Taxpayer-Funded Conspiracy Theories Are Replacing Science

Steve Sherman Contributor
Font Size:

There is an organization that is using tax dollars and they have replaced fact based science with conspiracy theories and results oriented studies.  The France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) receives federal tax dollars and pays to forward the conspiracy theory that corporate agriculture causes illnesses when producing food.  The facts don’t prove that theory to be true.

Even before Donald Trump won the presidency conspiracies and “Fake News” became all the rage and had found a home with organizations and interest groups that wanted to believe that corporate agriculture was producing harmful foods. For years, Monsanto has been in an ongoing court battle over the active ingredient found in Roundup, Glyphosate, a commonly used weed killer. The battle is clear. One side claims Glyphosate is an harmful product and that that company was founded on greed alone.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are claiming the Obama-era EPA intentionally tampered with the safety review process of glyphosate to the benefit of industry. They allege Jess Rowland, a 30-year (not politically appointed) EPA scientist who chaired the agency’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC), single-handedly influenced the regulatory review process in favor of Monsanto while ignoring supposed cancer risks.

The idea of Obama’s EPA going out of its way to help Monsanto instantly reeks of a conspiracy theory without basis in fact to anyone who has followed the Obama EPA even in the slightest. For eight years, the Obama EPA has launched a vendetta against the private sector that affected every industry from auto manufacturing to energy to agribusiness. The EPA has been a weaponized arm of the Obama Administration forcing Ford to establish strict emissions regulations, which the auto industry argued would cost billions and force consumers out of the new car market.

In 2014, they went after pesticides establishing a joint USDA-EPA “Pollinator Health Task Force” to “protect pollinators from pesticide exposure” – a regulation liberals are already fretting will be eliminated by Trump.

Like most conspiracy theories, they can’t stand the light of the truth. The plaintiffs claiming the Obama EPA was trying to help Monsanto peddle what the radical left believes is a cancer-causing environmental poison is laughable. They claim that one person (Rowland) convinced the other 12 scientists on the CARC to sign off on a final report that they didn’t believe in, is like believing the moon landing was videoed in Arizona.

Facts are stubborn things. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have all rejected the probability of a link between glyphosate and cancer. That scientific consensus has only continued to grow, with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) coming to the same conclusion after its own exhaustive review this month.

Instead, their allegations that glyphosate is a carcinogen are based on a single finding from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a WHO sub-agency based in France that is currently under Congressional investigation and recently castigated by House Oversight chair Jason Chaffetz for trying to conceal correspondence from his committee.

Not even the supposed timeline holds up: EFSA, the WHO, and the FAO all weighed in before the EPA declared its position last September, and the EPA’s own findings were the product a painstaking regulatory process that took years and was itself subject to outside review.

A Senate Republicans’ report notes that, under Obama, the EPA funneled more than $27 million in grants to major environmental groups, including the NRDC and the Environmental Defense Fund – both of which have ties to senior EPA officials.

In August 2015, the same Senate committee showed how senior EPA officials used private accounts to collude with representatives from NRDC, the Sierra Club, and other environmental organizations as they crafted regulations. The Obama EPA and the environmental lobby were shall we say, more than cozy.

Congress should stop funding the IARC and make the left prove wild claims of cooperation between big agriculture and the EPA.

Steve Sherman is an author, popular radio commentator, and former Iowa House candidate.