Reports are surfacing of another scientific group revising data to conform to a pre-determined result.

This time, the studies affected center on glyphosate, an important ingredient in Roundup weed killer. In fact, the State of California plans to force the manufacturer to label the popular product as a carcinogen.

Regulators in California took a pivotal step on Monday toward becoming the first state to require the popular weed killer Roundup to come with a label warning that it’s known to cause cancer.

Officials announced that starting July 7 the weed killer’s main ingredient, glyphosate, will appear on a list California keeps of potentially cancerous chemicals. A year later, the listing could come with warning labels on the product, officials said.

There currently is a federal lawsuit in a San Francisco court in which the manufacturer, Monsanto, is defending the product’s reputation as safe to use.

Roundup and similar products are used around the world on everything from row crops to home gardens. It is Monsanto’s flagship product, and industry-funded research has long found it to be relatively safe. A case in federal court in San Francisco has challenged that conclusion, building on the findings of an international panel that claimed Roundup’s main ingredient might cause cancer.

The court documents included Monsanto’s internal emails and email traffic between the company and federal regulators. The records suggested that Monsanto had ghostwritten research that was later attributed to academics and indicated that a senior official at the Environmental Protection Agency had worked to quash a review of Roundup’s main ingredient, glyphosate, that was to have been conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The 184 plaintiffs in this lawsuit are using a 2015 study from the International Agency for Research on Cancer to bolster their claims.

It turns out that the United Nations’ cancer agency edited contradictory data out of a high-profile study on glyphosate.

…Reuters obtained a draft copy of IARC’s 2015 study, which shows edits made to bolster evidence that glyphosate could cause cancer in humans.

IARC scientists removed “multiple scientists’ conclusions that their studies had found no link between glyphosate and cancer in laboratory animals,” Reuters reported of the changes, noting that animal testing was largely how IARC justified its conclusion.

“In each case, a negative conclusion about glyphosate leading to tumors was either deleted or replaced with a neutral or positive one,” Reuters reported of the 10 major changes made to IARC’s draft document.

It also appears a National Cancer Institute scientist withheld new data from IARC showing glyphosate did not cause cancer.

House Republican Trey Gowdy wants to know why a scientist with the National Cancer Institute withheld evidence from a government agency showing that a widely used herbicide does not cause cancer.

Gowdy, a South Carolina congressman who chairs the House Oversight Committee, noted in a letter Tuesday to the National Institute of Health (NIH) that NCI scientist Aaron Blair was the researcher who reviewed a separate study showing no evidence glyphosate causes cancer.

…His letter asked NIH for evidence laying out Blair’s decision to keep this separate study out of the IARC assessment. The conclusion had an impact on Monsanto, a large agribusiness that produces the weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate.

I suppose that if you are a cancer researcher, finding a new substance that could cause cancer might be difficult as most of the materials that do so have been identified and new substances that are developed are generally designed to fight cancer. Furthermore, if you are a person who loves regulations and hates big business, targeting a key ingredient with new rules and warnings might be appealing.

Hopefully, the case will be decided on real science and not by safe chemical deniers.


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