Now more than ever, we must fight for sound, unbiased science. Unfortunately the American Chemistry Council, a trade group which represents Monsanto and other chemical corporations like Dow, just launched a new campaign called the “Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research,” which clearly seeks to accomplish just the opposite.
A very misleading announcement of the new campaign claims that the ACC is seeking to promote “credible, unbiased and transparent science as the basis of public policy decisions.” And yet, it’s immediately clear that the primary purpose of the new campaign is to attack the World Health Organization’s cancer agency, which in 2015 concluded that glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup — is likely to cause cancer.
Scientific experts from across the world agree that the "IARC Monographs have made, and continue to make, major contributions to the scientific underpinning for societal actions to improve the public's health." The IARC is an independent agency staffed with epidemiology experts, toxicologists and other renowned scientists, and is not a hindrance to credible science. It is, however, a threat to Monsanto’s profits; the company sells billions of dollars’ worth of Roundup, which accounts for a third of their overall sales, each year.
Now, in part because of the IARC’s conclusion, California intends to list glyphosate as a known carcinogen, which means every bottle of Roundup in the state could soon carry a large warning label. Public policy decisions like the one California officials made should absolutely be based on "credible, unbiased and transparent science" as the American Chemistry Council states. But attacking the IARC, which reviewed all published scientific literature on glyphosate and reached an unbiased conclusion, does not accomplish that goal.
Monsanto and its trade group are clearly seeking to block sound science, not improve it. We already have far too much industry-backed science, and many of our regulatory agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency, have been too quick to side with the industry in the past. For example, the EPA quickly agreed to remove one scientist from its panel on the safety of glyphosate after CropLife America, another trade group for Monsanto and other agribusinesses, objected.
The American Chemistry Council’s new campaign to “promote credible, unbiased science” really aims to do just the opposite by attacking one of the biggest threats to Monsanto’s profit: the IARC — an independent agency which has focused not on the profit of corporations, but on our health.