The astute folks—kudos to Daily Environment reporter David Schultz—over at Bloomberg BNA managed to download and now have posted a copy of the Environmental Protection Agency's mysteriously withdrawn report on the carcinogenicity of the herbicide glyphosate. As Bloomberg reported:
Glyphosate, a weed killer developed by Monsanto that is now the most widely used pesticide in the U.S., likely does not cause cancer, according to an Environmental Protection Agency review panel.
The EPA's Cancer Assessment Review Committee made the determination after analyzing several dozen published and unpublished scientific studies of the chemical. The committee finalized its report on Oct. 1, 2015, but did not release it to the public until late April, when the agency inadvertently posted the report online.
The report's findings disagree with a 2015 review of glyphosate by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which found that the pesticide is a "probable carcinogen."
Let's just cut to the chase, here's what the summary of the EPA's suppressed report concluded:
In accordance with the 2005 Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, based on the weight-of- evidence, glyphosate is classified as ?"Not Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans?". This classification is based on the following weight-of-evidence considerations:
****The epidemiological evidence at this time does not support a causal relationship between glyphosate exposure and solid tumors. There is also no evidence to support a causal relationship between glyphosate exposure and the following non-solid tumors: leukemia, multiple myeloma, or Hodgkin lymphoma. The epidemiological evidence at this time is inconclusive for a causal or clear associative relationship between glyphosate and NHL [non-Hodgkin lymphoma]. Multiple case-control studies and one prospective cohort study found no association; whereas, results from a small number of case-control studies (mostly in Sweden*) did suggest an association. Limitations for most of these studies include small sample size, limited power, risk/odd ratios with large confidence intervals, and recall bias as well as missing data. The literature will continue to be monitored for studies related to glyphosate and risk of NHL.
****In experimental animals, there is no evidence for carcinogenicity. Dietary administration of glyphosate at doses ranging from 3.0 to 1500 mg/kg/day for up to two years produced no evidence of carcinogenic response to treatment in seven separate studies with male or female Sprague-Dawley or Wistar rats. Similarly, dietary administration of glyphosate at doses ranging from 85 to 4945 mg/kg/day for up to two years produced no evidence of carcinogenic response to treatment in four separate studies with male or female CD-1 mice. The CARC did not consider any of the observed tumors in 11 carcinogenicity studies in rats and mice to be treatment-related since the observed tumors did not exhibit a clear dose-response relationship, were not supported pre-neoplastic changes (e.g., foci, hypertrophy, and hyperplasia), were not statistically significant on pairwise statistical analysis with concurrent control groups, and/or were within the range of the historical control data.
****Based on a weight of evidence approach from a wide range of assays both in vitro and in vivo including endpoints for gene mutation, chromosomal damage, DNA damage and repair, there is no in vivo genotoxic or mutagenic concern for glyphosate.
Of course, this will not stop the bogus activist campaigns against this herbicide.
*I have always been amazed at how sensitive Swedish people are to the least bit of environmental hazard. It's really surprising that Swedes can expect to live an average of nearly 82 years.
**Disclosure: The link was sent to me by a consultant working for a group called the American Security Project. Board members include Gary Hart, Christine Todd Whitman and whole raft of ex-miiltary types. They also have something called the Business Council for American Security whose members are not listed. ASP is apparently interested in the glyphosate brouhaha because "being able to count on consistent crop supplies is a major factor for them." Doesn't matter that he's a flack if what the guy is pointing me toward is the truth, which it is. Just saying.