The Competitive Enterprise Institute is calling for the Trump Administration to defund the International Agency for Research on Cancer. A division of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States funds IARC via National Institutes of Health grants.
“As the Administration seeks to cut WHO funding, it should not overlook IARC. This agency has a long history of pushing incomplete and junk science that needlessly scares consumers, leads to costly jury decisions, and advances unwarranted product bans,” says CEI Senior Fellow Angela Logomasini in a new report released today.
The WHO is under fire for failing to sound an early warning about the spread of the novel coronavirus and for proliferating falsehoods at the behest of the Chinese government. Those failures have led to suggestions that the U.S. government should not fund an organization seeming to prioritize Chinese interests over the global community.
The report documents how the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is failing in its mission to give policymakers and consumers information about chemicals that pose a cancer risk.
The agency focuses on determining if a chemical or activity poses a “hazard,” but that should be just the first step in risk assessment. The next steps should consider dose and exposure and whether actual human exposures are significant enough to matter.
The report points to the agency’s 2015 classification of the weed killer glyphosate as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ as an egregious example of all that’s wrong with the agency. That classification led to successful lawsuits against glyphosate, despite being contradicted by numerous scientific reviews around the world that determined the chemical is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.
“IARC’s hazard-based approach results in nonsensical cancer classification, leading to bans of important chemical products that harm farmers and ultimately, consumers,” said Angela Logomasini, CEI senior fellow and author of the report. “It makes no sense for U.S. taxpayers to fund IARC. The Trump Administration should pull funding and send a message to the world that IARC’s nonsensical classifications should be disregarded.”
For more on CEI’s #NeverNeeded campaign, please visit neverneeded.cei.org.