Glyphosate critic to be questioned by US congressional committee

Officials from the US government's health research agency are to be questioned by a congressional committee about why taxpayers are funding a World Health Organization cancer agency facing criticism over how it classifies carcinogens.

An aide to the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform told Reuters that National Institutes of Health officials have agreed to attend a hearing after questions were raised by lawmakers over its grants to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The letter on IARC from the US Congess is here.

IARC's monograph findings on glyphosate have come under scrutiny in recent times, with the NIH, which is among IARC's funders, among critics. The IARC website lists current UK funders as The Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and The University of Kent.

Glyphosate manufacturer Monsanto and other critics such as Syngenta have pointed out how IARC's findings appear inconsistent with other scientific research. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and United States regulators have cleared glyphosate.

The American Chemistry Council also criticised the IARC monograph.

Monsnto told HW: "Monsanto has no comment to make on the steps taken by legislators, or on IARC’s funding or constitution and governance in general. Monsanto’s interest is in the science and we would like it be perfectly clear where the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence sits.

"We strongly believe that IARC’s opinion on glyphosate was wrong and does not contribute to public understanding of the substantial body of scientific evidence on glyphosate safety.    

We agree with the peer reviewed findings of the expert panel. This alongside the ever growing list of independent government regulators who also disagree with IARC and are making public statements to that."

In Australia: "The APVMA has completed its assessment of the IARC report and other recent assessments of glyphosate and has concluded that glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk to humans"

New Zealand: "The EPA commissioned Dr Wayne Temple, a toxicologist and former Director of the New Zealand National Poisons Centre, to undertake a scientific review of glyphosate. The overall conclusion of report Review of the Evidence Relating to Glyphosate and Carcinogenicity is that glyphosate is unlikely to be genotoxic or carcinogenic to humans and does not require classification under HSNO as a carcinogen or mutagen."



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