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The glyphosate debacle: Viewpoint on ‘a misleading study, gullible reporters, and a cancer scare’

“As biotech giant Bayer prepares to spend $10 billion settling thousands of lawsuits alleging its weedkiller Roundup (and its active ingredient glyphosate) causes cancer, we’re forced to address a crucial question: how does an herbicide deemed safe by regulators and scientists the world over become the whipping boy of tort lawyers and environmental groups with an ideological ax to grind?”

So says Geoffrey Kabat in a recent article published by the Genetic Literacy Project (GLP).  

According to Kabat, the answer to his question is complex and difficult to address in a single article, but there are two key factors that helped turn an innocuous chemical into a corporate scandal: the publication of low-quality studies asserting, counter to the expert consensus, that glyphosate poses a serious cancer risk, and gullible media outlets that uncritically reported this research to their audiences.

“This combination gave lawyers and activists the academic ammunition they needed to pursue litigation and build public support for the false narrative that Monsanto/Bayer ignored evidence of glyphosate’s cancer risk to boost its bottom line,” Kabat writes. 

Source: GLP. Read the full article here
Photo credit: Zehl Law. Published on GLP
Note: This is part one of a two-part series. Read part two here: Misleading glyphosate-cancer study Part 2: ‘Symptom of a widespread problem’—Concerns about ideological activism in science research and communications

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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