Experts investigating finding that glyphosate is a “probable” human carcinogen appear to agree that it is, says article in ENDS Europe
Experts investigating a dispute over a finding by the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency IARC that glyphosate is a “probable” carcinogen appear to have agreed that it is, according to an article by ENDS Europe that’s behind a paywall.
In June this year the IARC concluded that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans based on “sufficient” evidence from animal tests.
But another WHO body, the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), did not reach the same conclusion when it evaluated glyphosate in 2011.
The WHO set up a taskforce to investigate the difference of opinion. The taskforce has recommended that the JMPR undertake a full re-evaluation of glyphosate and review its internal guidelines on the criteria for data inclusion or exclusion, according to ENDS.
The taskforce found that IARC and JMPR had used “significantly different” databases and that “many studies, mainly from the published peer reviewed scientific literature", that had not been evaluated by JMPR were available to IARC.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is reviewing glyphosate’s EU authorisation based on a risk assessment carried out by Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). It is expected to publish its findings in November. Like JMPR, BfR concluded that glyphosate was not carcinogenic.
Franziska Achterberg of Greenpeace said BfR drew on the JMPR’s research and took a similar approach to data selection.
The fact that the taskforce appears to have found the JMPR report obsolete takes away one of the most used arguments in favour of the position that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, Achterberg told ENDS.
There may be an additional reason for the JMPR’s favorable view of glyphosate. An investigation by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in the US found three out of eight JMPR panel members had financial and professional ties to the chemical industry, including Monsanto, the largest producer of glyphosate.