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The United Nations World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has determined that processed meat, like sausage, is a Group 1 carcinogen - it is going to kill you - and that any red meat is Group 2A, "probably carcinogenic to humans."

For comparison, that means sausage is as bad for your health as asbestos, arsenic and cigarettes.

Should you be worried? Not necessarily. IARC is in the business of linking things to cancer and the data show red meat was correlated to just 3 extra cases of bowel cancer per...

How do you know your science criticisms have gotten noticed? When a world body tries to bully you into silence.

This morning I got an email from the United Nations World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) © ® which, as you can guess by the name, does meta-analyses to find ways to call things cancer-causing agents:

It has come to our attention that our logo is being displayed on your website (http://acsh.org/news/2016/04/18/whats-ailing-iarc-another-round-of-criticism-ensues/) and that you are using it without having obtained prior permission from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the copyright holder...

coffee cancerIf you were laughing at the notion that sausage is just as carcinogenic as cigarettes, you are not alone the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is scrambling to repair the damage to what's left of the credibility of its International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) after its latest paper about processed meat. But that report is...

iarc-logoThe International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is the epidemiological arm of the United Nations, has been in existence since the 1960s but it only recently got a skeptical look from journalists and the general public -- because officials declared that sausage is the same risk as cigarette smoking, plutonium, mustard gas and asbestos.

That doesn't pass the smell test. Obviously those things are riskier than an Oscar Mayer bologna sandwich.

The agency had long been criticized by neutral members of the science community, who knew IARC committees recently were hand-picked based on bizarre criteria; they don't want you...

It seems like a hundred years ago that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was considered a neutral force for public good - but it was only 51.

In 1965, when the Agency was created by the United Nations, there was a lot of optimism about science and the future and IARC was created to instill confidence in the public about the difference between real harm and scaremongering.

The optimism was warranted. By the early 1960s, we had the DNA helix, we had the polio vaccine, we had found Coenzyme Q in humans, we had survived our first big environmental scare, the Cranberry fiasco of 1959, with both Presidential candidates (Kennedy and Nixon) wolfing...

"Honesty is such a lonely word.
Everyone is so untrue.
Honesty is hardly ever heard.
And mostly what I need from you."

Billy Joel, 1979

If Billy Joel's smash hit from 1979 was playing on Pandora at the 2015 meeting of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), it fell upon deaf ears. Although the stated purpose of the meeting was to determine the carcinogenic status of glyphosate (the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup), the agency may have selectively excluded exculpatory data, according to a new investigative report by Reuters.  

This is hardly the first time that the ethics of IARC,...

In Part One, we examined the findings of the 2015 meeting of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), during which a panel of 17 cancer experts considered evidence that would determine what class of carcinogens that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide RoundUp) belonged in.

What was especially strange was that the panel chair was Aaron Blair, an epidemiologist for the National Cancer Institute, was the head of a group which had conducted years of extensive research that gave glyphosate a good safety report card (not expected to be carcinogenic in humans). Yet, the panel never heard anything about Blair's work. He never said a word, allegedly...

The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) says it doesn't know if coffee causes cancer or not, a switch from 1991 when the agency said it did.

Coffee via Shutterstock Coffee via Shutterstock

That is bad for people who want to trust IARC's recommendations -- because its reasons to reverse course on coffee ...

Well before its media talking points were released, it was assumed the World Health Organisation's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) would name the herbicide glyphosate a probable human carcinogen - in sharp contrast to findings by the EPA, the American Council on Science and Health and every legitimate science body.

How could that be? The short answer is that IARC does no original research, they review studies and their metric for inclusion, along with their metric for picking the panels that meet in secret to make their conclusions, are unknown.

Writing in The Guardian,...

The International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC) operates under the auspices of the United Nations World Health Organization with the goal of examining evidence for carcinogenicity (involvement in causing cancer) of specific
exposures. Their belief is that most cancers are linked to environmental factors and are therefore preventable by limiting those, whereas the weight of evidence has shown that most cancers are related to lifestyle (such as smoking or obesity) and genetics or other natural causes (e.g. random mutation.)

Because they are geared toward simpler assessments of hazard and not risk, their findings can be confusing to...