VIDEO: Scientist claims chemical is safe enough to drink – until interviewer says he has some

You know when you're in the midst of an argument, and have that moment when you realise you've backed yourself into a corner?

VIDEO: Scientist claims chemical is safe enough to drink – until interviewer says he has some

Well, precisely that happened to pro-GM crops ecologist in a television interview last week.

Patrick Moore, an ecology scientist with a strong opinion on the need for genetically modified crops, was being interviewed by Canal+ last week.

When the conversation turned from GM crops to the related topic of weedkiller use in agriculture - specifically, a compound marketed as Roundup, developed by Monsanto - he claimed you could drink two pints of the chemical without worry.

"I do not believe that glyphosate in Argentina is causing increases in cancer," he said. "You can drink a whole quart of it (946ml) and it won't hurt you."

A surprised interviewer responds: "You want to drink some? We have some here..."

Moore responds "I'd be happy to" before rapidly reconsidering. "Not really," he adds, "but I know it wouldn't hurt me."

He follows up with the confusing argument that he won't drink the weedkiller because "I'm not stupid" and that "people try and commit suicide with it and fail fairly regularly."

Frustrated with the turn of questioning away from the original topic, he abandons the interview and storms off, telling the interviewer "you're a complete jerk".

Moore, of course, may have been right not to drink the fluid simply to prove a point, as experts from 11 countries, meeting at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said glyphosate was a "probable carcinogen" in a paper published in the Lancet Journal of Oncology this month.

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