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Analysis of scientific production on glyphosate: An example of politicization of science

Sosa, Beatriz, Fontans-Álvarez, Exequiel, Romero, David, da Fonseca, Aline, Achkar, Marcel
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.681 pp. 541-550
environmental impact, glyphosate, information sources, toxicology, Argentina, Brazil, United States
Glyphosate is one of the most used herbicides worldwide. However there still exists a strong debate about its effects on the environment or people health. In this context, the metric analysis is a methodology increasingly used to quantify and evaluate the scope of the scientific production around a specific topic. The goal of this work was to characterize the context of knowledge generation about glyphosate. All the scientific production linked to glyphosate was analyzed in the period from 1974 to 2016, using the Web of Science (WOS) as a source of information and “glyphosate” as a search criterion. A total of 8174 records were found. The bibliographic production on this herbicide experienced a sustained increase. There was a concentration in knowledge generation led by the United States. Monsanto Company produced the largest number of articles during the first thirty years of the development of this topic. Research around glyphosate in South America gained importance as of the year 2000, with Brazil being the country with the highest production followed by Argentina. A large proportion of research was focused on agricultural science, while the analysis of toxicology or environmental effects did not begin until the year 2000, and it is still insufficient.