Some Republican lawmakers have bashed the International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC, a World Health Organization, WHO, agency and threatened to cut its funding over for calling a widely used herbicide chemical, glyphosate as a possible "carcinogenic" at a House Science Committee hearing.
Right-wing lawmakers and industry makers targeted the IARC for its research in 2015 that linked glyphosate to possible cancer in humans.
On Tuesday, a Republican representative from Texas, Lamar Smith, said the health regulating agency's claims were "unsubstantiated" and "not backed by reliable data."
"The selective use of data and the lack of public disclosure raise questions about why IARC should receive any government funding in the future," Smith said.
WHO is defending its stance based on years-long research.
Jennifer Sass, a scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that a 2015 paper by the University of Southern California medical professor Dr. Jonathan Same, said the attacks on the IARC "can be traced to the 'playbook' of the tobacco industry for discrediting findings related to active and passive smoking," Common Dreams reported.
"Fundamentally, this hearing is about the ability of a public health agency to call a carcinogen a carcinogen, even if it makes a huge amount of money for a powerful corporation," Sass said. "Are we willing to sell out the public's right to know about harmful chemicals in the places we work, live, and play, just so that Monsanto can sell more glyphosate?"
Ahead of the hearing, the Democrats came up with their analysis based on a report which detailed Monsanto's ongoing lawsuits, and industry violations.
"These efforts appear aimed at corrupting and disrupting any honest, thorough, and complete scientific evaluation of glyphosate and its potential adverse impact on the public's health," the report concludes.
William Reeves, Chemistry Safety and Outreach Lead at Monsanto, told the Scientist, the surfactants used in Monsanto's widely used weed-killer Roundup are the same as used in regular household products, which could cause membrane degradation and subsequent mitochondrial breakdown in high doses.
"You would see the same thing with dish detergent, you would see it with hand soap," he told the Scientist.
Deborah Kurrasch, the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, "[Glyphosate] doesn’t create a completely poor functioning brain, or have major effects on brain development," Kurrasch said. "The effects are going to be subtle and accumulative over years of exposure. And it’s going to be tricky to convince regulatory bodies that there’s a problem if that’s the case," she said.