European and US regulators used industry-sponsored reviews with fundamental flaws in their evaluations that found glyphosate is not carcinogenic

by GM Watch


Monsanto and other glyphosate manufacturers appear to have distorted scientific evidence on the public health impacts of glyphosate in order to keep the controversial substance on the market, according to a new report released today by GLOBAL 2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria) with the support of Avaaz, BUND, Campact, CEO, GMWatch, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, PAN Germany, and Umweltinstitut München.

Between 2012 and 2016, the companies sponsored a series of review articles published in scientific journals, all of which conclude that glyphosate and its commercial formulations are not harmful to health. The new report, “Buying Science”, shows that these industry-sponsored reviews of glyphosate’s carcinogenicity and genotoxicity (ability to damage DNA) contain fundamental scientific flaws, spanning from apparently calculated omissions and the introduction of irrelevant data to the violation of OECD guidance for the evaluation of rodent cancer studies. The reviews also consistently assign greater weight to unpublished industry studies than to studies that were peer-reviewed and published in scientific journals.

Despite these major defects, regulatory authorities that conclude that glyphosate is not carcinogenic have frequently referred to the arguments provided in these industry-sponsored review articles on glyphosate. Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have all drawn on such review articles.

“Glyphosate producers have used every trick in the book to enable regulatory authorities around the world to play down the alarming health effects of glyphosate. The fact that the agencies accepted their ‘assistance’ is nothing less than scandalous,” said Helmut Burtscher, one of the report’s authors.

Read the full article at GM Watch.