Bibliography Tag: policy and politics

Boone et al., 2014

Boone, Michelle D., Bishop, Christine A., Boswell, Leigh A., Brodman, Robert D., Burger, Joanna, Davidson, Carlos, Gochfeld, Michael, Hoverman, Jason T., Neuman-Lee, Lorin A., Relyea, Rick A., Rohr, Jason R., Salice, Christopher, Semlitsch, Raymond D., Sparling, Donald, & Weir, Scott; “Pesticide Regulation amid the Influence of Industry;” BioScience, 2014, 64(10), 917-922; DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biu138.

ABSTRACT:

Pesticide use results in the widespread distribution of chemical contaminants, which necessites regulatory agencies to assess the risks to environmental and human health. However, risk assessment is compromised when relatively few studies are used to determine impacts, particularly if most of the data used in an assessment are produced by a pesticide’s manufacturer, which constitutes a conflict of interest. Here, we present the shortcomings of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide risk assessment process, using the recent reassessment of atrazine’s impacts on amphibians as an example. We then offer solutions to improve the risk assessment process, which would reduce the potential for and perception of bias in a process that is crucial for environmental and human health. FULL TEXT


Benbrook, 2020

Benbrook, Charles; “Shining a Light on Glyphosate-Based Herbicide Hazard, Exposures and Risk: Role of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Litigation in the USA;” European Journal of Risk Regulation, 2020, 11(3), 498-519; DOI: 10.1017/err.2020.16.

ABSTRACT:

Roundup, and other glyphosate-based herbicides, are the most heavily used pesticides in the history of the USA and globally. In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen”. A portion of the 695,000 Americans then living in 2015 with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) became aware of IARC’s decision. Several thousand Roundup–NHL lawsuits had been filed by the end of 2017, rising to 18,400 by July 2019 and 42,000 by November 2019. Three cases have gone to trial, each won by the plaintiffs. The author has served as an expert witness for the plaintiffs in this litigation and has been compensated for his time spent. The impact of the litigation on the independent assessment of the science useful in determining whether glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicide exposures are linked to NHL is reviewed, as is why the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and IARC reached such different judgements regarding glyphosate human cancer hazard and risk. Two important “lessons learned” regarding the EPA versus IARC assessment of glyphosate cancer hazard and risk are highlighted. The first arises from differences in the magnitude of applicator risks from mostly dermal exposures to formulated glyphosate-based herbicides compared to just dietary exposures to technical glyphosate. The second relates to missed opportunities to markedly lower applicator exposures and risks with little or no impact on sales via reformulation, added warnings and worker safety provisions, company-driven stewardship programmes and greater determination by the EPA in the 1980s to compel Monsanto to add common-sense worker protection provisions onto Roundup labels (eg “wear gloves when applying this product”). Policy reforms designed to alleviate systemic problems with how pesticide hazards, exposures and risks are analysed, regulated and mitigated are described. FULL TEXT


Pellizzari et al., 2019

Pellizzari, E. D., Woodruff, T. J., Boyles, R. R., Kannan, K., Beamer, P. I., Buckley, J. P., Wang, A., Zhu, Y., & Bennett, D. H.; “Identifying and Prioritizing Chemicals with Uncertain Burden of Exposure: Opportunities for Biomonitoring and Health-Related Research;” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2019, 127(12), 126001; DOI: 10.1289/EHP5133.

ABSTRACT:

BACKGROUND: The National Institutes of Health’s Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) initiative aims to understand the impact of environmental factors on childhood disease. Over 40,000 chemicals are approved for commercial use. The challenge is to prioritize chemicals for biomonitoring that may present health risk concerns.

OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to prioritize chemicals that may elicit child health effects of interest to ECHO but that have not been biomonitored nationwide and to identify gaps needing additional research.

METHODS: We searched databases and the literature for chemicals in environmental media and in consumer products that were potentially toxic. We selected chemicals that were not measured in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. From over 700 chemicals, we chose 155 chemicals and created eight chemical panels. For each chemical, we compiled biomonitoring and toxicity data, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency exposure predictions, and annual production usage. We also applied predictive modeling to estimate toxicity. Using these data, we recommended chemicals either for biomonitoring, to be deferred pending additional data, or as low priority for biomonitoring.

RESULTS: For the 155 chemicals, 97 were measured in food or water, 67 in air or house dust, and 52 in biospecimens. We found in vivo endocrine, developmental, reproductive, and neurotoxic effects for 61, 74, 47, and 32 chemicals, respectively. Eighty-six had data from high-throughput in vitro assays. Positive results for endocrine, developmental, neurotoxicity, and obesity were observed for 32, 11, 35, and 60 chemicals, respectively. Predictive modeling results suggested 90% are toxicants. Biomarkers were reported for 76 chemicals. Thirty-six were recommended for biomonitoring, 108 deferred pending additional research, and 11 as low priority for biomonitoring.

DISCUSSION: The 108 deferred chemicals included those lacking biomonitoring methods or toxicity data, representing an opportunity for future research. Our evaluation was, in general, limited by the large number of unmeasured or untested chemicals.  FULL TEXT


Reeves et al., 2019

Reeves, W. R., McGuire, M. K., Stokes, M., & Vicini, J. L.; “Assessing the Safety of Pesticides in Food: How Current Regulations Protect Human Health;” Advances in Nutrition, 2019, 10(1), 80-88; DOI: 10.1093/advances/nmy061.

ABSTRACT:

Understanding the magnitude and impact of dietary pesticide exposures is a concern for some consumers. However, the ability of consumers to obtain and understand state-of-the-science information about how pesticides are regulated and how dietary exposure limits are set can be limited by the complicated nature of the regulations coupled with an abundance of sources seeking to cast doubt on the reliability of those regulations. Indeed, these regulations are sometimes not well understood within health care professions. As such, the objective of this review is to provide a historical perspective as to how modern pesticides were developed, current trends in pesticide use and regulation, and measures taken to reduce the risk of pesticide use to the consumer. Throughout the review, we provide specific examples for some of the concepts as they apply to glyphosate-a pesticide commonly used by both farmers and consumers. In addition, we describe current efforts to monitor pesticide use. We are confident that this succinct, yet thorough, review of this topic will be of interest to myriad researchers, public health experts, and health practitioners as they help communicate information about making healthful and sustainable food choices to the public. FULL TEXT


Meftaul et al.; 2020

Meftaul, I. M., Venkateswarlu, K., Dharmarajan, R., Annamalai, P., Asaduzzaman, M., Parven, A., & Megharaj, M.; “Controversies over human health and ecological impacts of glyphosate: Is it to be banned in modern agriculture?;” Environmental Pollution, 2020, 263(Pt A), 114372; DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114372.

ABSTRACT:

Glyphosate, introduced by Monsanto Company under the commercial name Roundup in 1974, became the extensively used herbicide worldwide in the last few decades. Glyphosate has excellent properties of fast sorption in soil, biodegradation and less toxicity to nontarget organisms. However, glyphosate has been reported to increase the risk of cancer, endocrine-disruption, celiac disease, autism, effect on erythrocytes, leaky-gut syndrome, etc. The reclassification of glyphosate in 2015 as ‘probably carcinogenic’ under Group 2A by the International Agency for Research on Cancer has been broadly circulated by anti-chemical and environmental advocacy groups claiming for restricted use or ban of glyphosate. In contrast, some comprehensive epidemiological studies involving farmers with long-time exposure to glyphosate in USA and elsewhere coupled with available toxicological data showed no correlation with any kind of carcinogenic or genotoxic threat to humans. Moreover, several investigations confirmed that the surfactant, polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), contained in the formulations of glyphosate like Roundup, is responsible for the established adverse impacts on human and ecological health. Subsequent to the evolution of genetically modified glyphosate-resistant crops and the extensive use of glyphosate over the last 45 years, about 38 weed species developed resistance to this herbicide. Consequently, its use in the recent years has been either restricted or banned in 20 countries. This critical review on glyphosate provides an overview of its behaviour, fate, detrimental impacts on ecological and human health, and the development of resistance in weeds and pathogens. Thus, the ultimate objective is to help the authorities and agencies concerned in resolving the existing controversies and in providing the necessary regulations for safer use of the herbicide. In our opinion, glyphosate can be judiciously used in agriculture with the inclusion of safer surfactants in commercial formulations sine POEA, which is toxic by itself is likely to increase the toxicity of glyphosate. FULL TEXT


Williams et al., 2000

Williams, G. M., Kroes, R., & Munro, I. C.; “Safety evaluation and risk assessment of the herbicide Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, for humans;” Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 2000, 31(2 Pt 1), 117-165; DOI: 10.1006/rtph.1999.1371.

ABSTRACT:

Reviews on the safety of glyphosate and Roundup herbicide that have been conducted by several regulatory agencies and scientific institutions worldwide have concluded that there is no indication of any human health concern. Nevertheless, questions regarding their safety are periodically raised. This review was undertaken to produce a current and comprehensive safety evaluation and risk assessment for humans. It includes assessments of glyphosate, its major breakdown product [aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA)], its Roundup formulations, and the predominant surfactant [polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA)] used in Roundup formulations worldwide. The studies evaluated in this review included those performed for regulatory purposes as well as published research reports. The oral absorption of glyphosate and AMPA is low, and both materials are eliminated essentially unmetabolized. Dermal penetration studies with Roundup showed very low absorption. Experimental evidence has shown that neither glyphosate nor AMPA bioaccumulates in any animal tissue. No significant toxicity occurred in acute, subchronic, and chronic studies. Direct ocular exposure to the concentrated Roundup formulation can result in transient irritation, while normal spray dilutions cause, at most, only minimal effects. The genotoxicity data for glyphosate and Roundup were assessed using a weight-of-evidence approach and standard evaluation criteria. There was no convincing evidence for direct DNA damage in vitro or in vivo, and it was concluded that Roundup and its components do not pose a risk for the production of heritable/somatic mutations in humans. Multiple lifetime feeding studies have failed to demonstrate any tumorigenic potential for glyphosate. Accordingly, it was concluded that glyphosate is noncarcinogenic. Glyphosate, AMPA, and POEA were not teratogenic or developmentally toxic. There were no effects on fertility or reproductive parameters in two multigeneration reproduction studies with glyphosate. Likewise there were no adverse effects in reproductive tissues from animals treated with glyphosate, AMPA, or POEA in chronic and/or subchronic studies. Results from standard studies with these materials also failed to show any effects indicative of endocrine modulation. Therefore, it is concluded that the use of Roundup herbicide does not result in adverse effects on development, reproduction, or endocrine systems in humans and other mammals. For purposes of risk assessment, no-observed-adverse-effect levels (NOAELs) were identified for all subchronic, chronic, developmental, and reproduction studies with glyphosate, AMPA, and POEA. Margins-of-exposure for chronic risk were calculated for each compound by dividing the lowest applicable NOAEL by worst-case estimates of chronic exposure. Acute risks were assessed by comparison of oral LD50 values to estimated maximum acute human exposure. It was concluded that, under present and expected conditions of use, Roundup herbicide does not pose a health risk to humans.


Boobis et al., 2008

Boobis, A. R., Ossendorp, B. C., Banasiak, U., Hamey, P. Y., Sebestyen, I., & Moretto, A.; “Cumulative risk assessment of pesticide residues in food;” Toxicology Letters, 2008, 180(2), 137-150; DOI: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2008.06.004.

ABSTRACT:

There is increasing need to address the potential risks of combined exposures to multiple residues from pesticides in the diet. The available evidence suggests that the main concern is from dose addition of those compounds that act by the same mode of action. The possibility of synergy needs to be addressed on a case-by-case basis, where there is a biologically plausible hypothesis that it may occur at the levels of residues occurring in the diet. Cumulative risk assessment is a resource-intense activity and hence a tiered approach to both toxicological evaluation and intake estimation is recommended, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has recently published such a proposal. Where assessments have already been undertaken by some other authority, full advantage should be taken of these, subject of course to considerations of quality and relevance. Inclusion of compounds in a cumulative assessment group (CAG) should be based on defined criteria, which allow for refinement in a tiered approach. These criteria should include chemical structure, mechanism of pesticidal action, target organ and toxic mode of action. A number of methods are available for cumulating toxicity. These are all inter-related, but some are mathematically more complex than others. The most useful methods, in increasing levels of complexity and refinement, are the hazard index, the reference point index, the Relative Potency Factor method and physiologically based toxicokinetic modelling, although this last method would only be considered should a highly refined assessment be necessary. Four possible exposure scenarios are of relevance for cumulative risk assessment, acute and chronic exposure in the context of maximum residue level (MRL)-setting, and in relation to exposures from the actual use patterns, respectively. Each can be addressed either deterministically or probabilistically. Strategies for dealing with residues below the limit of detection, limit of quantification or limit of reporting need to be agreed. A number of probabilistic models are available, but some of there are geographically constrained due to the underlying datasets used in their construction. Guidance on probabilistic modelling needs to be finalised. Cumulative risk assessments have been performed in a number of countries, on organophosphate insecticides alone (USA) or together with carbamates (UK, DK, NL), triazines, chloroacetanilides, carbamates alone (USA), and all pesticides (DE). All identifiable assumptions and uncertainties should be tabulated and evaluated, at least qualitatively. Those likely to have a major impact on the outcome of the assessment should be examined quantitatively. In cumulative risk assessment, it is necessary, as in other risk assessments, for risk managers to consider what level of risk would be considered “acceptable”, for example what percentile of the population should be below the reference value. Criteria for prioritising CAGs for cumulative risk assessment include frequency of detection in monitoring programmes, high usage, high exposure relative to the reference value, large number of compounds (e.g. five or more) in a group. FULL TEXT


Thacker, 2020

Thacker, Paul D, “Transparency and Conflicts in Science: History of Influence, Scandal, and Denial,” Chapter 1 in Integrity, Transparency and Corruption in Healthcare & Research on Health, 2020,Volume I (pp. 3-26), Springer Nature Singapore.

ABSTRACT:

Corporate finances influence many areas of science, originating with tobacco companies which hired public relations firms to protect their profits from research on the harms of smoking. Despite a large body of studies finding that money biases research, scientists and academic organizations fail to embrace the peer-reviewed research on corporate influence. In many instances, they reject the science and try to rationalize behavior, leading a cycle of scandal, followed by reform, followed by later scandal. Because corporate influence is so pervasive and often denied, policymakers must understand this history as well as the research on financial conflicts of interest to protect the public. FULL TEXT


Vineis, 2019

Vineis, P.; “Public Health and Independent Risk Assessment;” American Journal of Public Health, 2019, 109(7), 978-980; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305142.

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Samet, 2019

Samet, J. M.; “Expert Review Under Attack: Glyphosate, Talc, and Cancer;” American Journal of Public Health, 2019, 109(7), 976-978; DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2019.305131.

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