Now you see it, now you don’t: How EFSA and BfR reached a different decision than the IARC Working Group on glyphosate.
Presentation by CSS member Prof. Dr. Christopher Portier, Senior Collaborating Scientist with the Environmental defense Fund and former member of numerous WHO/IARC scientific committees.
CSS Christmas meet and greet
Friday, December 18
CHN P12, Universitätsstrasse 16, 8092 Zürich
Internal CSS meeting & Welcome by the Chair.
Presentation by CSS member Prof. Dr. Christopher Portier, Senior Collaborating Scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund and former member of numerous WHO/IARC scientific committees including the one that declared Glyphosate a 'probable carcinogen to humans'.
Questions & Discussion, followed by a Christmas Apéro.
In November, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans”.
The EFSA decision, based on the Renewal Assessment Report provided by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung BfR), ran counter to the finding earlier this year by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) working group, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans". The IARC review linked glyphosate to dose-related increases in malignant tumours at multiple anatomical sites in experimental animals and to an increased incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in exposed humans.
Subsequently to the EFSA decision about 100 international scientists wrote an open letter to the European Health and Food Safety Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, strongly challenging the EFSA’s decision and the BfR report that it was based on. Corresponding author of the letter is Prof. Dr. Christopher Portier, who has contributed to the development of cancer risk assessment guidelines for national and international governments and agencies and was invited as specialist to the WHO IARC assessment of glyphosate.
On December 18, Dr. Portier discussed the major differences in the risks assessments conducted by the IARC working group, BfR and EFSA and the underlying regulations and mandates of the different evaluation bodies that ultimately led to the contradicting conclusions about the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.
2015 Whistleblower Award
Prof. Dr. Gilles-Eric Séralini received Whistleblower Award 2015 for public disclosure of risks to life and health
On October 16, the Federation of German Scientists (VDW) and the German Section of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) present the 2015 Whistleblower Award equally to the molecular biologists Prof. Dr. Gilles-Eric Séralini from the University of Caen (Normandy, France) and the former US drone pilot Brandon Bryant.
In 2012, Prof. Dr. Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues published a long-term feeding study with rats, showing toxic and carcinogenic effects of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup and genetically engineered Roundup tolerant maize, in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (Elsevier). Subsequently the publication was highly criticised and attacked and ultimately led Elsevier to withdraw the paper on grounds of "inconclusiveness". This meant that the data was no longer to be cited. According to the Committee on Publication Ethids (COPE) this procedure violates the international publishing ethics: Withdrawing papers and the data they contain is only justifiedin cases of severe offences such as demonstrable falsification or manipulation, "honest error" or plagiarsm. In 2014, another peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Sciences Europe (Springer) re-published the paper.
- All Speeches, pictures and videos from the 2015 Whistleblower Award can be found here.
- Laudatory speech for Prof. Dr. Gilles-Eric Séralini held by Christine von Weizsäcker (in German)
- Dr. Otto Jäckel about the one-sided reporting by the media regarding Séralini (in German
Exhibition & Conference
Artistic Research into Environmental Issues
Co-curated by Boris Magrini and Jill Scott
Scientific advisor: Angelika Hilbeck
27. November 2015 - 23. March 2016
Monday to Friday, 11.00 - 19.00
ETH Zurich, Institute of Integrative Biology,
CHN Building, Green Floor, Universitätstrasse 16
Friday, 27. November 2015, 17:00
Models of Diversity
Current Transdiscourses in Art,
Science and Social Issues
Day one - 19. February 2016
ETH Zurichm Institute of Integrative Biology,
CHN Building, Lecture Hall C14, Universitätstrasse 16,
Day two - 20. February 2016
Zurich University of the Arts, ZHdK Toni Areal,
Room: 5.K12, Pfingstweidstrasse 96
Zwischen Fairtrade und Profit
Wer sät, der erntet - oder doch nicht?
Authors: Fausta Borsani, Thomas Gröbly
Book presentation and Discussion
Monday, 23. November 2015, 19.30
Miller's, Seefeldstrasse 225, Zürich-Tiefenbrunnen
The European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Sustainability (ENSSER) & the Federation of German Scientists present the Post-Neonicotinoid-Symposium
The Symposium takes place on 1st of December at Festsaal der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Luisenstraße 56, 10115 Berlin, Germany.
You find the program and form of registration at the ENSSER website.
Neonicotinoids: DDT from the 21st century?
Radio Interview with CSS member Prof. Edward A. D. Mitchell
03 October 2015
Since the mid-1990s, agriculture has experienced a quiet revolution: neonicotinoids. Plants sprayed with neonicotinoids incorporate the toxic substance and become toxic to insects themselves.