Why is the Science, Space and Technology Holding a Hearing on IARC and Glyphosate?
The U.S. House science committee is questioning the “scientific integrity” of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization’s cancer agency.
- Dr. Anna Lowit, senior science adviser, Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency (Republican witness)
- Dr. Timothy Pastoor, CEO, Pastoor Science Communications (Republican witness)
- Dr. Jennifer Sass, senior scientist, Natural Resources Defense Council (Democratic witness)
- Dr. Robert Tarone, (retired) mathematical statistician, U.S. National Cancer Institute and Biostatistics Director, International Epidemiology Institute (Republican witness)
IARC published the results of an exhaustive analysis of glyphosate in March of 2015. The IARC working group concluded that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The IARC Monograph specifically evaluated Roundup’s effects on farm workers in the United States, including weighing the pros and cons of the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), contrary to “critics” assertions that IARC did not do so.
Glyphosate can be found in soil, air, surface water and groundwater, as well as in food. It has been detected in air during agricultural herbicide-spraying operations. Glyphosate was detected in urine in two studies of farmers in the USA, in urban populations in Europe, and in a rural population living near areas sprayed for drug eradication in Columbia.
Two large case-control studies of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) from Canada and the USA, and two case-control studies from Sweden reported statistically significant increased risks of NHL in association with exposure to glyphosate. For the study in Canada, the association was seen among those with more than two days/year of exposure.
Thousands of Roundup cancer lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto since the IARC’s finding. In response, Monsanto has attacked IARC and other scientists that oppose them in an effort to downplay the health risks of its herbicide, Roundup.
Monsanto approached Congress to hold the IARC hearing, executing part of its attack battle plan to “Orchestrate Outcry with IARC Decision.”
It is vital that the U.S. continue to fund IARC as it is an unbiased scientific agency that is protecting public health by warning the public about cancer-causing chemicals using independent, peer reviewed science—not just chemical industry spin from industry’s internal, industry friendly studies.
IARC Fights Back
IARC has responded to the SST Committee request and criticisms of the Monographs and the glyphosate evaluation, rightfully defending their use of standard, recognized scientific methodology.
“In response to the misrepresentations, the Agency has sought to provide a clear account of its actions, including keeping its governing bodies informed of developments. Many of the relevant documents have been posted in the public domain on the IARC Governance website and on dedicated glyphosate webpages. IARC scientists have responded to industry-funded critiques appearing in scientific journals by published letters to journal editors. Given its limited capacity, IARC has not tried to develop an extensive media campaign to present its position, or to counter all industry-sponsored attacks in the media. However, in selected and important cases, IARC has addressed the false claims in the media.”
It is quite ironic that Monsanto and its agro-chemical industry allies are heavily criticizing Dr. Wild for declining the invitation to send witnesses to the SST Committee hearing when it was Monsanto who first refused to participate an Oct. 11, 2017 hearing in Brussels, organized by EU environment and agriculture committees to discuss the possibility of an official inquiry into Monsanto’s manipulation of the science and the regulatory process for approving and renewing the license for glyphosate as documented in the Monsanto Papers declassified in the U.S. Roundup Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma litigation.
The SST Committee sent two letters late last year (in November and December) to Dr. Christopher Wild, Director of IARC. In the interest of transparency, IARC has posted Dr. Wild′s response to the SST Committee.
Please encourage others to watch and join in the conversation in support of IARC and the thousands of people suffering from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma after exposure to Roundup.
Baum Hedlund Commentary: Defending IARC’s Scientific Integrity Against Congressional Attack
Testimony of Dr. Jennifer Sass before the House Science Committee regarding the International Agency for Research on Cancer
Minority Staff Report Prepared for Members of the Committee on Science, Space & Technology U.S. House of Representatives February 2018: Spinning Science & Silencing Scientists: A Case Study in How the Chemical Industry Attempts to Influence Science
Dr. Peter Infante: Commentary: IARC Monographs Program and public health under siege by corporate interests
Carey Gillam Commentary: Corporate power, not public interest, at root of upcoming science committee hearing
Moms Across America Zen Honeycutt: The Plot to Take Down IARC and Continue Poisoning Us Must Be Stopped