Glyphosate delay "inexcusable"

US House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology chairman Lamar Smith (Republican-Texas) has described as "inexcusable" the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement that the Scientific Advisory Panel's upcoming meeting on the chemical glyphosate has been further delayed.

The letter is the latest move in the long-running debate about whether glyphosate is a carcinogenic.

Smith said: "It is inexcusable that EPA continues to delay its review of glyphosate. Today’s announcement that the Scientific Advisory Panel will not meet next week as scheduled means that a final recommendation will not be made until 2017. The Science Committee is already aware that at least one of the members of the previously announced panel has close ties to the questionable research conducted by IARC, which has been criticized by EPA’s own Cancer Assessment Review Committee. The unwillingness of the agency to move forward with this important analysis may be an attempt to pack the panel with individuals who have a pre-determined agenda or bias not based on sound science." 

On June 7 Smith sent a letter to the EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy requesting transcribed interviews with four EPA employees to better understand the process the EPA used to evaluate the chemical glyphosate.

In April, the EPA posted what appeared to be the final risk assessment for glyphosate prepared by the Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC). EPA subsequently removed the report from its website stating it was posted "inadvertently." The report was clearly marked as "Final Report" and signed by the 13 members of CARC. The CARC report found that glyphosate was not likely to be carcinogenic.

Meanwhile, the American Chemistry Council has written a letter to the US Oversight and Government Reform Committee welcoming the Committee’s interest in learning more about the relationship between the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). ACC says it has "serious concerns about the transparency, rigour and relevance of IARC's Monograph programme."

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