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« Cartoons by Josh Calendar 2018 | Main | 'Daring to Doubt' Tony Abbot GWPF Annual Lecture 2017 - Cartoon notes by Josh »

WHO Science? Not the IARC - Josh 391

From Reuters: 

LONDON (Reuters) – The World Health Organization’s cancer agency dismissed and edited findings from a draft of its review of the weedkiller glyphosate that were at odds with its final conclusion that the chemical probably causes cancer.

Documents seen by Reuters show how a draft of a key section of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) assessment of glyphosate – a report that has prompted international disputes and multi-million-dollar lawsuits – underwent significant changes and deletions before the report was finalised and made public.

IARC, based in Lyon, France, wields huge influence as a semi-autonomous unit of the WHO, the United Nations health agency. It issued a report on its assessment of glyphosate – a key ingredient in Monsanto Corp’s top-selling weedkiller RoundUp – in March 2015. It ranked glyphosate a Group 2a carcinogen, a substance that probably causes cancer in people.

That conclusion was based on its experts’ view that there was “sufficient evidence” glyphosate causes cancer in animals and “limited evidence” it can do so in humans. The Group 2a classification has prompted mass litigation in the United States against Monsanto and could lead to a ban on glyphosate sales across the European Union from the start of next year.

The edits identified by Reuters occurred in the chapter of IARC’s review focusing on animal studies. This chapter was important in IARC’s assessment of glyphosate, since it was in animal studies that IARC decided there was “sufficient” evidence of carcinogenicity.

One effect of the changes to the draft, reviewed by Reuters in a comparison with the published report, was the removal of multiple scientists’ conclusions that their studies had found no link between glyphosate and cancer in laboratory animals.

In one instance, a fresh statistical analysis was inserted – effectively reversing the original finding of a study being reviewed by IARC.

In another, a sentence in the draft referenced a pathology report ordered by experts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It noted the report “firmly” and “unanimously” agreed that the “compound” – glyphosate – had not caused abnormal growths in the mice being studied. In the final published IARC monograph, this sentence had been deleted.

Reuters found 10 significant changes that were made between the draft chapter on animal studies and the published version of IARC’s glyphosate assessment. In each case, a negative conclusion about glyphosate leading to tumors was either deleted or replaced with a neutral or positive one. Reuters was unable to determine who made the changes.

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Reader Comments (30)

This should drive up the costs of producing food, leading to starvation.

Growing bio fuel instead of food has already proved it.

Why does the Green Blob create famines and then blame Global Warming? No wonder they honour Robert Mugabe.

Oct 21, 2017 at 12:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

IARC, based in Lyon, France, wields huge influence as a semi-autonomous unit of the WHO, the United Nations health agency.

That'll be the same WHO who just appointed the genocidal Robert Mugabe as a "goodwill ambassador"?
As they say, with goodwill like that, WHO needs enemies?

Several times when the glyphosate thing is wheeled out, I've gone and looked at the literature and "studies", and found nothing at all convincing. Like a pharmaceutical that may only show marginal and infrequent side effects once used on a population size far larger than a clinical trial, there ought to be statistically demonstrable associations with morbidities if there was a problem. But there isn't. There is nothing at all that I have seen.

The only thing I do find convincing is that Greenpeace et. al. are going after glyphosate because of GMOs that are glyphosate-resistant. This is a target too juicy for Greenpeace to ignore: they get to attack "kemicals" and genetic modifications at the same time!

Oct 21, 2017 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Congratualtions to The Guardian for spotting starvation problems back in 2008, even if they did not know WHO was to blame, along with the Green Blob.

"Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated - according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.

The figure emphatically contradicts the US government's claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises. It will add to pressure on governments in Washington and across Europe, which have turned to plant-derived fuels to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and reduce their dependence on imported oil."

The Pope is not the only Religious Leader that needs to be forewarned of the forthcoming Unprecedented famine "of Biblical Proportions". Unfortunately, the UN will not be able to rely on the USA having a surplus to give away.

How many Popes have endorsed advocates of genocide, and entertained them at The Vatican?

Merkel will have to sanction the EU's construction of an Iron Curtain around its Mediterranean coastline (made out of organic German beach towels?), to cope with the refugees of Green Blob starvation, as the EU will have nothing to offer, especially as Juncker and associates have sunk the wine lake.

At least British Troops won't have to assist with the EU/Spanish invasion of Catalonia.

Thanks for the cartoon Josh. Another Green Blob tragedy in the making.

Oct 21, 2017 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Well, bend me over and call me Susan, who'd have thought it? We farmers are shocked - shocked, I tell you - to hear this!!

Oct 21, 2017 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Flindt

At least British Troops won't have to assist with the EU/Spanish invasion of Catalonia.

Oct 21, 2017 at 1:59 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I've said similar things about Greece.
Then we have the Northern League in Italia..... and none of it will be our problem while Merkel has also to deal with Turkey. German troops are neither up for it, nor financed enough. Yet if they were, then the regional problems would treble overnight.

While that is happening, I may kick back and crack open a cold one, knowing that the EU is still producing more documents in English, though they are not doing it to placate the Irish. As I've also said before, the EU needs to accept that in the long term they are going to be either speaking English, or American. I think if they said as much, then the Brexit vote would easily have gone the other way.

Oct 21, 2017 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Unrelated question to the post:

Is there a altcoin/bitcoin miner (malware) on this page? CPU usage goes up to 100% every time I open this page.
This is apparently and unfortunately getting more common.

Oct 21, 2017 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterA regular visitor

An IARC document survives "Pal" review with minor editing. The "Pals" just wanted to shorten the document and give it a whole new meaning.

If Monsanto loses any lawsuits, they should sue IARC.

Plus, all of the farmers denied use of Roundup in the localities that banned Glysophate.

Meanwhile, every one should dump IARC from any/all science reviews, reports, documents or even rumors.

Oct 22, 2017 at 1:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

"Unrelated question to the post:

Is there a altcoin/bitcoin miner (malware) on this page? CPU usage goes up to 100% every time I open this page.
This is apparently and unfortunately getting more common.

Oct 21, 2017 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterA regular visitor "

I'd blame a WordPress script before assuming malware.

Oct 22, 2017 at 1:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK

A regular visitor, no problems for me. I'm not an expert, but these things are often due to a particular advert, targeted at you via our friends at Google etc, that gorges itself on your CPU time.

Oct 22, 2017 at 1:38 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

From the Reuters article linked to,

Members of the U.S. Congress, concerned about what they described as IARC’s “inconsistent” standards and determinations for classifying substances as carcinogenic, last year launched investigations into American taxpayer funding of IARC. The investigations are ongoing.

In Europe, IARC has become embroiled in a public spat with experts at the European Food Safety Authority, which conducted its own review of glyphosate in November 2015 and found it “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.”

With IARC monograph meetings, some outside observers are selected and allowed to witness proceedings, but they are banned from talking about what goes on. Journalists are generally not allowed in.

Last year, Reuters reported on an email sent by IARC to the experts on its glyphosate working group in which the agency advised them not to discuss their work or disclose documents. The email said IARC “does not encourage participants to retain working drafts or documents after the monograph has been published.”

The IARC, IPCC, and FIFA have a lot in common, self-discreditation.

Oct 22, 2017 at 9:16 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The first thing is the way the cancer lists work is very few substances are proven non-carcinogenic
So most substances end up on a list as carcinogenic . (sunlight is on the list as well)
Then there is another list of things that are highly carcinogenic

Oct 22, 2017 at 9:23 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Times on Wednesday
Weedkiller scientist was paid £120,000 by cancer lawyers
That was a few years ago, and eventually he did admit to the payments, but kinda late.

Christopher Portier advised the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organisation, which concluded in March 2015 that glyphosate was a “probable human carcinogen”.

He did not declare his links to the law firms in a letter to the European Commission urging it to accept the IARC classification.

Oct 22, 2017 at 9:26 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen


Oct 22, 2017 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@A regular visitor, I use ubuntu, free and reliable.

Chrome on its own < 0.5%
Chrome showing Bishophill between 4 to 16%
Chrome showing WUWT between 10 to 20%

As I type this, I have 238 tasks listed and only one running - Chrome at 4%

I suspect you have unknowingly visited some infected sites in the past, do a spring clean of your PC with malware cleaners...

Oct 22, 2017 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

The World Health Organization has revoked the appointment of Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador following widespread outcry.

"I have listened carefully to all who have expressed their concerns," WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

Christopher Portier could fill Mugabe's position, and be responsible for more deaths.

Oct 22, 2017 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

WHO is in a damage control mode - too late. Now we know WHO they are.

Oct 22, 2017 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurious George

WHO. IQ 0?

Oct 22, 2017 at 6:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

An honest presentation of the evidence would list the pros and cons or list the reports which where in favour as well as the reports which were against. However once people have a preferred conclusion they sometimes have a tendency to delete the views which speak against their conclusion.

Case in point can be seen from BBC science article on 19 th October 2017 by Prof Joanna Haigh, Co-Director, Grantham Institute , "A brief history of the Earth's CO2" in which she fails to put a figure on the level of CO2 600 million years ago. Her data history of the Earth's atmosphere starts 20 million years ago with CO2 below 300 ppm. However Burt Rutan in his report, "An Engineer‟s Critique of Global Warming 'Science'‟ puts Cambrian CO2 level at over 10 times as much as present - at over 5000 ppm.

What was the level of CO2 in the atmosphere 3 billion years ago ? Well the faint young sun paradox guesses that the Sun only emitted 70% as much heat as at present which means that a much higher level of CO2 than present was required to keep planet Earth from freezing over. I note that the Wikipedia article on this subject notices that this theory does not fit with the evidence suggesting Mars had liquid water at that time.

Oct 22, 2017 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Oct 22, 2017 at 7:39 PM | Alex

When it comes to Wikipedia and Climate Science, assume it has been written by the Green Blob. They are repeated repeat offenders.

It is notable for being the most reliable aspect of Climate Science.

Oct 22, 2017 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The testing of substances for carcinogenic properties is total out of context; e.g. massive quantities and on rats. The proper way would be with epidemiological studies of illness and death caused by the said substance but there are not enough to show any sort of link or enough to draw any conclusion, I do not know of any deaths attributed to Glyposhate. It was epidemiologic studies that finally nailed tobacco smoking.

Oct 23, 2017 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss Lea

To golf charlie,
There is an interesting video, "Georg Feulner - The faint young Sun paradox (MÚ AVČR, CSS, 21.09.2016)" on Youtube LLIONTV channel from International Conference COSMOLOGY ON SMALL SCALES 2016, theme: Local Hubble Expansion and Selected Controversies in Cosmology, Prague, September 21–24, 2016, organized by Michal Křížek from Institute of Mathematics, Czech Academy of Sciences.

Oct 23, 2017 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Quite right, Ross Lea.
With any substance, the dishonest researcher can always continuously increase the dose until they get 100% mortality. Every time. Then they can just go in and diagnose/cherry pick whatever they like as the cause of death, when it could reasonably be attributed to dozens of different things.

It is perhaps more common to just see a researcher rasing the dose until a “result” of any kind is obtained, because generally people don't get funded or applauded for negative results Certain disciplines seem to attract more of the people who will tell any story to get publicity.

Oct 23, 2017 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

michael hart & Ross Lea

is this linked to LD50 testing? A crude but simple technique, widely abused to prove anything is toxic in sufficient quantity

Oct 24, 2017 at 7:14 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Still nothing on glyphosgate from the BBC, as far as I can see. Hazzabin's last 9 tweets have, predictably, all been about carbon.

Oct 24, 2017 at 4:54 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Yes, GC.
Perhaps more commonly in the bio-medical literature, I have read many papers where the researchers only get a result, of any kind, when they use a dose of the molecule of interest that is physiologically meaningless.

For a hypothetical example, one could expose liver cells in a petri dish to, say, alcohol, at high concentrations that might not kill them immediately. But if that concentration was the equivalent of a human drinking a couple of gallons of pure alcohol in a few minutes, then the result is effectively meaningless because there is no way an individual could realistically achieve those levels in the liver by just drinking the stuff. Death by something else would happen before the liver cells experienced the maximum concentration achieved in the petri dish.

Oct 25, 2017 at 12:20 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Glyphosgate is not about false results from epidemiological or toxicological studies; it's about deliberate omission of contrary statements or distortion of other statements from an original draft. The final draft misrepresents the work of the original researchers (who found no harm). It reminds me of the main conclusions in an IPCC report that was deliberately changed or concocted after the delegates had gone home.

Oct 25, 2017 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Supertroll, thank you for pointing out that the quality of the evidence fabrication is so criminally bad.

Those responsible should get convictions for their beliefs.

Oct 26, 2017 at 12:35 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I always thought that this chemical was originally developed as a medicine to remove heavy metals that were poisoning patients, lead and mercury in the main. The fact that they inhibited the cell walls forming by combining with magnesium was only found out later. This looks like the DDT scandal again.

Mar 2, 2018 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Allnutt

Galileo: “eppur si muove”. Concensus = Con science. We don’t get conned again!

Oct 11, 2018 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAttilashrugs

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