The International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 concluded that there was limited evidence in humans for the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, but sufficient in animals, and particularly noted positive associations with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in humans. Since the IARC determination other agencies have not concurred with IARC’s conclusion (European Food Safety Authority, 2015; World Health Organization, 2016; US Environmental Protection Agency, 2019. Whether or not glyphosate presents a rerisk of NHL remains controversial. . The principal human data on glyphosate and NHL come from five case–control studies and two cohort studies.

The principle human evidence regarding a link between glyphosate exposure and NHL is contained in five case-controlled studies and two cohort studies, both of which are based on a cohort defined in the Agricultural Health Study. In each of the case-controlled studies, he evidence on the extensive of pesticide exposure comes from self-reporting by both cases and controls.

The case–control studies are at risk of recall bias resulting from information on exposure to pesticides being collected from cases and controls based on their memories. In addition, two of the case–control studies are additionally at risk of a form of selection bias that can exacerbate the effect of recall bias. Both biases are in the direction of making glyphosate appear carcinogenic.

Related article:  Expensive CAR-T therapy raises difficult question: 'What is the price of a human life?'

This article provides evidence that at least our of the five case-control studies of glyphosate exposure and NHL are contaminated by statistical bias, likely stemming in the main from recall bias, exacerbated be selection bias in two of the studies. This suggests that the case control suites of glyphosate are not reliable for determining whether glyphosate is carcinogenic. However, the two cohort studies do not present evidence of bias. … Of course, cohort studies have other potential problems that must be evaluated, including incomplete follow-up, the healthy worker effect and/or information on exposures.

[In addition, a] recently completed … thorough reanalysis of data from ten rodent bioassays, which included all the animal studies IARC considered to provide evidence of carcinogenicity of glyphosate … found no strong evidence that glyphosate is an animal carcinogen.

Read the original post (full article behind paywall)

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend