OMAHA (DTN) — The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology launched an oversight investigation into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s alleged inadvertent release of a cancer risk assessment final report on glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and many other products on the market.
EPA posted the final report of the agency’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee at the end of last week but pulled it from the agency’s website May 2, saying a full review would not be completed until the end of the year.
That report, dated October 2015, concludes glyphosate likely is not carcinogenic to humans. It was signed by 13 scientists and titled “Final Report.”
In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Wednesday, committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, announced his committee is launching an investigation into the matter.
“…EPA’s removal of this report and the subsequent backtracking on its finality raises questions about the agency’s motivation in providing a fair assessment of glyphosate — an assessment based on the scientific analysis conducted by CARC,” Smith said in the letter.
“Furthermore, EPA’s apparent mishandling of this report may shed light on larger systemic problems occurring at the agency.”
Smith has asked EPA to provide “documents and communications” from Jan. 1, 2015, to the present between agency personnel on the glyphosate assessment to the committee by May 18.
The final report was signed last fall by 13 EPA Cancer Assessment Review Committee members consisting of doctors and other scientists. The report concludes glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.
Monsanto was quick to take advantage of the inadvertent release of the report, issuing a statement this week lauding CARC’s findings on glyphosate.
When contacted by DTN Monday evening, an EPA spokesperson said they were unsure why the report was posted — calling it a “mistake.”
The CARC report had yet to be reviewed by a scientific advisory board. EPA said Monday the advisory board is slated to complete its review by year’s end, when an EPA assessment is finalized or released.