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article imageOp-Ed: Glyphosate wins as lobbyists cause postponement of EPA review

By Karen Graham     Oct 21, 2016 in Environment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was slated to hold four days of public meetings, Oct. 18-21, focusing on one pertinent question: is glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world, safe?
But at the last minute, according to eNews Park Forest, the long-planned Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) on the carcinogenicity of glyphosate was abruptly postponed due to “recent changes in the availability of experts for the peer review panel.”
Carey Gillam, formerly a veteran reporter for Reuters, alleges in the Huffington Post that the reason behind the postponement was a letter sent to the EPA from CropLife America, a front group representing Monsanto and other agrichemical companies.
The intense lobbying effort by Monsanto and the agrichemical industry as a whole has now succeeded in keeping the question of glyphosate's safety to be decided after the presidential election.
Back in June this year, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee questioned EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, asking when the review of glyphosate would be available, and she said "no later than this fall." But this latest delay is not sitting well with the committee.
According to the Genetic Literacy Project, on Friday, House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith said, “The unwillingness of the agency to move forward with this analysis may be an attempt to pack the panel with individuals who have a pre-determined agenda or bias not based on sound science.”
And if anyone thinks there isn't a political agenda behind the stall tactics being used in Washington, it's time to get your head out of the sand. An EPA decision that glyphosate does not cause cancer would not only devastate any legislative and legal arguments against glyphosate in the U.S., but abroad, as well.
So yes, there are strong political entities pulling the strings on Capitol Hill. The main complaint in the CropLife America letter to the EPA was the choice of one of the panel members, a leading epidemiologist, Dr. Peter Infante. CropLife wants him to be "completely disqualified from the panel," reports EcoWatch.
CropLife doesn't care for Dr. Kenneth Portier of the American Cancer Society, another member of the panel, either, accusing both men of having a "patented bias" against glyphosate. The CropLife letter was dated Oct. 12 and by Oct. 14, the EPA had bowed to political pressure, saying the meeting was postponed until the agency could find additional epidemiology expertise that would assure "robust representation from that discipline."
What a bunch of hogwash.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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