The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology has launched an investigation into the ‘mistaken’ release of a draft report by the U.S. EPA on the World’s most used herbicide, glyphosate.
The EPA ‘mistakenly’ published a draft report online on April 29 by the Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC). The report stated that glyphosate is ‘not likely to be carcinogenic to humans’, which is in direct contradiction to the World Health Organization cancer agency IARC’s much more comprehensive report, which stated in 2015 that glyphosate is a ”probable human carcinogen”.
An EPA assessment on the herbicide atrazine was also posted on the agency’s website on April 29 but subsequently taken down. The documents are available here. The assessment said atrazine was found to cause reproductive harm to birds and mammals.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Wednesday, committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, announced his committee is launching an investigation into the matter.
“…EPA’s removal of this report and the subsequent backtracking on its finality raises questions about the agency’s motivation in providing a fair assessment of glyphosate — an assessment based on the scientific analysis conducted by CARC,” Smith said in the letter.
“Furthermore, EPA’s apparent mishandling of this report may shed light on larger systemic problems occurring at the agency.”
Smith has asked EPA to provide “documents and communications” from January 1, 2015, to the present between agency personnel on the glyphosate assessment to the committee by May 18.
According to expert Sustainable Pulse sources in the U.S. the EPA allegedly attempted “to take the legal pressure off the pesticide industry and specifically large producers of glyphosate-based herbicides such as Monsanto,” by releasing the CARC draft report.
The legal pressure on glyphosate has come in the form of many lawsuits in the U.S. that have been started against Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide (a glyphosate-based herbicide), since the IARC classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen last year.
Monsanto has repeatedly asked regulators to publicly protect their number one product, however the EPA has not been able to meet Monsanto’s timeline for a full re-licensing of glyphosate, which is now expected later in 2016 or even early 2017.
Sustainable Pulse Director Henry Rowlands stated; “The EPA’s ‘mistaken’ release of the main part of their report that is designed to protect the pesticide industry seems rather a strange coincidence.