Monsanto retained expert panel finds IARC glyphosate study provides no cancer evidence

An expert panel convened by Intertek Scientific & Regulatory Consultancy on behalf of Monsanto has reviewed the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) monograph on glyphosate.

The panel is now moving forward with presentation and publication of their findings. 

As a first step, the panel presented its findings at the annual meeting of the Society for Risk Assessment (SRA).  In a presentation abstract, the experts concluded: "None of the results from a very large database, using different methodologies, provides evidence of, or a potential mechanism for, human carcinogenesis."

The panel also found that the IARC animal bioassay and genotoxicity evaluations "suffered from significant weaknesses such as: selectivity in the choice of data reviewed, failure to use all relevant biologic information to evaluate relationship to treatment in animal bioassays, and failure to use weight-of-evidence (WOE) evaluations using all available data and appropriate weighting." 

The panel’s findings are consistent with the recent European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) conclusion that "glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans"; the determination of the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency in April that "the overall weight of evidence indicates that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a human cancer risk"; and a recent statement from the U.S. EPA that a set of 55 epidemiological studies "does not provide evidence to show that glyphosate causes cancer."

Authors included Sir Colin Berry of the University of London, University of Birmingham's Tom Sorahan and other professors from around the world.

The panel was asked to take a thorough look at the data in the monograph, assess the scope of the research included or excluded, and publish their conclusions to allow for external review.  The presentation at the SRA is a first step in the process of making their conclusions known publicly as they continue to finalise their manuscripts for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. 

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