The US Environmental Protection Agency has postponed its scientific review of the carcinogenicity of glyphosate in order to get "additional expertise in epidemiology."
The agency recently appointed nine members to a Science Review Board to serve on a Scientific Advisory Panel that was scheduled to meet next week to discuss the herbicide , the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup. The review of the chemical's human health impact is a key part of the registration process under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.
EPA's full statement, sent by email last Friday morning, says it is postponing the meeting "due to recent changes in the availability of experts for the peer review panel. Given the importance of epidemiology in the review of glyphosate 's carcinogenic potential, the agency believes that additional expertise in epidemiology will benefit the panel and allow for a more robust review of the data. As a result, the SAP meeting on glyphosate is being postponed to later in 2016. The agency will issue another announcement once the new date for the SAP meeting on glyphosate has been determined."
In a brief statement, Monsanto cited EPA's recent issue paper, which said the evidence strongly supports the conclusion that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans "at doses relevant to human health risk assessment."
Monsanto said that conclusion is "based on the overwhelming weight of evidence" and that epidemiological data "clearly support this conclusion."
"We are confident that when the SAP considers the thorough and complete data on glyphosate, the panel will reaffirm EPA's science-based classification," the company said.
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