Academic Article


  • 2015

Background: Recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Programme for the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans has been criticized for several of its evaluations, and also for the approach used to perform these evaluations. Some critics have claimed that failures of IARC Working Groups to recognize study weaknesses and biases of Working Group members have led to inappropriate classification of a number of agents as carcinogenic to humans. Objectives: The authors of this Commentary are scientists from various disciplines relevant to the identification and hazard evaluation of human carcinogens. We examined criticisms of the IARC classification process to determine the validity of these concerns. Here, we present the results of that examination, review the history of IARC evaluations, and describe how the IARC evaluations are performed. Discussion: We concluded that these recent criticisms are unconvincing. The procedures employed by IARC to assemble Working Groups of scientists from the various disciplines and the techniques followed to review the literature and perform hazard assessment of various agents provide a balanced evaluation and an appropriate indication of the weight of the evidence. Some disagreement by individual scientists to some evaluations is not evidence of process failure. The review process has...

Pearce, Neil; Blair, Aaron; Vineis, Paolo; Ahrens, Wolfgang; Andersen, Aage; Anto, Josep M.; Armstrong, Bruce K.; Baccarelli, Andrea A.; Beland, Frederick A.; Berrington, Amy; Bertazzi, Pier Alberto; Birmbaum, Linda S.; Brownson, Ross C.; Bucher, John R.; Cantor, Kenneth P.; Cardis, Elisabeth; Cherrie, John W.; Christiani, David C.; Cocco, Pierluigi; Coggon, David; Comba, Pietro; Demers, Paul A.; Dement, John M.; Douwes, Jerouen; Eisen, Ellen A.; Engel, Lawrence S.; Fenske, Richard A.; Fleming, Lora E.; Fletcher, Tony; Fontham, Elizabeth; Forastiere, Francesco; Frentzel-Beyme, Rainer; Fritschi, Lin; Gerin, Michel; Goldberg, Marcel; Grandjean, Philippe; Grimsrud, Tom Kristian; Gustavsson, Per; Haines, Andy; Hartge, Patricia; Hansen, Johnni; Hauptmann, Michael; Heederick, Dick; Hemminki, Kari; Hemon, Denis; Hertz-Picciotto, Irva; Hoppin, Jane A.; Huff, James; Jarvholm, Bengt; Kang, Daehee; Karagas, Margaret R.; Kjærheim, Kristina; Kjuus, Helge; Kogevinas, Manolis; Kriebel, David; Kristensen, Petter; Kromhout, Hans; Laden, Francine; Lebailly, Pierre; LeMasters, Grace; Lubin, Jay H.; Lynch, Charles F.; Lynge, Elsebeth; ‘t Mannetje, Andrea; McMichael, Anthony J.; McLaughlin, John R.; Marrett, Loraine; Martuzzi, Marco; Merchant, James A.; Merler, Enzo; Merletti, Franco; Miller, Anthony; Mirer, Franklin E.; Monson, Richard; Nordby, Karl-Christian; Olshan, Andrew F.; Parent, Marie-Elise; Perera, Frederica P.; Perry, Melissa J.; Pesatori, Angela Cecilia; Pirastu, Roberta; Porta, Miquel; Pukkala, Eero; Rice, Carol; Richardson, David B.; Ritter, Leonard; Ritz, Beate; Ronckers, Cecile M.; Rushton, Lesley; Rusiecki, Jennifer A.; Rusyn, Ivan; Samet, Jonathan M.; Sandler, Dale P.; de Sanjose, Silvia; Schernhammer, Eva; Costantini, Adele Seniori; Seixas, Noah; Shy, Carl; Siemiatycki, Jack; Silverman, Debra T.; Simonato, Lorenzo; Smith, Allan H.; Smith, Martyn T.; Spinelli, John J.; Spitz, Margaret R.; Stallones, Lorann; Stayner, Leslie T.; Steenland, Kyle; Stenzel, Mark; Stewart, Bernard W.; Stewart, Patricia A.; Symanski, Elaine; Terracini, Benedetto; Tolbert, Paige E.; Vainio, Harri; Vena, John; Vermeulen, Roel; Victora, Cesar G.; Ward, Elizabeth M.; Weinberg, Clarice R.; Weisenburger, Dennis; Wesseling, Catharina; Weiderpass, Elisabete; Zahm, Shelia Hoar
Environmental Health Perspectives National Institute of Environmental Health Science, Environmental Health Perspectives 123(6): 507–514
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