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Corporate Studies Asserting Herbicide Safety Show Many Flaws, New Analysis Finds

Revelations come as Europe wrestles over renewal question for Bayer’s Roundup herbicides

A new analysis of more than 50 previously secret, corporate-backed scientific studies is raising troubling questions about a history of regulatory reliance on such research in assessing the safety of the widely used weedkilling chemical known as glyphosate, the key ingredient in the popular Roundup herbicide.

In a 187-page report released on Friday, researchers from the Institute of Cancer Research at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria said a thorough review of 53 safety studies submitted to regulators by large chemical companies showed that most do not comply with modern international standards for scientific rigor, and lack the types of tests most able to detect cancer risks.

“The quality of these studies, not of all, but of many of these studies is very poor. The health authorities … accepted some of these very poor studies as informative and acceptable, which is not justified from a scientific point of view,” Siegfried Knasmueller, the lead author of the analysis told the Guardian.