A Scientist Didn’t Disclose Important Data—and Let Everyone Believe a Popular Weedkiller Causes Cancer – Mother Jones:
"A World Health Organization group called RoundUp a “probable carcinogen,” but it didn’t have all the facts."
Does a common herbicide cause cancer?
Over the past several years, that question has stirred up no shortage of controversy, with international health agencies offering conflicting information.
The weedkiller, a chemical called glyphosate, is commonly sold by the agribiz giant Monsanto under the brand name RoundUp.
...After extensive reviews, most regulatory agencies—the US Environmental Protection Agency, the European Food Safety Authority, and those of many other nations—have come to the conclusion that it does not cause cancer.
So when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the UN’s World Health Organization, declared RoundUp a probable carcinogen in 2015, there was an international outcry.
Shortly after, 184 plaintiffs in California filed a legal case against Monsanto, saying that the company failed to warn them about the risks of its product.
Since then, in a separate suit, hundreds more plaintiffs have claimed that RoundUp caused their cancers, citing the IARC’s findings as evidence.
About that evidence:
According to a new Reuters investigation, Aaron Blair, the scientist who led the IARC’s review panel on glyphosate, had access to data from a large study that strongly suggested that Roundup did not cause cancer after all—but he withheld that data from the RoundUp review panel.
Weirder still: Blair himself was a senior researcher on that study...
...As of yet, there are no signs of IARC backing off its conclusion that RoundUp causes cancer.
“Despite the existence of fresh data about glyphosate,” reported Reuters, the agency is “sticking with its findings.”
But the cat is out of the bag.
During an EPA budget hearing Thursday, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) asked EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to look into the withheld evidence on RoundUp.
Eisen, meanwhile, worries that IARC’s handling of this case will damage public perception of the group.
“This is going to end up undermining people’s confidence in this agency’s ability to do this well,” he said. “They don’t seem interested in getting to the bottom of these things. These decisions seem based in politics.”"