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EU Experts Accused of Conflict of Interest over Herbicide Linked to Cancer

19:00 EST 7 Mar 2017 | Meridian Institute

The environmental group Greenpeace is accusing members of a European Union expert committee of havings conflicts of interest over whether glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup, should be banned in the EU. The World Health Organization’s cancer agency determined that the substance was “probably carcinogenic” in 2015, although the United States Environmental Protection Agency has said it probably is not. On Wednesday, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) is expected to issue its recommendation about whether the chemical’s use should be extended for another 15 years, although the decision could be delayed until March 15. Greenpeace, however, in a letter to Geert Dancet, the ECHA’s executive director, argues that several members of the Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) “appear to have a conflict of interest, according to ECHA’s own criteria.” The letter also suggested that the ECHA committee was using “unpublished scientific evidence provided by the industry in formulating its opinions” in addition to peer-reviewed studies. “Agencies such as ECHA, whose scientific opinions form the basis for regulatory action, should only consider scientific evidence that is publicly available so that any scientist can replicate the findings,” the letter continued. A spokesperson for the ECHA disagreed, saying there is no cause for concern in terms of conflicts of interest.

Original Article: EU Experts Accused of Conflict of Interest over Herbicide Linked to Cancer

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