Glyphosate Cancer Risks and Failure of the Pesticide Regulatory Process

Toxicology and Environmental Health
Green and Pink Lecture Hall, UMCU
Prof. dr. Chris Portier

Dr Chris Portier, Former director, National Center for Environment Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA

Glyphosate Cancer Risks and Failure of the Pesticide Regulatory Process


In March of 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer listed glyphosate (the main ingredient in Round-Up herbicide) as a probable human carcinogen.  The worldwide regulatory community was surprised since they had all listed glyphosate as an unlikely human carcinogen.  This talk will look at the scientific literature used to determine the carcinogenicity of glyphosate including the epidemiology literature, the animal carcinogenicity literature and studies relating to mechanisms by which glyphosate could be causing cancer.  The approaches used by IARC and others will be discussed in order to explain why there is a difference in interpretation.

About Christopher Portier

Prof. Dr. Christopher J. Portier is a semi-retired expert in the design, analysis, and interpretation of environmental health data with a focus on carcinogenicity.  Dr. Portier is currently a Kravits Senior Collaborating Scientist (part-time) with the Environmental Defense Fund, and an Adjunct Professor at Emory University and Maastricht University.  He is also working with several governments on risk assessment issues and is a consultant on chemical-related issues (including glyphosate) to several US law firms.

He has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.  During his 36+ years of research, Dr. Portier has focused on using systems-based approaches to understand the impact of the environment on human health.  He has received numerous awards including the President’s Dream Green Team Award, the Spiegelman Award from the American Public Health Association and the Outstanding Practitioner of the Year Award from the International Society for Risk Analysis. He is an elected Fellow of the International Statistics Institute, the World Innovation Foundation, and the American Statistical Association.  

Prior to his retirement, Dr. Portier served as the Director of the US National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.  Prior to this, Dr. Portier was at the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) where he conducted research on environmental health and served as the Director of the Environmental Toxicology Program, the Associate Director of the National Toxicology Program, and the Senior Scientific Advisor to the Director of NIEHS

Chris Portier

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