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SST Committee Warns IARC on Glyphosate Report

Dec 8, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON - U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee leaders today warned the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that the committee may reconsider U.S. taxpayer funding if the group does not demonstrate transparency regarding the its Monograph Programme in light of credible concerns with its report on glyphosate.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Vice Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) reiterated to IARC Director Christopher Wild the committee’s earlier request to provide potential witnesses for a hearing before the committee. If IARC refuses to be transparent with the American people, the committee “will consider whether the values of scientific integrity and transparency are reflected in IARC Monographs” and if U.S. taxpayers should continue to fund the program.

Smith and Biggs on November 1 sent a letter to Wild expressing concerns about “data deletion, manipulation and potential conflicts of interest” in IARC’s designation of glyphosate as probable carcinogen and requesting a list of potential witnesses for a hearing on the matter. On November 20, Wild responded to the committee’s letter and refused to provide witnesses.

Today’s letter reads in part:

Since 1985, IARC has received more than $48 million from NIH, $22 million of which has gone to the Monograph Programme (IMO). The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to oversee the spending of taxpayer dollars. As such, the Committee is required to carry out its Constitutional duty to ensure the stewardship of these funds. Given that the Committee has questions regarding the scientific integrity of the IMO, the Committee may decide to consider the appropriateness of providing continued U.S. federal government funding for the program. In light of these considerations, the Committee requests that IARC reconsider its position and provide a list of potential witnesses who are available to testify before the Committee.

Given the serious nature of these concerns related to expenditures of taxpayer dollars, the Committee’s request for a witness to provide testimony regarding this matter should not be disregarded by IARC. As such, we reiterate the request in our November 1, 2017, letter.

If IARC does not provide a full response to the request for potential witnesses, the Committee will consider whether the values of scientific integrity and transparency are reflected in IARC Monographs and if future expenditures of federal taxpayer dollars to this end need to continue.

The letter can be found here.

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

115th Congress