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SST Committee Investigates Potential Conflicts of Interest at IARC on Glyphosate

Nov 1, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) today sent letters to U.S. Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Eric Hargan and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Director Christopher Wild regarding the scientific integrity of IARC’s Monograph Programme (IMO).

The letters read in part:

Recent news media reporting has revealed troubling evidence of data deletion, manipulation, and potential conflicts of interest with Monograph 112 on glyphosate. Additionally, there seems to be a lack of transparency in the science used to justify the findings on glyphosate.

In its March 2015 report, IARC categorized glyphosate as a Group 2A carcinogen, meaning that the substance “probably” causes cancer in people. However, recent investigatory efforts revealed that substantial portions of the chapter focusing on animal studies were altered, either through deletion or manipulation. There were several instances where study conclusions that failed to support the carcinogenic nature of glyphosate were deleted. These conclusions were deleted from the final monograph, despite IARC’s assurance that it strives “to achieve the highest degree of scientific authority and trust in these evaluations.”

The Committee is concerned about the scientific integrity of the IMO assessment of glyphosate and of IARC in general. With United States’ taxpayer dollars funding a portion of IMO, it is this Committee’s duty to ensure sound science and transparency within the agency.

The letters can be found here.

The Science, Space, and Technology Committee has jurisdiction over environmental and scientific programs.

115th Congress