Agrochemical giant Monsanto claims it has uncovered damning evidence of a plot to bury research which proved glyphosate’s safety at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
In 2015, the body fuelled an almighty European row when it became the first to conclude glyphosate was ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’.
Several other organisations, including the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), have since declared glyphosate to be non-carcinogenic.
Now secret documents from a court case in the USA, seen by European news service Politico, revealed two studies from Germany were unfairly disregarded by the IARC.
Charles William Jameson, a scientist who helped to prepare the IARC’s assessment on glyphosate, said he did not receive any data from Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, despite a study being sent to the IARC a month before the body was due to rule.
He also claimed he was only sent a peer-reviewed study by researcher Helmut Greim at the very last moment and so could not include it in the IARC’s assessment. The research showed no connection between glyphosate and cancer in 14 lab rats.
A Crop Protection Association spokesman said: “These fresh revelations serve to underline the importance of science-based policy making and offer further proof glyphosate is, and always has been, safe.
“The implication the IARC study was both flawed and lacking in scientific basis is worrying, and underscores the importance of relying on the ECHA and EFSA conclusions on glyphosate in their reviews.
“We are now urging the Government to represent the interests of farmers, consumers and science and vote for a full, 15-year renewal of glyphosate.”
A spokesman for the IARC told Politico no data was withheld from Mr Jameson and all research it received was distributed through shared electronic resources.