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Reuters launches disgraceful attack against IARC-ruling linking glyphosate to cancer... corporate influence now running Reuters


(NaturalNews) Reuters recently published a pair of supposedly investigative articles that are actually a thinly veiled hit piece on the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and that organization's recent ruling that glyphosate (Roundup) is a "probable carcinogen."

The real motivation of these pieces is revealed in an analysis published in The Ecologist by Claire Robinson of GMWatch. Robinson's analysis shows that all of the "sources" relied on in the articles' efforts to discredit the IARC are in fact industry sources, including scientists notorious for defending the tobacco and asbestos industries.

Industry-friendly sources

The two-part smear campaign begins with an article titled, "Who says bacon is bad? How the World Health Organization's cancer agency confuses consumers." This article, written by Kate Kelland, emphasizes the IARC's classification of processed meats and certain hairdressing supplies as probable carcinogens (which they are) to mock the agency, implying that it considers all sorts of actually innocuous things carcinogens.

Kelland goes on to claim that "Experts from academia, industry and public health say IARC confuses the public and policymakers."

But every "expert" she quotes is in the pocket of a toxic industry. She quotes Bob Tarone, who works for the pro-industry International Epidemiology Institute (IEI), which provides consultation and litigation support to corporations and once accepted phone company money to conduct a study that (shockingly!) found no link between cell phones and cancer.

Kelland also quotes the author of a 2003 paper (allegedly demonstrating that secondhand smoke was less harmful than previously thought) that was later cited by the US Department of Justice as an example of efforts by the tobacco industry to conceal its products' lethal effects.

Kelland's third "expert" is Paolo Bofetta, who himself once worked for the IARC. But Kelland does not mention that, after he left the IARC, Bofetta set up a consulting company for toxic industries, or that he was found to have concealed his work with asbestos companies during his time at the IARC.

Bofetta was later found to have concealed data from one of his studies concerning asbestos risks. He has also published papers questioning the carcinogenicity of dioxin, formaldehyde and diesel fumes.

Counter-evidence concealed

Reuters then positioned another Kelland article directly beneath the IARC hit piece. This one was titled "Is your weedkiller carcinogenic?" and creates an impression that the IARC's designation of glyphosate as a "probable carcinogen" is a controversy and scandal.

Kelland criticizes the IARC's inclusion of Dr. Chris Portier because he is "closely linked" to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Kelland inaccurately describes EDF as a "campaign group opposed to pesticides." But in the article itself, an EDF spokesperson says the group does not oppose pesticides, but rather is "strongly in favour of scientific research to assess how chemicals impact human and environmental health." Yet, showing their bias, Kelland's editors let her mischaracterization of the group remain in the article.

Focusing on Portier's links to EDF, Kelland fails to mention anything about his long and prestigious career.

Kelland also emphasizes the ruling of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that glyphosate is unlikely to be carcinogenic, implying that the EFSA's scientific process is superior without explaining why that is so. She mentions a letter signed by Portier and 93 other scientists criticizing the EFSA's decision but does not address any of the scientific critiques the letter raised. Instead she quotes the executive director of the EFSA dismissing the letter as "Facebook science."

She also neglects to mention criticisms of the EFSA's reliance on three industry studies not provided to the IARC. The content of these studies is classified as "confidential business information."

These studies need to be made public, according to scientific reviews specialist Paul Whaley. If the evidence for glyphosate's safety "is as strong as EFSA claims," Whaley says, "then there is no reason for keeping the data secret. If it is not, then glyphosate may be a chemical which needs to be removed from the market because it poses a cancer hazard. Either way, we need to find out."

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