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Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup. Flickr

Cancer Expert: EU Studies on Glyphosate Are 'Scientifically Flawed'

Dr. Christopher Portier, a toxicologist and former director of the U.S. National Center for Environmental Health, has criticized the conclusions of European Union agencies which found that glyphosate—the active ingredient in Monsanto's widely used weedkiller Roundup—is not carcinogenic to humans.


In a May 28 letter to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, Portier claims that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) failed to include in their assessments eight instances of "significant increases in tumor response" in rodents that were tested for cancer after exposure to the herbicide.

"This suggests that the evaluations applied to the glyphosate data are scientifically flawed, and any decisions derived from these evaluations will fail to protect public health," the cancer expert wrote.

Portier noted that the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs Program classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

He also expressed concern that the EFSA inadequately evaluated glyphosate's effects on reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption.

"Since the industry-supported scientific evidence is not available to external scientists, I am unable to evaluate these data and determine if there are positive findings that escaped detection," he wrote. "I encourage you to release these data for external analysis and review as well."

Two weeks ago, the European Commission announced it was proposing a 10-year extension to its approval of glyphosate, citing the ECHA study.

Portier requests that both EFSA and ECHA review the evidence he submitted. He urges Juncker to refrain from "making any decisions on glyphosate until these positive findings are included."

Anca Paduraru, a spokesperson for the Juncker, told Euractiv that the commission will ask the agencies to respond to the letter.

"Given that the majority of the problems raised by the letter are related to the scientific evaluation of glyphosate, the commission will ask EFSA and ECHA to respond," Paduraru said, adding that the commission currently has no reason to doubt the evaluation of the EU agencies.

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LNG tanker. kees torn, CC BY-SA 2.0

GOP Senators, Fueled by Industry Cash, Propose Bill to Expedite Small Scale LNG Exports

By Steve Horn

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have introduced a bill to fast-track the regulatory process for the export of small-scale liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The bill, titled "Small Scale LNG Access Act," was introduced on Oct. 18 and calls for amending the "Natural Gas Act to expedite approval of exports of small volumes of natural gas." The proposed legislation follows in the footsteps of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) proposed rule which would assume that all U.S. small-scale exports of LNG, with the gas mostly obtained via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), is in the "public interest" as defined by the Natural Gas Act.

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EPA Pulls Scientists From Talk on Climate Change, Highlighting Fears Agency Is 'Muzzling' Staff

Ever since Scott Pruitt took the helm of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he has worked to undo decades of hard-fought climate protections, denied that carbon dioxide is a "primary contributor" to climate change, and even removed mentions of the term "climate change" from agency websites.

Now, the agency has canceled the speaking appearances of three of its scientists to discuss the topic at a conference in Rhode Island on Monday, highlighting "widespread concern that the EPA will silence scientists from speaking publicly on climate change," the New York Times reported Sunday.

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Snow Leopards Still Threatened by Consumer Demand for Skins and Body Parts

Today is International Snow Leopard Day, a global observance commemorating the signing of the Bishkek Declaration on the conservation of snow leopards in 2013.

The snow leopard has been listed on the IUCN Red List as "Endangered" since 1986, although it recently had its threat status downgraded to "Vulnerable."

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Dr. Michael Mann on Extreme Weather: 'We Predicted This Long Ago'

You can't go far in the climate movement without hearing the name of Dr. Michael E. Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University and author of The Hockey Stick and The Climate Wars and, more recently, The Madhouse Effect.

Dr. Mann came to public attention back in 1998 when he and two colleagues published the landmark MBH98 paper documenting average global temperatures across the centuries with a line graph whose steep uptick in recent years earned it the name "the hockey stick." The paper—with its inconvenient truth about the consequences of fossil fuels—made him a target for climate deniers, but Dr. Mann refused to be silenced and has become one of America's leading public voices for a scientific and rational approach to climate change.

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The Dutch Weed Burger is made from three types of algae. The Dutch Weed Burger

How Marine Algae Could Help Feed the World

By William Moomaw and Asaf Tzachor

Our planet faces a growing food crisis. According to the United Nations, more than 800 million people are regularly undernourished. By 2050, an additional 2 to 3 billion new guests will join the planetary dinner table.

Meeting this challenge involves not only providing sufficient calories for every person, but also assuring a balanced diet that includes the protein and nutrients that are essential to good health. In a newly published study, we explain how marine microalgae could be a sustainable solution for solving global macro-hunger.

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A Bureau of Land Management contractor's helicopter forces a wild horse into a trap during the recent roundup at the Salt Wells Creek. Steve Paige

Brutal Outlook for Healthy Wild Horses and Burros: BLM Calls for Shooting 90,000

On Thursday, the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board recklessly voted to approve recommendations that call on the Bureau of Land Management to shoot tens of thousands of healthy wild horses and burros.

At its meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado, the advisory board recommended that BLM achieve its on-range population goal of 26,715 wild horses and burros while also phasing out the use of long-term holding facilities—both within three years.

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‘Geostorm’ Movie and Climate Hacking: Are the Dangers Real?

By Jane A. Flegal and Andrew Maynard

Hollywood's latest disaster flick, "Geostorm," is premised on the idea that humans have figured out how to control the earth's climate. A powerful satellite-based technology allows users to fine-tune the weather, overcoming the ravages of climate change. Everyone, everywhere can quite literally "have a nice day," until—spoiler alert!—things do not go as planned.

Admittedly, the movie is a fantasy set in a deeply unrealistic near-future. But coming on the heels of one of the most extreme hurricane seasons in recent history, it's tempting to imagine a world where we could regulate the weather.

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Area 1002 of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain. Wikimedia Commons

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The Senate Republicans' narrow passage of the 2018 budget plan on Thursday opened the door for oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR).

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