House to Hold Hearing on Allegations Against Glyphosate11/03/2017
In case you missed it, the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology announced late yesterday that it could soon hold a hearing on the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s controversial 2015 assessment that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen.
In their latest efforts to investigate federally-funded science and IARC, the House Science Committee and Subcommittee on Environment have sent a letter to the director of IARC citing concerns over the agency’s “scientific integrity.” The letter also sheds light on IARC’s allegations of data manipulation in its review of glyphosate, and the questionable involvement of Christopher Portier – a statistician with no previous experience with glyphosate who recently testified at a high-profile European hearing in favor of banning the herbicide:
Besides blatant manipulations of the monograph itself, the Committee is also concerned with Christopher Portier’ s apparent conflict of interest in relation to the monograph. In his deposition this past September, it became evident that at the same time Portier chaired the IARC Working Group that proposed an assessment on glyphosate, he was also a private litigation consultant for two law firms. In his role as a consultant, he directly benefited from IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a “probable” carcinogen.
A second letter to U.S. Health Secretary Eric Hargan raises concern over IARC’s lack of transparency despite receiving taxpayer dollars, while also going after some of IARC’s most egregious actions and actors in its 112 Monograph on glyphosate. Specifically, the letter states that:
The reported manipulation of Monograph 112 on glyphosate by IARC, [Dr. Aaron] Blair, and [Christopher] Portier is a disservice to the American taxpayer. The Committee is determined to continue its oversight of NIEHS and NIH to ensure proper stewardship of taxpayer dollars.
Both of these letters indicate that the House Science committee may soon ask IARC to testify on how it conducts its scientific reviews, and that each agency has been prompted to provide their communications with the IARC Monograph program by early November.