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Agricultural News

House Science Committee Republicans Challenge EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Agency's Oversight of Glyphosate

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 21:44:58 CDT

House Science Committee Republicans Challenge EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on Agency's Oversight of Glyphosate Today at the House Science Committee hearing, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) questioned EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on EPA staffers’ involvement with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) monograph on glyphosate. House members, including Oklahoma Third District Congressman Frank Lucas, are upset over conflicting positions taken by the EPA on glyphosate with the apparent result that the US helped the International Agency develop a negative view of the chemical even as a domestic report gave the herbicide a clean bill of health.

According to IARC, two scientists from EPA participated in writing IARC’s monograph 112: Mathew Martin and Peter Egeghy. The IARC report notes that Egeghy was unable to attend the conference portion in person, but he is listed as one of the authors. IARC’s monograph 112 concluded that glyphosate should be listed as a probable carcinogen. This is in direct conflict with the EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC) report on glyphosate (which EPA published online and then subsequently removed) that concluded glyphosate is safe. The IARC report is likely causing EU countries to rethink a renewal of the license for the herbicide, which could have profound impact on farming in the European Union.

Rep. Frank Lucas questioned EPA Administrator McCarthy on the Cancer Assessment Review Committee’s (CARC) report on glyphosate at today’s House Science Committee hearing. This report - dated October 2015, marked final, and signed by all the authors - was posted online and then days later removed from the EPA website. Click here to review the report that was released by EPA and then pulled from their website and apparently is being reworked by bureaucrats within the agency.

While McCarthy maintained that the report is not final - despite being marked otherwise - Lucas noted that “These are the type of things, Administrator, that causes such doubt and concern in the public and in Congress and in the entities that are affected. It’s not good for anyone to do it this way.” McCarthy told Congressman Lucas that a true "final" report will be out as "soon as possible, possibly this fall."

Click the PLAY button in the video box below to see the exchange that Congressman Lucas had with the EPA Administator.

The House Science Committee is conducting an on-going investigation into the removal of the CARC report and the possible conflicts within the EPA between the Office of Research and Development (ORD) – where Martin and Egeghy work – and CARC. Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith has asked for transcribed interviews with Martin and Egeghy – as well as with two career scientists from CARC.

McCarthy during the questioning denied that EPA staffers directly participated on the glyphosate issue with IARC.   However, emails obtained by the Committee show that both Martin and Egeghy were clearly connected and part of the IARC monograph on glyphosate:

1.       Email from Frank Le Curieux, member of the European Chemicals Agency and IARC participant, to five individuals – including Matt Martin. The subject of the email is “DZN and GLY: section 6 from sub-group 4.” As you can see in the attachment, section 6 of the IARC monograph specifically deals with glyphosate. In the email, Le Curieux says they made “quite a nice team” and that it “was a real pleasure to meet and work” with them. He also attached photos that the group took together while in Lyon.

2.       Email from Kathryn Guyton to numerous individuals – including Martin and Egeghy. Guyton is a former EPA employee who now works for IARC and was in charge of Monograph 112. In the email, she thanks participants for “all of their important contributions to the volume 112 Working Group” and sends them talking points on glyphosate.

These emails prove EPA’s involvement in the IARC monograph. This new information reinforces the need for transcribed interviews with these individuals to determine (per Chairman Smith’s letter) the “integrity of the IARC process, the role played by agency officials in the IARC study, and the influence that EPA officials involved in the IARC process have on the agency’s analysis of glyphosate.”



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