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Coalition Urges New Director to Embrace Reform in Favor of Scientific Integrity

WASHINGTON (May 17, 2018) – The Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research (CAPHR) Coalition has issued the following statement after the International Agency for Research on Cancer selected Dr. Elisabete Weiderpass as its new Director, beginning in January 2019:

“The CAPHR Coalition is hopeful that newly elected IARC Director, Dr. Elisabete Weiderpass, will hear the calls from leaders from around the globe who have petitioned both WHO and IARC to embrace the idea of reform, modernize their scientific practices, and renew public confidence in the IARC Monographs Program.

“The IARC Monographs Program has faced worldwide controversy due to its questionable practices, lack of transparency, clear conflicts of interest and dated methodologies for assessing cancer hazards. The concluding term of Christopher Wild presented the perfect opportunity for the IARC Monographs Program to right its course and establish much-needed reform. Dr. Weiderpass can set herself apart from previous IARC leadership and sever any ties to dubious practices for which the Program is widely criticized.

“In 2016, Dr. Weiderpass worked side-by-side with Monograph 112 ‘invited specialist’ Christopher Portier, who has his own series of damning hypocrisies, to coauthor a paper defending the controversial findings on glyphosate. We are cautiously optimistic that despite Dr. Weiderpass previously expressing confidence for the IARC process, she will be remain impartial and ensure moving forward, accuracy, transparency and scientific integrity remain at the forefront.

“The potential for Dr. Weiderpass to lead successfully hinges upon her ability and her resolve to steer the IARC Monographs Program off of the corrupt, destructive path on which it has long traveled. We urge Dr. Weiderpass to not allow ‘business as usual’ to continue at IARC. We implore her to recognize the need for vast reform in favor of scientific integrity and implement significant changes that will correct its current issues and enhance its credibility and integrity moving forward.”

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About the Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research (CAPHR)

The Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research (CAPHR) is an education and outreach initiative to promote credible, unbiased, and balanced assessments of science as the basis of policy decisions and help the public and policymakers understand the relevance of public health studies in our daily lives. In particular, CAPHR promotes reform of the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Monographs Program and brings to light the deficiencies, misinformation, and consequences associated with its work.

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