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section on Round Up[edit]

Why do you re-direct to here from Round Up? Round up is a mixture of many chemicals some of which are more harmful than Glyphosate. Claustro123 (talk) 00:18, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Hit us with some well sourced facts, and you could prove that claim. HiLo48 (talk) 02:26, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
However real facts may make little difference if you expect any changes to this article. Check the previous discussions. Gandydancer (talk) 02:51, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
I always though RoundUp was just a commercial variety of Glyphosate, but am happy to be convinced it's more than that. If it is different, I would support creation of a new article. HiLo48 (talk) 03:01, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
HiLo, at one time there were two articles. There should be two because the additives to glyphosate that turn it into RoundUp (though there are now numerous similar products) have been named as the possible cause for what some believe to cause health problems. However, many of the studies that have been done are done with glyphosate alone, and to further complicate things RoundUp will not give a list of what they've added calling it a trade secret (they are not the only ones that can legally do this). I think what I've said here is mostly correct but I no longer bother to keep up with new info or work on any Monsanto article since it's a waste of time IMO. Gandydancer (talk) 03:36, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
If the components of RoundUp are a secret, I can't see how we can write an article on them, nor blame them for problems. Reliable sources are what we need here. HiLo48 (talk) 04:19, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Half of the ingredients are secret. Just like the ingredients of Coca Cola yet you list Coca Cola.. Source is here.

Claustro123 (talk) 17:48, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

I don't know if this is RS or not - it's just the first thing that came up when I googled it. But at any rate, it will help you to become familiar with what's going on (I think - I haven't read it). [1] Gandydancer (talk) 04:31, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
Well, it's Russian. That's not automatically bad, but they are unlikey to write glowing stuff about a big American corporation. I still see problems with the secrecy of the ingredients. Hard to write about stuff we don't know. HiLo48 (talk) 04:46, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
LOL, yes I see that I could not have made a worse choice if I tried. Here's what they have to say about the current Trump/Putin ongoings: [2] Google it and you will find plenty as the ongoing lawsuit has put it in the news. Gandydancer (talk) 04:56, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
Well comrades, I read [3], and it's old news (and please don't anyone accuse me of being uninterested in real facts). The source is an opinion piece as opposed to a news report, and much of it is about the lawsuits over the emails, a topic about which we recently expanded what the page says. As for the other ingredients being toxic, the only scientific study mentioned by the source, and it is presented as being very important, is none other than the long-ago discredited Séralini study. Unless Wikipedia is switching over to alternative facts, I'm not seeing anything to add to the page. But if an actual reliable source emerges, I would definitely want us to cover it. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:49, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
You seem to have just skipped the part where I made fun of the Russian article. After reading their version of the current Russia/US political situation I didn't bother to waste my time reading it because my time is more valuable than that. Gandydancer (talk) 17:50, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
No, I understand you on that and I didn't mean it that way, just making clear what I think about this stuff. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:57, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

How about "Round Up Power Max" or "Round Up Weather Max" as listed here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Claustro123 (talkcontribs) 17:26, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Those are just trade names that we generally don't create separate articles for. Pesticide trade names are a dime a dozen in terms of the same or similar formulations getting rebranded. We generally stick with the active ingredient as the article title and mention trade names if there's anything of particular note with it there instead. There hasn't been anything new that would really warrant a split at this point though. Kingofaces43 (talk) 21:16, 23 July 2018 (UTC)
  • There is already consensus for a separate round-up article, it just needs someone to do it. The main problem is that some editors who have strongly advocated for a split are doing so because they want to create a POV fork more than an actual encyclopedic article. AIRcorn (talk) 00:26, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

Sir. I just returned from a visit to Wall Mart and while there I looked at the Round Up on their shelves. I found 4 separate mixtures that ranged from1% glyphosate to 50% glyphosate. The mixtures I found were Round Up 365, Round Up Super Concentrate, Round Up Extended Control and Round Up Concentrate Plus. I would like to respectfully suggest that the Product "Round Up" should have it's own page as Glyphosate is also used in other weed control products such as Monsanto's Vision. Claustro123 (talk) 18:11, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

That is actually justification for not splitting, and we don't decide WP:N by looking at Walmart products with the same active ingredient. As already mentioned above, pesticide products often get tons of different trade names and formulations. Us agriculture educators even need to point this out to farmers at seminars, etc., with respect to preventing pesticide resistance, so it's no surprise the general public gets confused by all the trade names as well. Generally, notable trade names, such as Roundup, get mentioned in the lead of the article, and that's about it. If another company becomes well known for their glyphosate formulation, that too will be mentioned here. Plus, a split would be redundant since nearly all of the information at this article would still remain here. A split isn't functionally improving anything at this point. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:06, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
Roundup passes WP:GNG under our notability guidelines - we would not be able to take sources discussing Roundup and use them interchangeably with Glyphosate, they are separate topics. I'm not sure why these articles were merged because the only links are to the dab page, but it seems there is consensus for recreation per Aircorn so I am working on getting the article started. Seraphim System (talk) 21:20, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
I created the article at Glyphosate herbicides - some of the redirects pointing here should probably be redirected there. Seraphim System (talk) 12:37, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
That would be entirely redundant with this article. Please keep in mind (especially reading my comment yesterday to you) that we can't say they are significantly different. Most of the formulation stuff can be easily handled here without violating WP:DUE by pointing out the POEA isn't allowed in aquatic formulations anyways. Kingofaces43 (talk) 14:34, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
I completely disagree, they are handled differently at the regulatory level and there is a lot of detail that this article doesn't cover. There is a lot this article doesn't cover and two articles is completely appropriate here. You should certainly know better then to unilaterally blank an article and redirect it, especially when most editors disagree with you. Seraphim System (talk) 15:35, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree strongly with Seraphim System, and I am happy that you created the new article. I particularly like the pagename, as opposed to calling the page RoundUp, both because it's more inclusive that way and because it makes it a little bit easier to stay away from making it a POV-fork (something I would vigorously oppose). I do believe that there is a sufficient rationale for making this page about the chemical compound, and the new page about the herbicidal products. (That probably will mean moving some content from here to there.) --Tryptofish (talk) 18:50, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
I support the creation of a new article; I also think that a more focused RoundUp page could work, particularly if the focus was on marketing, sales, trademark history, and branding. Glyphosate-based products are indisputably distinct from their main ingredient, and as long as the article on the products makes this distinction clear, and meets wikipedia's sourcing guidelines, I see no issue with the split.Dialectric (talk) 18:59, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Removal of cohort study[edit]

@IntoThinAir: Could you please elaborate on your removal of a large cohort study? --Leyo 12:20, 24 July 2018 (UTC)

The text makes a medical claim, so its sources need to pass WP:MEDRS. A primary study such as the one cited fails WP:MEDRS. Review articles would be one type of source that would pass MEDRS. IntoThinAir (formerly Everymorning) talk 12:37, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
There was a (free) commentary piece in the journal when the study was published. SmartSE (talk) 13:55, 24 July 2018 (UTC)
That's great. But it also does not meet MEDRS as it is a commentary, not a review article. IntoThinAir (formerly Everymorning) talk 03:50, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
There is a large difference between selling the result of a cohort study as a fact and describing that a large cohort study found xyz. While I agree that the former is not acceptable, I don't generally concerning the latter. --Leyo 08:03, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
Either way, we don't do either when it comes to WP:MEDRS since we're all anonymous editors here who can't engage in peer-review or follow-up critique of primary sources (more on that here). Kingofaces43 (talk) 16:20, 25 July 2018 (UTC)
That does not address my point. --Leyo 20:49, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
Unless I'm missing something, you said you don't agree describing that a large cohort study found xyz isn't acceptable. That's what I'm saying goes against MEDRS. Kingofaces43 (talk) 22:54, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
You simple call it a primary study and you do not differentiate on how the results are presented. --Leyo 14:15, 27 July 2018 (UTC)
That would go against the standard convention that is used with WP:MEDRS. In general, the only time primary studies are used in medical topics is if we're also citing it alongside a review that discusses it for reference. Kingofaces43 (talk) 15:41, 27 July 2018 (UTC)


Just a reminder since we've had previous conversations on this, but the current glyphosate/cancer lawsuits are not something we've had consensus to include yet. Part of the caution is contradicting the current WP:MEDRS sources that say glyphosate is not a significant carcinogen. Someone filing a lawsuit is not enough to contradict that in terms of WP:WEIGHT. The bigger one though is that it's an ongoing lawsuit. Once has to be wary of ambulance chasing in a topic like this as it is, but until claims are considered to be valid in a completed cased, we're not really in a place to be showcasing claims in ongoing litigation that's prone to posturing, etc.

That being said, the whole lawsuit thing is tied to the IARC, conflicts of interest there, etc. so there may be areas to include mention of it before the close of the case. Tackling either one is messy, but if it's just mention of the case like I removed here (we're under 1RR which also includes essentially following WP:BRD), it's probably going to be easier on all of us policy-wise when the case is completed. Kingofaces43 (talk) 23:15, 25 July 2018 (UTC)

I'm wondering whether we could still have perhaps one sentence about the existence of the suit at this time, without going into the allegations. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:53, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
I was thinking about that if we fit it into the IARC stuff in the last paragraph. The first sentence already mentions it to a degree. Maybe a slight tweak there if any? Kingofaces43 (talk) 23:00, 26 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm dope-slapping myself for having forgotten that we already had that material in that section! Thanks for reminding me. Actually, I think that's OK for now, and a good reason to wait for more resolution in the case before adding more content. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:12, 26 July 2018 (UTC)

Does this change anything????? Claustro123 (talk) 01:36, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

No, because that list includes pretty much everything, from chloral hydrate, warfarin, and asbestos, to ethyl alcohol, leather dust, aspirin, 'salted fish, Chinese style' and 'emissions from high temperature unrefined rapeseed oil' Sumanuil (talk) 04:28, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

Case Resolved[edit]

This needs to be added to the page (as discussed above). The merging of RoundUp with Glyphosate needs to be reversed. Glyphosate is not synonymous with RoundUp, and this case is a good reason to finally make the correction I called for a year ago. It is the surfactants in the formulation that are being at least partially blamed for harm to humans. The internal documents show Monsanto is aware of this (pages 5-7 here). This was touched upon in The Nation who quoted one of the internal emails used in the case:

"Plaintiffs claim that Monsanto “knew or should have known that Roundup is more toxic than glyphosate alone” but continued to advertise the product as safe. In a 2002 e-mail, Monsanto product–safety strategist William Heydens wrote to Donna Farmer, one of the company’s leading toxicologists: “What I’ve been hearing from you is that this continues to be the case with these studies—glyphosate is OK but the formulated product (and thus the surfactant) does the damage.”


Brent Wisner, a lawyer for Johnson, in a statement said jurors for the first time had seen internal company documents “proving that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and specifically Roundup could cause cancer.”

Until RoundUp has its page back, where do you all suggest this be added? petrarchan47คุ 09:05, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

It doesn't belong anywhere in the article. One lawsuit in litigation crazy California is not proof of anything. We are seeing a law firm's perspective. I want to see these "secret" Monsanto documents. HiLo48 (talk) 10:40, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
I linked to them in above. petrarchan47คุ 17:16, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
At a minimum, the case verdict should be covered in Monsanto legal cases and I will add it tomorrow if no one else does first. There is significant coverage of this case. I agree that Roundup and Glyphosate are not synonymous and should have separate articles, and have said so for some time. This case would certainly merit some coverage in the Roundup article if we had one. We are not here to 'prove' anything about glyphosate or Roundup, but instead reflect what reliable sources say about it.Dialectric (talk) 15:16, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
In my opinion, the resolution of the suit (with the caveat that I assume there are likely to be appeals, so this isn't final) does make the suit something that should be covered with some prominence. I'm neutral for the moment about whether it would be better to have it in a history section here versus a separate page about Roundup. But it unquestionably belongs in the legal cases page. I agree strongly with Dialectric that were are not here to 'prove' anything. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:17, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
For now, it’s probably better to take a wait and see approach beyond what’s currently up with WP:RECENTISM, in mind. Since this basically amounts to a fringe claim that glyphosate causes cancer (from non-qualified jurors), we do need to keep WP:DUE in mind considering the general scientific agreement on the matter. That being said, this stuff came out yesterday, so I’d expect independent scientists to be speaking out about it in the coming week or so that we could source to.
This is somewhat on par with a how a jury could still be easily misled vaccines cause autism, etc. as HiLo alluded to, so we will need to take care with it being a prominent case while also keeping in line with the fringe guideline. It won’t be easy crafting content to say the least. Kingofaces43 (talk) 20:46, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
I propose to reinsert the sentence, "Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m damages to a farmer [per source: groundskeeper] in California, USA who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma [1]" This is just a reliably sourced, neutral summary of the result of this law suit and clearly not WP:UNDUE in a section Legal cases. JimRenge (talk) 21:37, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
According to the source, the word "farmer" should be changed to groundskeeper in the sentence above. JimRenge (talk) 21:55, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
I don't have a strong opinion about how to write it, and I do recognize that we need to be careful about recentism. However, I would oppose adding nothing at all at this time, and I think we need to say something about it now. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:05, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I wasn’t thinking of adding nothing, but trying to fit it into the current cancer discussions somehow for due weight. Aircorn has been doing some trimming lately, so I’m ok with the rough current version for now until we can dig into the material more. Kingofaces43 (talk) 00:10, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Jim, that content was already included, which is why I removed it. That being said, when some claims chemical X gave them cancer when the scientific community disagrees with such an outcome, we usually need some mention for due weight to avoid having WP:FRINGE viewpoints standing on their own. Kingofaces43 (talk) 00:10, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Kingofaces43, yes, I didn´t realize that you had removed redundant text/repetition. I see no serious problem with the short summary as it is. JimRenge (talk) 14:41, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

The problem is this article is about one ingredient in Roundup. Glyphosate makes up only 51% of the formulation, and this case brought out the fact that the adjuvants and other additives are not inert. It is anti-science for WP to continue to pass off Glyphosate as synonymous with Roundup, and the problem is further elucidated by the fact that we are quibbling over whether to mention this case in the "history" or cancer section here.

From internal documents shown to jurors is this quotation coming directly from Donna Farmer, lead toxicologist for Monsanto:

“The terms glyphosate and Roundup cannot be used interchangeably nor can you use “Roundup” for all glyphosate-based herbicides any more. For example, you cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen … we have not done the necessary testing on the formulation to make that statement.” petrarchan47คุ 17:16, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Petrarchan, this is getting into unrelated WP:OR or synth territory to the case with respect to Roundup vs glyphosate. Also, please be wary about cherrypicking emails provided by the litigants without context (I would hope most are aware of how bad "Climategate" got). A lot of the stuff in the case itself is going to be WP:UNDUE with respect to what WP:MEDRS sources have to say. If we're going to give any weight to the idea that the adjuvants are significantly causing cancer (not something really given weight by MEDRS from what I've seen), then we need MEDRS discussion of that. Kingofaces43 (talk) 02:10, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Per Wikipedia:No original research the "policy of no original research does not apply to talk pages". Petrarchan47 does not appear to be arguing that the quote be added to article space. Dialectric (talk) 08:10, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
It may appear as SYNTH/OR but that is only because I didn't include my sources. The internal emails were reported on over a year ago, in the New York Times. The Intercept, considered WP:RS has been reporting on the issue of the "inert ingredients" since May. The recent case found that "specifically Roundup" was responsible for the man's cancer, as reported in Reuter's. They singled it out:
"Brent Wisner, a lawyer for Johnson, in a statement said jurors for the first time had seen internal company documents "proving that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and specifically Roundup could cause cancer."
I will return back when I have time, to include all of my sources that have informed everything I've said on this talk page. Once you read the reporting, you will see that everything I've has been covered in RS, and I'm not using SYNTH. [Adding: CNN article discussing the fact that these non-Hodgkins court cases specify Roundup; the article goes into detail about the additives they believe cause harm.]
And this from the Guardian, reporting on the recent case: "Now...Monsanto’s secretive strategies have been laid bare for the world to see. Monsanto was undone by the words of its own scientists, the damning truth illuminated through the company’s emails, internal strategy reports and other communications. The jury’s verdict found not only that Monsanto’s Roundup and related glyphosate-based brands presented a substantial danger to people using them..."
Now here is the tricky part for us, we cannot appear to be helping the defense by confusing the public about the distinction between Glyphosate and the formulations, nor by the fact that without a Roundup page, we can't really cover the story of this and future cases properly. It's a bit 'too' convenient for Monsanto, it will almost look like they're exerting some influence over this website, which would make sense but we have the whole WP:NPOV thing to consider. Besides, Glyphosate and Roundup are two different animals. Google "synergistic effect" (RS has reported on SE too, I'm not using SYNTN here either.]
KoA43, would you be opposed to a "Roundup" article? petrarchan47คุ 10:03, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
For reasons that I'll explain just below, I would very strongly oppose the creation of RoundUp as a standalone page in addition to the page that has already been created. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:20, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm traveling and have an unreliable internet connection, so please bear with me, but I listened to some coverage of the verdict on NPR this (Sunday) morning, and something that struck me was that the reporter made a distinction in that the jury verdict was a legal finding, but that the jury may not have been in a position to make a scientific determination. I'm definitely in favor of covering the case prominently, but I think it may be useful to keep that distinction in mind. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:08, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Trypto for that information. I think its very important as well. Gandydancer (talk) 16:30, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
All that I am showing here is reason to go ahead and reinstate the Roundup article. Does anyone disagree? petrarchan47คุ 09:07, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
@Petrarchan47: The new article is at Glyphosate-based herbicides. There is some support for this title over "Roundup" because it includes also includes Rodeo, etc. and discussing them all together is relevant for some of the content like aquatic toxicology. I don't think another split is needed just yet since the article itself is still rather short.Seraphim System (talk) 09:39, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Um, no. I have just added many sources to this page justifying why Roundup should have its own page, called "Roundup". How do you tell the story of Monsanto's biggest selling product without using the word Roundup? How do you justify NOT having a page for "Roundup" specifically? This again, seems way too convenient for Monsanto/Bayer and not at all in keeping with common sense or how this encyclopedia usually operates. We have pages about high school rock bands but you all think not having a page called "Roundup" is OK? Please, defend your position. petrarchan47คุ 10:39, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
"Roundup is the most popular weed killer on the planet ... The leading seller of glyphosate is Monsanto, the maker of Roundup." But you don't think it deserves it's own page? petrarchan47คุ 10:53, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
I think editors said they already added it to Monsanto legal cases. Roundup is a DAB page anyway, so that's unlikely to change. It would have to be called Roundup (herbicide) or something. I don't really want to get involved beyond that. Seraphim System (talk) 10:58, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
I feel strongly that Glyphosate-based herbicides is the correct way to go. RoundUp redirects there, and Roundup is a DAB page, and that's the way that it should stay. RoundUp from Monsanto is one of the glyphosate-based herbicides, and the effect of giving it a separate page would inevitably be the creation of a WP:POV-fork that says "Monsanto and RoundUp are bad". --Tryptofish (talk) 14:20, 15 August 2018 (UTC)


Meaningless statement[edit]

This statement is not even wrong, it is completely meaningless in agricultural terms: "Farmers quickly adopted glyphosate, especially after Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready crops, enabling farmers to kill weeds without killing their crops."

A correct statement could be for example "Farmers quickly adopted glyphosate, because it is a broad spectrum herbicide, and thus will kill all green plants sprayed, not only certain groups of weeds. That means fewer rounds in the field, and using less herbicide (with a link to Wiki entry Herbicides, and the difference between broad leaf, narrow leaf, and the more specialized herbicides).

Perhaps followed by "When Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant Roundup Ready crops, it enabled farmers to kill weeds even more efficiently, and so use even less herbicide per hectare. In addition, herbicide resistant crops enables so called Conservation Agriculture(link), i.e. reduced tilling, which reduces water and fuel consumption, erosion, as well as carbon emissions. Today, several formulations of glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the World." (although even if that is true, it may sound a bit like trying to sell more of it?) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ronja R (talkcontribs) 17:03, 27 July 2018 (UTC)

I don't see any problem with the current wording. HiLo48 (talk) 00:59, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
My issue with that sentence is that it ignores the fact that many farmers used glyphosphate before GM crops came out (which wasn't until 1996). I actually like the proposed wording better, but it could be imroved even further. There is too much focus on GM crops when its use is much more broad than that and glyphosphate has been popular and useful for a long time. It is also not supported in the article body, or I can't find where it is supported. AIRcorn (talk) 06:56, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
I'll bet Monsanto could provide supporting material. HiLo48 (talk) 07:20, 28 July 2018 (UTC)
Back in May 2018, I suggested on this talk page that the article would benefit from a history section. I found a few sources at that time but didn't go much further with it. I still think that would benefit the article, and can work on one this month. 'Quickly adopted' is imprecise, and I had trouble finding precise historical sales numbers from Monsanto for Roundup alone, though they do have some info on total ag chemical sales. As a side note, I think the archiving is a bit aggressive on this talk page, with discussions only a few months old getting auto-archived, and a level of activity that doesn't necessitate this.Dialectric (talk) 15:10, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
I like the idea of a history section. About the archiving, I just slowed it down to six months. (It had said three months but was actually set for 30 days, so that was the problem.) --Tryptofish (talk) 16:20, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

Roundup in the news... and it's not good, but should be covered onwiki[edit]

Hi I was surprised that the $289m damages story was not to be found onwiki. I heard it on the news in NL and then read the NPR story. For this amount of damages awarded and for international coverage, there should be a place for people to come to for answers. Probably it needs its own page at this point - maybe something like 2018 Roundup vs. Gardener lawsuit? Jane (talk) 17:39, 11 August 2018 (UTC)

Please see the discussions just above. I'm inclined to think that the primary treatment of the lawsuit should be in Monsanto legal cases, where it is already being added, as opposed to a standalone page about the one lawsuit. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:20, 11 August 2018 (UTC)
It could be covered primarily at Roundup once reinstated, and at the legal cases page, but should also be in Monsanto's main article. As of now, we have one line in legal cases with only one source, a BBC article entitled "Glyphosate does not cause cancer". The coverage on WP of this case is thus far disappointing. petrarchan47คุ 17:00, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Disappointing but not at all surprising considering opinions such as "a fringe claim that glyphosate causes cancer (from non-qualified jurors), we do need to keep WP:DUE in mind considering the general scientific agreement on the matter." What "scientific agreement" is that? Two studies used copy/paste from Monsanto and released emails shows that the EPA was working with them as well. The only independent study, the one done by WHO, did find a probable link. Gandydancer (talk) 17:30, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
It could also be convered in Monsanto legal cases, but it should be covered at Roundup also. Roundup should be a stand alone article - it isn't just Glyphosate as far as I know, and having it redirect here creates a strong impression that it is just a brand name for glyphosate:

US government researchers have uncovered evidence that some popular weedkilling products, like Monsanto’s widely-used Roundup, are potentially more toxic to human cells than their active ingredient is by itself...One problem government scientists have run into is corporate secrecy about the ingredients mixed with glyphosate in their products. Documents obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests show uncertainty within the EPA over Roundup formulations and how those formulations have changed over the last three decades.[1]

Seraphim System (talk) 17:43, 12 August 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Gillam, Carey (2018-05-08). "Weedkiller products more toxic than their active ingredient, tests show". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-08-12.
Gandydancer, I prefer to defer to the WHO on this as well as many other scientific organizations:

The overall weight of evidence indicates that administration of glyphosate and its formulation products at doses as high as 2000 mg/kg body weight by the oral route, the route most relevant to human dietary exposure, was not associated with genotoxic effects in an overwhelming majority of studies conducted in mammals, a model considered to be appropriate for assessing genotoxic risks to humans. The Meeting concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to be genotoxic at anticipated dietary exposures. Several carcinogenicity studies in mice and rats areavailable. The Meeting concluded that glyphosate is not carcinogenic in rats but could not exclude the possibility that it is carcinogenic in mice at very high doses. In view of the absence of carcinogenic potential in rodents at human-relevant doses and the absence of genotoxicity by the oral route in mammals, and considering the epidemiological evidence from occupational exposures, the Meeting concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet.

That's keeping in mind of course that this is more recent than the highly criticized IARC designation. What we'll probably have to do is something similar to how the GMO safety consensus was handled (content wise, not DS RfC) outlining the sources saying it's not considered a high carcinogenic risk while addressing the minor viewpoints that received attention claiming it was (minus fringe stuff like Seralini most likely). To be honest, that's a lot to sort through, so I had been putting it off. It might be time to start tamping that content down more though. Kingofaces43 (talk) 03:07, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
As an aside about the standalone article, if a separate article were created for the lawsuit, the place to discuss it would be AfD, not here. Looking over sources that span a period of several years, I'm of the opinion that an AfD nomination for this would be disruptive given the extent of available sources, if a standalone article were to be created.Seraphim System (talk) 22:22, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Actually, the better place would be Monsanto legal cases for the lawsuit. If anything were to be created separate, we'd need to make more of a WP:SPLIT case from that page, in part because of all the WP:DUE issues. That being said, there's also an argument that this is a case of WP:INHERIT for Monsanto/glyphosate where notability doesn't transfer. If someone were to create it right now, I'd expect a quick redirect to the legal case page for the time being so it could be crafted without the added notability discussions first. Better to deal with WP:DUE first. Also, individual articles are usually reserved for cases showing significant impact at higher court levels like the US Supreme Court, not county level ones. Maybe it could get there, but I'd say WP:TOOSOON. That's all I'll say on that here though.
Also, your quote comes from Carey Gilliam, a journalist who both sells books related to vilifying glyphosate and is affiliated with USTRK, a well known WP:FRINGE organization in this subject (similar to the Heartland Institute if you want a parallel in something like climate change denial). They're basically never going to be considered a reliable source with their background. With glyphosate vs. Roundup though, separating articles becomes WP:UNDUE. Remember that glyphosate already has extremely low toxicity with oral LD50s being less toxic than salt and vinegar. Detergents tend not great for organisms in aquatic systems as is mentioned at Glyphosate#Glyphosate-based_formulations. You can say a detergent is more toxic than something with extremely low toxicity and technically be true, but be misleading when you don't clarify that the overall toxicity is still low (which is also reflected in that first paragraph I linked to). A lot of the mistaken "notability" people see in Roundup vs. glyphosate is due to incomplete readings for things like that.
The functional consensus right now is that glyphosate and Roundup are treated in the same article, at least based on edit history. I'm aware of previous discussions that did want a split, but that didn't functionally come to fruition, and editors instead moved on with treating them under the same article as nearly always done for pesticides unless there's an extreme case. If we reached the level of maybe agent orange where a known highly toxic contaminant was the major health issue in the first paragraph there, we'd have a better case for a split. Right now, you can't really talk about Roundup without mirroring most everything we have about glyphosate for proper context. Kingofaces43 (talk) 02:52, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
A stand alone article for this case should pass WP:GNG. If the blanking of newly created well-sourced notable articles because If anything were to be created separate, we'd need to make more of a WP:SPLIT case from that page, in part because of all the WP:DUE issues. continues, I really think it is a matter for AE and not the article talk page.Seraphim System (talk) 17:05, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Glyphosate-based herbicides[edit]

  • It was mentioned in a talk section above, but because of the multiple discussions here I want to make sure that everyone is aware of it, that a new page on Glyphosate-based herbicides has been created. I've redirected RoundUp to target there, instead of here. --Tryptofish (talk) 14:24, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
    • I've taken the liberty to create a separate section. If we really need two articles, we need to decide (probably here) what content should be in each article. Right now, most of Glyphosate-based_herbicides#Background is about glyphosate - not formulations. Admittedly our coverage in this article on residues and MRLs is absent, but those sources there are crap too, given that they make no distinction as to whether the quantities are within MRLs or not - (Edit to say that this no longer applies). Then there is all of Glyphosate#Glyphosate-based_formulations which should be moved there if this is only about glyphosate, same for Glyphosate#Use. SmartSE (talk) 20:01, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
At this point, it would seem better to solidify what has any staying power over at that article (if anything) before removing anything here. This article is still going to include information about the formulations since that is how the active ingredient is used, and you can't really separate the two in this article. The content here isn't very long though, so the opportunity for the other article will be fleshing out that information more if anything is WP:DUE. It doesn't look like that's the case to me, but I'll be trying some stress testing on that later when I do some cleanup over there later. Kingofaces43 (talk) 03:12, 14 August 2018 (UTC)
@Smartse: Uh, thanks for the ping - since you are talking about content I added, the sources most certainly are not crap, unlike the content that was dumped into that article from here with almost verbatim close paraphrasing and all kinds of other problems. They are The New York Times and The Guardian. I thought it was removed because it was about glyphosate and not the formulations, and it should be added to this article. Why are you saying they make no distinction as to whether the quantities are within MRLs or not? - it's already in the content that was removed - "at levels that fell within EPA regulations" and "trace amounts". [4] Seraphim System (talk) 09:33, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
@Seraphim System: The reason I removed it was indeed because they are about glyphosate, not a formulation. Source quality goes beyond way beyond who the publisher was. By "crap" I was referring to the fact that you were referencing glyphosate residues (not a formulation) to newspaper articles when this kind of material can and should be sourced to academic literature. The reason for this is that journalists rarely put things into perspective, nor are capable of determining whether the results are of significance. "Roundup found in Ben and Jerry's" makes a good headline, but the information comes from the Organic Consumers Association who have their own stake in this debate, just as much as Monsanto. Trace amounts of pesticides will be found in pretty much all foods (incl. organic) and this is why we need academic sources that discuss whether they are anything to be worried about. This article has long needed a good discussion on residues of glyphosate in food. We don't need a running commentary on which food brands contain tiny amounts of glyphosate. Again, this brings me back to why we even need two articles? There are definitely things to improve here, so why not work on this and then work out what should be forked off and summarised if and when it becomes too long? SmartSE (talk) 12:39, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
We need more then two articles. This is pretty absurd, new article creation is not restricted this way, and I shouldn't be getting this much grief from it. As long as the subject is notable editors are allowed to create new articles. It's not a split from this article, because I haven't removed anything from this article and I don't want to remove anything from this article. I think I didn't really make that clear, I thought the discussion was about creating a new article, not removing content from this one. I have no opinion on that. But I don't think I did anything wrong by creating a new article, and I don't know why RoundUp was merged into this article in the first place because I haven't even been able to find the previous discussion that led to the merger.Seraphim System (talk) 19:32, 17 August 2018 (UTC)
Separating most of the material on Roundup into the page on the formulations was a good first step, though there is some unavoidable duplication. But Roundup is a famous brand in its own right, as a brand, quite apart from its constituents, and it was so long before the present controversy. We make pages on famous brands, chemical and otherwise. I think the best way of proceeding would be in draft space, with the title "Roundup (herbicide)". For the moment i've made redirect from that title to the foumulations article. I am not sure whether tit is appropiate to also make an article on Roundup Controveries. We normally avoid such a split,but the amount of material may turn out to require it.
( FWIW, I am personally undecided about whether it poses a health hazard in harvested products, though I do think its uses poses a direct and indirect environmental hazard, but my views on such matters are irrelevant to whether we should have a separate article.) As a specific comment, I think most of the popular reporting -- and some of the commentary, even scientific commentary, does not seem to distinguish between "There is no evidence that x causes y" with " there is evidence that x does not cause Y." As a responsible encyclopedic tertiary source , we need to clarity this when it is necessary. . DGG ( talk ) 23:28, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
One thing that I think we need to take very seriously is whether a separate page on RoundUp alone would become a WP:POV-fork. As for your point about "no evidence that it does" as opposed to "evidence that it does not", I agree with you entirely that we need to be accurate about that. There is discussion right now that relates to that at Talk:Glyphosate-based herbicides; I'm way behind in getting familiar with all the sources, but comments from editors who have read more than I have do suggest that some of the source material actually tests the toxicity and finds it to be low. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:47, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

"""I see no reason for it to be a PPOV fork. It would be an excellent place for the information on its introduction and the development and encouragement of its widespread use, and the fefforts ofthe manufacturers to promote it, along with the undoubted immediate benefits on production of important commercial crops. The history of it is a topic in itself. Of course, so is the litigation. I can see the advantage in moved material on the litigation there, to remove it from the general pages., which should concentrate on the science. I think in discussing the validity of the science, which is important and should indeed be kept together and use high academic standards, we also need to discuss the equally important social. [p;otoca;l, and economic aspects--which can use a different set of Rss altogether. We could agree easier on the science if we mover the other aspects. DGG ( talk ) 06:29, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

I'd suggest discussing that at Talk:Glyphosate-based herbicides rather than here, since the potential split of pages would really be there. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:28, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Earlier versions?[edit]

A template at the top of the page says "he contents of the Roundup page were merged into Glyphosate on 26 August, 2012. For the contribution history and old versions of the redirected page, please see its history; for the discussion at that location, see its talk page." However, beacuse of subsequent pages moves they are not at that location--which can happen sometimes after multiple page moves. Where are they? DGG ( talk ) 22:59, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

I'm not entirely confident that I'm giving you the right answer, but the correct spelling of the glyphosate product is RoundUp (note that Up is capitalized), and so there seems to be a lot of edit history going back and forth between RoundUp, which currently redirects to Glyphosate-based herbicides and Roundup (lower case) that is a DAB page. Perhaps something got lost in going back and forth between those two. There is a discussion of the merge at Talk:Glyphosate/Archive 2#Merge completed (way before I started watching this content), and maybe looking at the contribution histories of the editors in that discussion would shed some light. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:36, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
See Roundup (herbicide) (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) SmartSE (talk) 23:47, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, that's it. Never mind what I said. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:49, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

Ghost-written study still included in References[edit]

Can anyone explain why is Williams GM 2000 study still part of the references when we now know that this study has been ghost written by Monsanto. As has been made evident in Case 3:16-md-02741-VC UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA Document No. 187-12 p. 4 (email unsealed by Court) (CONFIDENTIALITY HAS BEEN WAIVED BY DEFENDANT).[1] wherein Dr. Heydens writes

"we ghost-write.....have their names on the publication, but we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names...Recall that is how we handled Williams Kroes & Munro 2000".[2]

Alain Pannetier (talk) 18:04, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

That would violate WP:MEDRS since reviews haven't criticized the methodology or findings of that paper, and recent reviews still cite it as a seminal paper with caveats. What you link are basically arguments from lawyers in the court case, which aren't really reliable, especially given how emails can be cherry-picked (e.g., Climategate). Everything I've seen so far indicates the actual authors are listed as such, and people who commented on a previous draft or did things not up to the level of being a co-author where in the acknowledgements. Kingofaces43 (talk) 17:19, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
The deontology problem posed the ghost writting of this study is well described in McHenry 2018 "The monsanto papers: Poisoning the scientific well"[3]. Including the very passage I cite above. So it's not accurate that the academic community does not acknowledge the paper has been ghost-written by Monsanto consultants. In addition you seem to dismiss quite easily as "arguments from lawyers" what are actually legal pieces which a court has agreed should be made public. Finally, if papers citing Williams GM 2000 now do so with caveats, then I can't see why the Wikipedia article should be exempt of these same caveats - especially now that the press at large has largely reported the issue.

Alain Pannetier (talk) 18:04, 24 August 2018 (UTC)


    • This is now an open issue on more then one article and it may be better to post the question be posted to RS/n so we can have the discussion in one place. WP:MEDRS says Claims of bias should be sourced to reliable secondary sources, and are not reason to omit sources without consensus - there are definitely reliable secondary sources that have covered this, including NPR:

Monsanto executive William Heydens proposed that the company "ghost-write" one paper. In an email, Heydens wrote that "we would be keeping the cost down by us doing the writing and they would just edit & sign their names so to speak." Heydens wrote that this is how Monsanto had "handled" an earlier paper on glyphosate's safety. That earlier paper, published in 2000, acknowledges Monsanto's help in assembling the data, but does not list any Monsanto employees as co-authors.

Seraphim System (talk) 19:38, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

To some extent, this depends on what kind of content is being cited to the source: it may be more reliable for some things than for others. It also depends on the extent to which other sources come to opposite conclusions, in which case it may be necessary to cite various sources according to due weight. But I'm skeptical of arguments that these emails automatically render the source unreliable, because lawyers on one side of an ongoing court case do not determine scientific consensus. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:52, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
It's mostly that we don't need to use this source. There are other sources available for the content about the active ingredient and we shouldn't be using it to give undue weight to other content anyway. The problem isn't the emails, it has received coverage in reliable secondary sources. That is enough to call the reliability of the source into question - there would have to be a really good reason to justify continuing to use it and I don't see one when the source can be replaced by more recent sources. Per WP:MEDRS It may be simpler to find a "better" source - the argument for this is pretty much common sense. Seraphim System (talk) 20:05, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

RfC: Coverage of Roundup Cancer Case[edit]

RfC is live at the Monsanto page petrarchan47คุ 04:13, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Weeds or forbs?[edit]

A recent edit changed "weeds" to "forbs": [5]. I think that "weeds" would be the more reader-friendly word choice. What do other editors think? --Tryptofish (talk) 17:36, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

I would agree that weeds is the much better word. Forbs is not a word in general use outside of ecology and could confuse, and in the context of that edit, it does not significantly aid clarity.  Velella  Velella Talk   18:13, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Forbs also aren't always weeds, so weeds is more accurate. Kingofaces43 (talk) 18:25, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
I should have checked the wikilinks, but the broadleaf link only redirects to trees. I went ahead and linked to forbs instead in this edit, so hopefully that fixes both issues. Kingofaces43 (talk) 18:32, 20 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I think that completely resolves it. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:35, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Glyphosate / Honeybees[edit]

I noticed you removed 2 contributions that I had made about this topic. It is not only in the "Proceedings" (a premier scientific journal, I think), but you find the information in many news, US and abroad. Why did you remove it? Ekem (talk) 23:08, 25 September 2018 (UTC)

I agree with Ekem. It is not reasonable to need replication before putting evidence in front of the public. These studies are expensive and don't happen in a short period of time. Most people understand that concept. Nevertheless, I added such a caveat at the end of the summary. Unless there is a specific Wikipedia rule regarding initial scientific results, this should remain. I don't know offhand the answer to the following examples, but was the first report of gravitational waves or of the Higg's Boson kept out of Wikipedia until replicated? I somehow doubt it... AlbertHall (talk) 23:39, 25 September 2018 (UTC)

Ekem and AlbertHall, that was just an extremely run of the mill removal of a primary source, which we generally don't use for scientific topics. I already linked to WP:SCIRS in the edit summaries which should have explained everything if you're not familiar with expectations in scientific topics. Ekem, news media generally isn't regarded as a reliable source for this topic, though it is an extremely common confusion when we say we need secondary sources. I also removed your edits because they were claiming a link to CCD. In general, we want secondary scientific sources as described by SCIRS or WP:MEDRS. In this field, that's normally going to be in literature reviews, meta-analyses, etc, and those happen fairly often. If this particular study has merit, other sources will pick up on it. It's much too early for any of that though, which is also why we avoid things like WP:RECENTISM. Wikipedia is supposed to be behind the ball on these things, and I detail more of that here.
Anything else really belongs at the article talk page, but in short, that kind of sourcing is generally what the community tries to prevent in these topics, which is why we have well established guidelines and essays cautioning editors against that. Kingofaces43 (talk) 01:03, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
Kingofaces43, thank you for your reply. I understand the concept that you want verification by other "reliable" sources. However, this is not an absolute, and you did not reply to Albert Hall's comment. The report of a link between glyphosate and bees has been peer-reviewed in a premier journal and is a newsworthy item; it has been reported by many agencies. Waiting for a meta-analysis or literature review will take many years. Also, just the mechanism of action is noteworthy as glyphosate at low concentrations did not act as a herbicide but altered the gut microbiome. Isn't that interesting? Perhaps, with your permission, - could we place this discussion into the Talk page as it may be of interest to others? Ekem (talk) 12:13, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
I actually did answer Albert's comment as that all is housed in SCIRS that I linked to. As for your recent comments, keep in mind that we really don't care here what journal a primary study was published in. It still needs to be vetted by the scientific community to assess WP:DUE at that point (passing peer-review is only a first small step). Remember that this is an encyclopedia, and specifically not a journal or newspaper. We generally avoid what newspapers, etc. say about a late-breaking experiments, and you don't need to look far for why that is. We as anonymous editors are not in a position to do the review expected when reading published primary literature to assess validity, etc. We have to leave that to other scientists. If it takes years for a study to get attention in reviews, that's a feature of the encyclopedia reflecting the real world, not a bug. I'm not sure of your background, but this can be a difficult concept for scientists just starting out here who are used to directly citing primary literature. Kingofaces43 (talk) 14:28, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
According to our guidelines:
Respect primary sources - A primary source, such as a report of a pivotal experiment cited as evidence for a hypothesis, may be a valuable component of an article. A good article may appropriately cite primary, secondary, and tertiary sources. Use of primary sources should always conform to the No original research policy.
In my experience we have been advised to include only a very short summary when reporting a primary study so as to not give it undue emphasis. Gandydancer (talk) 15:21, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
@Gandydancer and Ekem: There have been over 500 scientific publications published with glyphosate in the title just this year. We cannot and should not be judging which of these contain significant findings that merit inclusion in the article. Nobody is suggesting including that it has no effect on mineral content of corn, is rapidly degraded in lakes or that it has negligible effects on rat gut microbiota etc. and this paper on bees should not be treated differently just because it has generated news articles. SmartSE (talk) 16:31, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
Can we bring this to the Talk page, please? Ekem (talk) 17:41, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
I also would prefer to see this discussion moved to Talk:Glyphosate. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:53, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
While awaiting any move of the discussion, here is my take on it. Out of curiosity, I looked through the archives of Talk:Gravitational wave and Talk:Higgs boson, and I see that in fact there were lengthy discussions among editors about those preliminary reports before there was consensus to include those things on the page. So: those two examples actually show a lot of editorial caution about initial scientific results. As I see it, we can cite primary scientific sources for information that is entirely non-controversial, such as the year that glyphosate was invented or the chemical mechanism of its synthesis. But for anything health-related that would fall under MEDRS, the requirement for secondary sources is a very serious one. Here, we have something that is not about human health, but which is contentious by its very nature. As such, I would want a secondary scientific source (and not a news report) before including the information in the article. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:23, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
I've no objections moving to the TP, but I am not sure what there is left to discuss. Speaking with my non-policy based hat on, y'all could have a read of this r/science thread discussing the paper. The sample size was tiny and the doses were very high (essentially feeding them what would be sprayed on weeds). To avoid any doubt, this isn't the reason I object to the inclusion, but that demonstrates of why we don't cite primary research on controversial topics and wait for other RS to review their quality. SmartSE (talk) 19:02, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
If I take my editor hat off (I was trying to stay out of the wiki-weeds by not commenting on it), those are some of the same issues I'd be seeing with the study. That kind of stuff often ends up being a criticism of these studies when they actually do get coverage in reviews, so I agree that is indeed why we avoid primary sources here. Kingofaces43 (talk) 00:26, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for pointing to the Reddit comment, SmartSE. But pointing to ~500 other primary glyphosate papers omits the difference that the honeybee paper has been receiving a lot of attention in the media. In any case, I still think that the discussion should be moved to Talk:Glyphosate, even it is just for documentation.Ekem (talk) 20:33, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Just a note that everything above as of this post was from my user talk page. The conversation really belongs here, so I have moved it. Kingofaces43 (talk) 00:15, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure much else needs to be said at this point after the move of this discussion, but the general agreement we've had for years at this article was that it was controversial enough that we needed secondary sources and not to use primary research articles even for animal health. I don't see any reason to deviate from that. Kingofaces43 (talk) 00:21, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
    • I like to thank Kingofaces43 for moving the discussion from his talk page. The section at the end of this note had been removed from Pesticide toxicity to bees, and I asked why. I understand and accept that primary articles are generally not used but believe that exceptions are in order. This article stands out as it has received a wide echo. It also suggests that glyphosate acts as an insecticide and antibiotic. To wait for scientific reviews etc. may take years, and who is going to say that not special interests find a way to mess with data.Ekem (talk) 11:44, 27 September 2018 (UTC)

A 2018 study indicates that glyphosate perturbs the gut microbiota of honeybees leading to a decline in their health.Honeybees rely on specialized bacteria to grow and resist disease. Most of these bacteria contain 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), an enzyme in the shikimate pathway, that is a target of glyphosate. Bees first exposed to glyphosate at levels found in the environment and then to an opportunistic pathogen (Serratia marcescens) show an increased mortality.(Reference:Motta EVS, Raymann K, Moran NA. "Glyphosate perturbs the gut microbiota of honey bees". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sept 2018. doi:10.1073/pnas.1803880115)

I'm concerned about where you said and who is going to say that not special interests find a way to mess with data. Data published in reliable scientific journals is data, and it's not like someone can go back and change it retroactively. I'm also not sure what you mean by a wide echo. I don't think that you mean scientific secondary sources, but rather press coverage. I think editors have already explained how Wikipedia treats primary sources in the sciences when the findings are potentially controversial. There is nothing urgent about getting this onto the page: per either WP:RGW or WP:There is no deadline, take your pick. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:07, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
I agree. Right now we have press coverage, but no secondary coverage. We see that happen really often in this topic, so it doesn't seem out of the ordinary for a primary source we typically don't use. Kingofaces43 (talk) 03:00, 28 September 2018 (UTC)
@FullyWashable: Please see the above. Your change is against the consensus. SmartSE (talk) 17:58, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Well yes, actually we do have a secondary source which used the same outfit that KoF recommends below -- which he apparently accidentally overlooked. [6]. Gandydancer (talk) 19:12, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Please don't misrepresent me. I have never recommended the "outfit" you mention. It's reliable only for quoting individual experts, but not necessarily to establish WP:DUE. The case below is different because of the fringe aspect and scientific consensus. Here, we really need true secondary sources through reviews in journals, etc. We basically haven't established due weight for inclusion of this particular study, and likely won't for months if/when other scientists decide to put the study in context of the overall literature, methodology, etc. as we normally due for primary studies. Usually, a professor, etc. pointing out a study on their blog, etc. or anywhere we'd be quoting them with attribution isn't enough for including the findings of a primary source. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:59, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
We have a situation here where we cannot logically have it both ways. In the talk section just below, editors argue that this source is insufficient to use as a response to the IARC study (and maybe that it comes from some sort of pro-glyphosate lobby group). But here, we now have this source from the same website, and from the supposedly pro-glyphosate lobby, that says that there is a demonstrated problem with glyphosate, and is being proposed as a secondary source to back up the PNAS paper about bees. So: first of all it looks wrong to me to argue that the website is either pro- or anti-glyphosate. And: we can't have it both ways. Either these are reliable secondary sources or they are not. No one should argue that one is a good secondary source and the other is not. My take is that they are both suitable as secondary sources. So I think the one below should be included in the content about the IARC – and I now think that the section about bees should be kept on the page, and sourced to both the primary source and the secondary source. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:10, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Seeing no consensus for this still, I've gone ahead and removed the text. In short, there is nothing so spectacular about this primary study that we're going to ignore our normal requirement of literature reviews, etc. picking up on it.
I agree with what you're saying about the source in that it's reliable for quoting someone else. The underlying issue regardless of all that though is that it's not peer-reviewed and not the WP:SCIRS type of secondary source we'd normally be looking for. Those kinds of quotable statements are plenty fine for parity type content as mentioned elsewhere, or when a particular study has sufficient weight for inclusion based on other sources (with the source in question acting as a supporting source). We don't really have an open gateway for mentioning the study yet, so the default in that case is to just not mention the study. If we do get to that point, then we can look at what to use the source for, but as mentioned a few times previously, including mention right now just amounts to scientific WP:RECENTISM. There's no deadline on this, especially when it's in the infancy stages of post-publication before commentary really trickles in.
On the content itself, there's already too much exposition for content based on a primary source, and the This study provides further cautionary data awaiting replication. caution should already be a red flag that it's just too soon for entry for encyclopedic content as opposed to discussion in journals. Kingofaces43 (talk) 01:00, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
@Tryptofish: I agree on your point about it either being an RS or not but for this study I don't think it makes much difference and I haven't looked into the IARC one. It's a place for journalists to turn to get some quotes from researchers not involved in the study. It doesn't provide secondary coverage in the scientific sense. There's a lot of work being published on bees and glyphosate right now and we shouldn't be giving one publication undue coverage just because of shallow media stories. SmartSE (talk) 07:06, 11 October 2018 (UTC)–
I meant it very seriously when I said one can't have it both ways, so I have changed my mind about the bees section and I disagree with both of you. (But I am in favor of completely rewriting the past version of the bees section, which was very badly written. It really does not require more than one sentence.) If you are going to take those positions, then we must not have a rebuttal of the IARC review below. Based on what both of you said here, we must present the IARC review as being a reliable source that is methodologically sound. I'm sorry, but to say otherwise is to POV-push. It's not good enough to say you haven't looked into the IARC yet. A "place for journalists to turn to get some quotes from researchers not involved in the study"? As I already explained below, this source is from a British government agency and the Wellcome Collection. Of course there are also "shallow media stories", and I would never be arguing this based on them. I didn't, just above. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:20, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

───────────────────────── @Tryptofish: I had just woken up and was uncaffeinated so that may not have been the best choice of words ever, but I do think that supports what I said and I was specifically referring to it in this case as I remembered seeing the quote from Oliver Jones in The Guardian (along with Dave Goulson). The point I was trying to make is that the source is no different from all of the press coverage - it is reliable but undue to include. Do you realise that I haven't said anything in the thread below about the use of SMC as a source for the IARC? I'm not picking and choosing, but I don't have time to get involved in every discussion. The content definitely doesn't belong in "effects of use" because as Jones says in the SMC and Guardian The paper shows only that glyphosate can potentially interfere with the bacteria in the bee gut, not that it actually does so in the environment and you placing it there gives the impression that it could be having effects in the environment. SmartSE (talk) 17:42, 11 October 2018 (UTC)

I'd rather not argue with you point-for-point, but I'll agree that you are right that it would be a mistake to make it sound like it has a demonstrated environmental effect. I've therefore self-reverted it from the "effects of use" section. But I also added it back as a sentence at the end of the paragraph in the section about acute toxic effects on microorganisms. Before, I had, myself, been unsure about the most appropriate place on the page for it, and I didn't much like the idea of a section dedicated specifically to bees. I previously thought that making the butterfly section about insects more broadly made sense, but you are right about the environmental part. However, it seems to me to be quite reasonable to include it where I have now moved it, where it is entirely consistent with what you quoted from Jones. Treat it as a sentence, not even a dedicated paragraph, within a description of acute effects on microbes, and I really do think it is due weight and appropriately sourced for that. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:01, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
As I mentioned above, I don't think it's correct to add the primary source back in even with SMC being cited. Smartse put it succinctly. It doesn't establish WP:DUE for inclusion. What's different with the IARC stuff is that SMC-based quotes are acceptable because the IARC is already being mentioned, and quotes from individual scientists are then ok due to the fringe/parity aspect. It's not that SMC needs to be used for the IARC, but I've mentioned other sources that can be used in addition to it. The two are a bit apples to oranges, but in both cases SMC isn't being used to justify inclusion of the related source. Kingofaces43 (talk) 01:48, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
I understand that, I really do, but I think that if one considers how it is currently treated at Glyphosate#Antimicrobial activity, it's not a problem there. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:08, 14 October 2018 (UTC)
Just getting back from the weekend, so I'm just catching up with things. It's still inclusion of a primary study's results without an accompanying review citing it, so I've gone ahead and removed it. Honeybee reviews also come up all the time, so if someone really feels strongly about it, they can check back in a few months and see what they say. If they don't pick up on the source though, we're left in a position where it would be clear we crystal-balled it trying to predict whether it was a noteworthy study or not. To be honest, I've done a search for reviews mentioning honeybees and glyphosate, and it's pretty much nothing at the moment. Kingofaces43 (talk) 00:06, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
I agree that we better avoid summarising the primary source (or newspaper reports) and wait until secondary academic sources discuss or review the study. JimRenge (talk) 00:23, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
That's it. There's just no rush to wait for the common secondary sources in this field. It also looks like the source has been edit-warred back in fairly shortly after my last comment. Just a reminder for editors that this article is under 1RR with the expectation that when new content doesn't gain consensus, others don't try to edit war it back in. Kingofaces43 (talk) 03:14, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
Guess what: I also agree that we should not source it only to a primary source. And I also agree that we should not source it to newspapers or elsewhere in the press. And I even agree that we should make sure that there is published independent scientific evaluation by experts that indicates the noteworthiness of the primary study before we include it. So instead of basing removal of the sentence on claiming that any of those problems exist, or claiming that this is somehow different from the IARC case, or on "just going ahead and removing it" and claiming that someone else is edit warring, I'd like to hear a better rationale. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:32, 15 October 2018 (UTC)
─────────────────────────We don't have any evaluations by experts that indicate noteworthiness yet though. There's no such review article, and there hasn't been any convincing rationale included here yet to fulfill the significant burden needed to include mention of a primary study without an appropriate peer-reviewed review article. Reviews are what indicate whether something has significant WP:WEIGHT to be included here. Quotes from individual scientists like you're pulling from are ok (though low-quality) for giving WP:PROPORTION in cases where parity comes in to play or when inclusion has been decided from something else (e.g., mentioned heavily in a court case) to put a particular study in appropriate context. A blog post or being picked up by an aggregator like that with those assessments doesn't address the inclusion question though. For what's going on with this content, SMC is not an appropriate secondary source because it is not the tier of discussion in the scientific literature we need to establish the weight of the study itself. We need to know where it fits in the literature first before inclusion, which SMC doesn't really do.
I also understand that you were being WP:BOLD with your edit, which is how the process can work quite fine. What cannot happen here is to have the content reinserted after it's been disputed, which is where my edit warring comment came from. That was not directed at your bold edits at the time, and I'm speaking more of process at this point than behavior. We're more or less supposed to follow WP:BRD at this point, so if anyone really feels strongly about including the findings of the primary study without a review article, they need to gain consensus on this talk page. So far though, we have a quite few diverging opinions, so mention of the study needs to stay out until we get consensus on something. For better or worse, that is the process we're supposed to be following right now with the discretionary sanctions in play. If this is a big deal in the literature in the future, our problem here should solve itself in a few months. To pull from an old RfC close on this page, A claim regarding a WP:PRIMARY source and its proper use, in regard to its WP:WEIGHT, requires a "consensus to include" per WP:ONUS. . .
I'll also point out I continued to do more digging into reviews on this subject. No one really mentions a this subject, so it looks like we'd also be contradicting current reviews in the glyphosate/bee topic by mentioning this. That would even further discourage mentioning this study for the time being. Maybe that will change in the future, but it's too soon to know that. For now though, the literature doesn't indicate anything indicating this study should have any encyclopedic prominence. Kingofaces43 (talk) 01:17, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
You have a well-known history of man-on-a-mission edits. Your actions are not the consensus. --Leyo 07:50, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
@Leyo: Kingofaces has explained in detail why it shouldn't be included and both JimRenge and I agree with him, with only Tryptofish providing any attempt at a rebuttal. You cannot revert him based on an accusation of him having "a well-known history of man-on-a-mission". SmartSE (talk) 09:30, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
@Smartse:, several editors (Ekem,AlbertHall, Tryptofish, Gandydancer, FullyWashable, and Binksternet) wish to include this content. JimRenge (talk) 11:15, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
@JimRenge: yes I know but only tryptofish has given any justification for why long-established policies for how we cover primary pieces of research. Consensus is more than a show of hands. SmartSE (talk) 19:55, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't call it filibustering, but the fact that he explained his point of view (that has been well known before) in detail does not make it more valid. --Leyo 11:58, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
I won't respond to aspersions, but consensus is required at this point to reinsert the content. There's really no way around that being a topic under discretionary sanctions. If someone wants to try to craft a consensus to include, they would have to lean heavily into WP:PAG, but so far those are instead weighing against inclusion in the current discussion. At the least though, there isn't consensus for including this, so editors really need to stop trying to reinsert it as this time. Kingofaces43 (talk) 18:06, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
Taking on a little bit from my last point above, but here's what one review has to say on the subject, We critically analyse the findings on pesticide–disease interactions, including effects on the survival, pathogen loads and immunity of bees, and assess the suitability of various endpoints to inform our mechanistic understanding of these interactions. We show that pesticide exposure and pathogen infection have not yet been found to interact to affect worker survival under field-realistic scenarios. At this point, we can't be contradicting these reviews with this primary study. This should be pretty cut and dry. Kingofaces43 (talk) 19:04, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
  • I have several things that I want to say here.
    • It's very clear that we have some editors who favor inclusion, and some who oppose. There is not a strong consensus either way. I might be missing something, but I think that I am the only editor here who has changed their mind as the discussion went along.
    • I think I have some credibility here about being careful about the science and insisting on good science sourcing for GMO pages. I was the filing party in the ArbCom GMO case, and I wrote the consensus version that the community agreed upon at the GMO RfC. That doesn't give me any special status of course, but I hope editors understand that, for me to have changed my opinion from wanting the exclude the material to wanting to include it is not something that I did carelessly.
    • If we are going to examine the BRD cycle and edit warring issues, it seems to me that there has been only one editor who has been engaging in a (slow) edit war here, and that's Kingofaces. KofA, I've been debating whether I should say this at your talk page or here or somewhere else, and you know that I consider you a wiki-friend and that I usually agree with you – but I think that you have been behaving badly here. We are well past the stage where BRD really still applies, because there has been a lot of discussion and disagreement. It is absolutely untrue that only one "side" has the burden of proof at this stage. Rather, it's a matter of consensus, and no one is excused from having to make a convincing case for their point of view. And no one gets to claim that their preferred version is the one that should be kept on the page until someone else can prove otherwise.
    • The way that we determine whether a secondary source is sufficient to include information that first appeared in a primary source is by whether the primary source has been described as significant and correct by one or more experts who are independent of the primary source authors. WP:SECONDARY does not distinguish between a review article and commentary by independent experts. I'll offer this: I agree that a peer-reviewed review article would be better than the SMC source. I am simply arguing that the SMC source is good enough for our present purposes. Not perfect, but good enough. It looks to me like a rigid insistence on a review article-or-nothing might be POV-pushing.
    • Having said all that, I don't care enough about this single sentence to keep fighting over it. I don't care anymore.
  • --Tryptofish (talk) 21:16, 17 October 2018 (UTC)
On your third bullet, procedurally the point when reverting should have stopped and solely discussion was used was here in terms of BRD. Trying to bring that content back in when there isn't consensus on the talk page is considered gaming 1RR when this came up at ArbCom, and that's as much as I'm going to address that meta-stuff here aside from saying that when new content is disputed, we normally pull it aside and try to get consensus on it before putting anything back.
On content while avoiding rehashing what I've said before, SECONDARY isn't going to go into depth on nuances of academic sources. WP:SCHOLARSHIP has a strong preference for peer-reviewed sources. For guidelines that do address academics, WP:MEDASSESS shows a hierarchy that applies to research in general (not just medicine). Expert opinion is not lumped in with academic secondary sources, well below in the hierarchy instead, and usually doesn't contribute much to WP:WEIGHT particular findings. Then we get into the issue of respecting secondary sources I mentioned in my last comment where our highest tier sources say there hasn't been any significant interaction worth mentioning between pesticides (including glyphosate) and pathogens to affect honeybee survival (the central claim of the new study). We could also talk about replacing the current disputed text with what the review says instead, but I usually prefer to avoid content on negative findings unless sources really dedicate some time to the idea's importance. WP:ONUS is also policy in this regard for my suggestion or the current content though, so that really should be the end of people trying to reinsert the content until after consensus is reached. Kingofaces43 (talk) 02:01, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

A recent edit[edit]

I am concerned about this edit: [7]. I understand the rationale given in the edit summary, but I am not convinced by it. The source ([8]) is not "randomly selected", and it is incorrect to treat the IARC report as though it were a MEDRS-applicable source that reflects scientific consensus. The edit has the net effect of treating the IARC report as being more scientifically-accepted than it actually is, and it seems to me to be perfectly appropriate to cite comments by recognized experts in the field as including a significant amount of criticism; there is no need for each expert to have said the same thing. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:43, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

I was thinking about what to do with the section earlier today after seeing that, but I didn't restore the content at the time. I've done so now. This section should more or less be the same as the glyphosate formulations page, so we can source some stronger MEDRS sources. Still, WP:PARITY applies in addition to being recognized experts as you discussed, so I don't see any issues with the source as-is. We do have Glyphosate#International_Agency_for_Research_on_Cancer in this article, so there may be some pieces that should be housed there versus under the Humans section. I haven't taken a serious crack at that yet though aside from mulling it over a little bit, but it is a good to-do list item. Kingofaces43 (talk) 22:55, 9 October 2018 (UTC)´s edit summary is correct: "A collection of randomly solicited opinion pieces -- some of which agree with the findings -- should not be used to "However" a WP:MEDRS meta-analysis." The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is an intergovernmental agency of the WHO, a reputable major international scientific body (see WP:MEDORG). IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans are WP:MEDRS; much better, independent, peer reviewed academic sources than (this one) are needed to question the reliability of the IARC classification (category 2A). JimRenge (talk) 01:23, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
You are making it sound like that source is some kind of commentary by a non-scientist such as a journalist, but it isn't. It's a collection of comments, directly quoted, not paraphrased, by expert scientists: exactly the "peers" who would perform a peer review. And it is insufficient to say that IARC is MEDRS-compliant. MEDRS includes WP:MEDDATE, which means that when a MEDRS source is subsequently found by more recent MEDRS sources to have been incorrect, the most up-to-date information is what we should report. That's exactly what we have here. The IARC drew a conclusion that was criticized by experts, and then multiple other secondary sources of caliber at least as good as the IARC determined that IARC had been incorrect in its conclusions. It's just plain wrong to make it sound like the IARC was "the last word". --Tryptofish (talk) 22:55, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
While the "group of scientists" has been described as a "lobby group" [9] Gandydancer (talk) 02:49, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't understand. That Guardian piece is about a group of scientists who criticized a dramatization on the BBC, not the group in the source discussed here. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:44, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Nothing in that source indicates the scientists are a lobby group, paid by companies or otherwise. At the end of the day, these types of sources are ok to use when describing groups contradicting a scientific consensus. We can also add in some of the previously discussed Reuters source along with actual MEDRS sources and be pretty solid, but that will take a little bit more content crafting work. Kingofaces43 (talk) 17:01, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Kingofaces43, you have cited WP:PARITY, could you please explain which fringe theory you are talking about? JimRenge (talk) 17:20, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
That glyphosate is a significant carcinogen. We already crafted some text on this, but views that oppose a scientific consensus are generally considered fringe, especially when the methodology of such a minority group has been heavily criticized (or when the WHO as whole disagrees with them). Kingofaces43 (talk) 17:26, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
The idea that the International Agency for Research on Cancer/WHO is disseminating fringe theories is an exceptional claim which requires exceptional sources. The IARC is one of the world´s leading authorities on cancer and carcinogenic substances - definitely not a "minority group". JimRenge (talk) 17:48, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
I do think that calling it "fringe" sheds more heat than light. As I see it, the point isn't whether it's fringe (or pseudoscience), which it really isn't, but the fact that subsequent reviews by multiple equally reliable organizations reached the opposite conclusion and criticized IARC. So this is, in my view, something where we are looking at a source that has been made obsolete by subsequent sources. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:22, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
Looking into whether or not the Science Media Centre is some sort of non-neutral advocacy group, I find this: [10]. It began as a British government agency and is now part of the Wellcome Collection. It is most definitely a reliable source about the opinions of scientists. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:42, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
We have articles about the Science Media Centre as well as Fiona Fox (press officer). JimRenge (talk) 17:48, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't see the point that you are making there. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:22, 11 October 2018 (UTC)
  • Given the disagreements over the one source here, I have tried to make it a moot point by replacing the paragraph in question with the equivalent paragraph from Glyphosate-based herbicides. There has already been a careful discussion of the content at that other page, and the paragraph from there is better-written than the one here has been. And it obviously makes little sense for the two pages to say things that are inconsistent. Consequently, the disputed source is no longer on the page. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:36, 11 October 2018 (UTC)