News Article | January 13, 2016
By Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The head of Europe's food safety watchdog has written to a group of nearly 100 senior scientists strongly rejecting their criticisms in a row about the safety of weed-killer ingredient glyphosate. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which advises European Union policymakers, issued an opinion in November that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer. The IARC said in March that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans" while environmental groups have been calling for a ban on glyphosate.
"The head of Europe's food safety watchdog has written to a group of nearly 100 senior scientists strongly rejecting their criticisms in a row about the safety of weed-killer ingredient glyphosate. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which advises European Union policymakers, issued an opinion in November that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer. That was at odds with a view from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), sparked outrage among environmental campaigners and divided the scientific community."
Weedkillers including Monsanto's Roundup are displayed for sale at a garden shop at Bonneuil-Sur-Marne near Paris, France, June 16, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau More CHICAGO (Reuters) - A panel of scientists is disputing a World Health Organization report published earlier this year that concluded glyphosate, the world's most widely used weed killer and main ingredient in Monsanto Co's Roundup herbicide, is probably carcinogenic to humans. The 16-member panel, assembled by Intertek Scientific & Regulatory Consultancy, will present its findings to the annual meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis on Monday, aiming to publish the study at a later date after peer review. Monsanto paid Intertek for the panel's work. The group said that the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) misinterpreted or incorrectly weighted some of the data it reviewed and ignored other data before classifying glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, according to an abstract of its findings. "Thus, none of the results from a very large database, using different methodologies, provides evidence of, or a potential mechanism for, human carcinogenesis," the abstract said. The panel's assessment is similar to that of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which last month said glyphosate was not likely carcinogenic. IARC was not immediately available for comment. The U.S. government says the herbicide is considered safe. In 2013, Monsanto requested and received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for increased tolerance levels for glyphosate, which is mainly used to kill weeds in fields planted with corn and soybeans that are genetically modified to survive it. But concerns about glyphosate on food have been a hot topic of debate in the United States recently and contributed to the passage in Vermont last year of the country's first mandatory labeling law for foods that are genetically modified. Critics say that industry-linked scientists are downplaying the risk to human health and trying to discredit the IARC report by casting doubt on some of the scientific studies that it reviewed. Ten of the 16 scientists on the Intertek panel have been consultants for Monsanto in the past and two others are former Monsanto employees, according to a roster published on Monsanto's website. "IARC's goal was just to score the cancer hazard, that's it. They've looked at all the data and they have really convincing evidence," said Jennifer Sass, senior scientist with the National Resources Defense Council. "What this panel is trying to do is death by a thousand cuts. They're taking a good stack of evidence and starting to hack through it to try to kill it," she said.
Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller atomizers are displayed for sale at a garden shop at Bonneuil-Sur-Marne near Paris, France, June 16, 2015. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which advises European Union policymakers, issued an opinion in November that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer. That was at odds with a view from the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), sparked outrage among environmental campaigners and divided the scientific community. The IARC said in March that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans" while environmental groups have been calling for a ban on glyphosate. Ninety-six academics from around the world signed an open letter to European Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, dated Nov. 27, urging EU authorities to ignore the European watchdogs's opinion. "We urge you and the European Commission to disregard the flawed EFSA finding on glyphosate in your formulation of glyphosate health and environmental policy for Europe," the letter said. It was written by Christopher Portier from the U.S.-based non-governmental organization the Environmental Defense Fund. Portier was also a specialist consulted during the IARC's research on glyphosate. The letter called for "a transparent, open and credible review of the scientific literature". EFSA's opinion could lead the 28-member European Union to renew approval for glyphosate, which was brought into use by Monsanto in the 1970s and is used in its top-selling product Roundup and many other herbicides around the world. In a reply to Portier dated Jan. 13, EFSA Executive Director Bernhard Url described glyphosate as "a keenly debated issue". "I strongly disagree with your contention that EFSA has not applied open and objective criteria to its assessment," Url wrote in the letter, seen by Reuters. Url said representatives of EFSA and the IARC would meet early this year to clarify differences of view between the two bodies and that the IARC evaluations "represent a first step". EU sources said the meeting would probably take place in Brussels in mid-February. EFSA, based in Parma, Italy, also noted its reply was to Portier and the scientists who signed the letter, not the IARC. "We should not compare this first screening assessment with the more comprehensive hazard assessment done by authorities such as EFSA, which are designed to support the regulatory process for pesticides in close cooperation with member states in the EU," Url said. No one at the European Commission or Monsanto was immediately available for comment. A spokeswoman for IARC told Reuters the Lyon-based agency did not wish to comment at this point.
News Article | May 21, 2012
Join us tonight at 8pm right here on TechZulu for the live stream of the NewFront panel. This is your LA chance to meet the shows in LA! Speakers will introduce their new shows debuting this spring, including shows that were pitched at the NewFronts, YouTube-funded shows and other original shows. We’ll discuss how content studios are monetizing this content via advertising, sponsorship, show integration and more. Tickets are still available and can be purchased HERE David Beebe, Fishbowl Worldwide Media/Vin Di Bona Productions. VP & GM, Digital. Oversees the development, production, and programming of YouTube channels CuteWinFail and Petsami, the original series Ultimate Proposal/Ultimate Surprises with Cameron Mathison, Stunt Nation with Sal Masekela on Yahoo, Meet Cute with Ashley Tisdale, and the digital presence for America’s Funniest Home Videos. @davidbeebe @FBWMedia George Ruiz, ICM, Head of New Media and SVP of Business Affairs, ICM. Works with Felicia Day on her Geek & Sundry YouTube-funded channel, as well as theThe Guild (Microsoft, etc.), Dragon Age / Electronic Arts, Kevin Tancharoen / Mortal Kombat- Warner Bros Interactive and Veronica Belmont’s social media campaign for General Motors. @georgeruiz Sarah Penna. Big Frame. Co-founder, Head of Talent Management. Big Frame produces the YouTube funded channel Bammo. Big Frame connects brands with the biggest YouTube Influencers, including MysteryGuitarMan, Destorm, Julian Smith, DaveDays, WhatsUpElle, Tay Zonday, and more. Clients include Home Depot, Sony Electronics, THQ, Virgin Mobile, Levis and Fox.@severshed @BigFrameCo Sarah Malkin, Maker Studios. Director of Programming for the YouTube-funded channel MomsView. Maker Studios generates over 850 million views per month across over 500 channels spanning multiple verticals. Maker exclusively represents talent such as RayWilliamJohnson, ShayCarl, KassemG, and the number one Moms’ Network on YouTube: TheMomsView. Recent clients include: Warner Bros, Fox, Dell, Samsung, Sony, Toyota, Hyundai, Pepsi and more. @makerstudios Adam Wescott, EQAL. Vice President, Owned & Operated Networks. Oversees EQAL’s original media properties utilizing celebrity partnerships with Lauren Conrad, Elle and Blair Fowler, Chelsea Kane and more. Adam runs u look haute fashion and beauty channel and editorial site. u look haute is part of the YouTube funded original partner channels. @adamwescott @EQAL @ulookhaute Jennifer McDonnell, DECA, VP Operations. DECA networks presented NewFront show Momversation.com as a video destination for moms. Content partners include Discovery, CBS, Time Inc., and the Ricki Lake Show. Momversation is part of DECA’s larger syndication network, M Network, that reaches 35 million women monthly. Advertisers include Target, Kraft, Huggies, Hyundia, and more. @jennchantal @momversation Rachael Wexler, Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP, digital entertainment lawyer. Rachael concentrates on digital entertainment, content distribution, financing, licensing, sale, acquisition, and development. She worked on deals including BermanBraun Interactive’s joint venture with Rodale for the launch of YouTube channel 3V, its AOL launch of mandatory.com (with sponsorship by Gilette), and pawnation.com, and its P&G launch of lifestyle websites. Also, she served as special counsel to WME in the recently announced Silver Lake Partners partnership.