by Arjun Walia
April 4, 2015
Given the restrictions and the level of control
placed upon the disclosure of information when it comes to
"credible" medical studies, it seems surprising that glyphosate, the
most commonly used herbicide on the planet, has been officially
deemed a dangerous health hazard to human beings by the mainstream
currently has the highest global production volume of all
The largest use
worldwide is in agriculture. The agricultural use of glyphosate
has increased sharply since the development of crops that have
been genetically modified to make them resistant to glyphosate.
Glyphosate is also used in forestry, urban, and home
applications. Glyphosate has been detected in the air during
spraying, in water, and in food.
population is exposed primarily through residence near sprayed
areas, home use, and diet. and the level that has been observed
is generally low."
A recently published study in what is considered to
be one of the most (if not the most) credible medical
journals of today, The Lancet Oncology, determined that
glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto's RoundUp pesticide, is
"probably carcinogenic to humans."
The study (Carcinogenicity
of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate)
was published earlier this month, and was conducted by the World
Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer.
It analyzed data from studies that have been
conducted on the chemical for the past couple of decades.
convincing evidence that glyphosate also can cause cancer in
On the basis of
tumours in mice, the United States Environmental Protection
Agency (US EPA) originally classified glyphosate as possibly
carcinogenic to humans. A US EPA report and several more recent
positive results conclude that there is sufficient evidence of
carcinogenicity in experimental animals.
caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells, although it
gave negative results in tests using bacteria.
One study in
community residents reported increases in blood markers of
chromosomal damage (micronuclei) after glyphosate formulations
were sprayed nearby."
It's the beginning of 2015, and after decades of
research and warnings from hundreds of scientists all around the
globe, why has it taken so long to officially acknowledge (in North
America) that glyphosate is harmful?
Billions of pounds of this stuff is sprayed every
single year, and as mentioned above, it is commonly detected in air
samples, water samples, in our food, and even in our urine.
So again, why the delay?
Many professionals today have expressed their concern
regarding the delay and manipulation of medical research.
Despite the fact that these types of facts have been
published for a number of years, Monsanto still maintains that they
are safe, and a major health organization like the WHO, you would
think, would have acknowledged the dangers associated with these
herbicides many years ago.
As Dr. Marcia Angell (physician, author,
former editor in chief of the NEJM) puts it,
"It's just not
possible to believe much of the clinical research that is
published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or
authoritative medical guidelines."
Others point to the "revolving door" between
Monsanto, the EPA, and the FDA, and the fact that corporations (like
Monsanto) have their hand in dictating governmental policy.
Regardless, the information is out there and it's
quite clear that glyphosate is harmful. (source)
What's worse, the genetically modified crops have
become even more resistant to their killers, resulting in increased
use of herbicides each year and even providing Monsanto the
justification it needs to produce newer and more deadly chemical
mixes to combat the problem.
Monsanto is not at all happy about the study and they
are requesting a retraction. In a press release, Chief Technology
Officer Dr. Robb Fraley said that Monsanto is "outraged" and
"this conclusion is inconsistent with the decades
of ongoing safety reviews by the leading regulatory authorities
around the world that have concluded that all labeled uses of
glyphosate are safe for human health."
The list of studies outlining the dangers associated
with this herbicide is enormous, and explains exactly why multiple
countries around the globe forbid its use.
For example, Sri Lanka decided to completely ban
glyphosate from their country out of concern that the chemical may
be linked to a fatal kidney disease that could kill agricultural
A new study that was published in the
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
suggests that Roundup, or glyphosate, becomes highly toxic to the
kidney once mixed with "hard" water or metals like cadmium and
These metals often exist naturally in the soil or are
added via the fertilizer.
investigation carried out by medical specialists and scientists
has revealed that kidney disease was mainly caused by glyphosate.
Mahinda Rajapaksa has ordered the immediate removal of
glyphosate from the local market soon after he was told of the
contents of the report."
Here is a
report by multiple researchers, scientists, and professors regarding
glyphosate and birth defects.
Here is the conclusion they came to:
of the evidence leads us to the conclusion that the current
approval of glyphosate and Roundup is deeply flawed and
In this report,
we examine the industry studies and regulatory documents that
led to the approval of glyphosate. We show that industry and
regulators knew as long ago as the 1980′s and 1990′s that
glyphosate causes malformation, but that information was not
how EU regulators reasoned their way from clear evidence of
glyphosate's teratogenicity in industry's own studies to a
conclusion that minimized these findings in the EU Commission's
final review report."
It's also important to note that much research
published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, as well as other
important independent research, has linked (using the Bradford Hill
Criteria, fairly strong in my opinion) glyphosate to,
...and more. (source)
(Please do your research, there are
many sources for this claim, I've provided a few here and within the
articles that are linked within this article)
A report coming out of Argentina explains how deaths
from cancerous tumors have as much as doubled in areas where
genetically modified (GM) crops are grown and agro-chemicals are
You can read more about that and access the report
evidence of high levels of genetic damage in people of Marcos
Juarez, which may result from unintentional exposure to
Fernando Manas, PhD National University of Rio
A study was published in November 2012 in the Journal
of Food and Chemical Toxicology, titled Long Term Toxicity of a Roundup
Herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant Genetically Modified
Gilles-Eric Seralini and his team of researchers at France's
It was a very significant study that made a lot of
noise worldwide, the first of its kind under controlled conditions
that examined the possible effects of a GMO maize diet treated with
Monsanto's Roundup Herbicide.
After going through such a rigorous review process
and remaining published for a long time, the study was retracted.
Hundreds of scientists around the world condemned the retraction,
and the study was then republished, updated, and all criticisms were
The chronic toxicity study examined the health
impacts on rats of eating commercialized genetically modified (GM)
maize, alongside Monsanto's NK603 glyphosate-based herbicide
The study found severe liver and kidney damage, as
well as hormonal disturbances, in rats fed with GM maize in
conjunction with low levels of Roundup – levels that were below
those permitted in most drinking water across Europe. Results also
indicated high rates of large tumors and mortality in most treatment
You can read more about this story, and access the
And as you can see from the quote taken from the
WHO/The Lancet, multiple studies in animal models have shown these
dangers, as well as multiple studies using human cells.
There is obviously cause for concern here.
are sicker than they were a generation ago. From childhood
cancers to autism, birth defects and asthma, a wide range of
childhood diseases and disorders are on the rise.
of the latest science leaves little room for doubt; pesticides
are one key driver of this sobering trend."
October 2012 report by Pesticide Action
Network North America (PANNA) (source)
There is a lot of information to support these
claims, so hopefully this gets you off to a good start if you are
interested in doing more research.
Monsanto's Widely used...
Linked to Cancer
by Daniel Cressey
24 March 2015
a chemical found in Monsanto's
'Roundup' herbicide product,
has been declared "probably
carcinogenic to humans".
As the World Health
Organization's research arm
declares glyphosate a probable
Nature looks at the evidence.
The cancer-research arm of the World Health
Organization last week
announced that glyphosate,
the world's most widely used herbicide, is probably
carcinogenic to humans.1
But the assessment, by the International
Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
in Lyon, France, has been followed by an immediate backlash
from industry groups.
On 23 March, Robb Fraley, chief
technology officer at the agrochemical company Monsanto in
St Louis, Missouri, which sells much of the world's
glyphosate, accused the IARC of "cherry picking" data.
"We are outraged with this assessment,"
he said in a
Nature explains the controversy.
What does the IARC report
The IARC regularly reviews the
carcinogenicity of industrial chemicals, foodstuffs and even
On 20 March, a panel of international experts
convened by the agency reported the findings of a review of
five agricultural chemicals in a class known as
organophosphates. A summary of the study (Carcinogenicity
of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and
glyphosate) was published in
The Lancet Oncology.1
Two of the pesticides - tetrachlorvinphos and
parathion - were rated as "possibly carcinogenic to humans",
or category 2B.
...were rated as "probably carcinogenic to
Why should I care about
Glyphosate is the world's most widely
produced herbicide, by volume. It is used
extensively in agriculture and is also found in garden
products in many countries.
The chemical is an ingredient in Monsanto's
weedkiller product Roundup, and glyphosate has become more
popular with the increasing market share of crops that are
genetically engineered to
be tolerant to the herbicide.
What evidence is there for a
link between glyphosate and cancer?
The IARC review notes that there is limited
evidence for a link to cancer in humans.
Although several studies have shown that
people who work with the herbicide seem to be at increased
risk of a cancer type called non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the
report notes that a separate huge US study, the
Agricultural Health Study,
found no link to non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
That study followed thousands of farmers and
looked at whether they had increased risk of cancer.
But other evidence, including from animal
studies, led the IARC to its 'probably carcinogenic'
classification. Glyphosate has been linked to tumors in mice
and rats - and there is also what the IARC classifies as
'mechanistic evidence', such as DNA damage to human cells
from exposure to glyphosate.
Kathryn Guyton, a senior toxicologist
in the monographs program at the IARC and one of the authors
of the study, says,
"In the case of glyphosate, because the
evidence in experimental animals was sufficient and the
evidence in humans was limited, that would put the agent
into group 2A."
But not everyone agrees?
An industry group of agrochemical companies
Glyphosate Task Force said
that the agency's evaluation,
"demonstrates serious deficiencies in
terms of methodological approach and the overall
conclusion is inconsistent with the results of all
regulatory reviews concerning glyphosate's safety
Monsanto - a member of the
task force - said that relevant scientific data that showed
no risk was excluded from the review, and the IARC,
"purposefully disregarded dozens of
scientific studies", specifically genetic toxicity
But Guyton strongly defends the IARC process
and insists that there is a set of clear rules that lays out
which studies can be considered by the experts convened by
These are broadly limited to peer-reviewed
publications and government reports, leading to the
rejection of a number of industry-submitted studies. Some
academic scientists have sounded notes of caution over the
Oliver Jones, an analytical chemist at
RMIT University in Melbourne,
told the Science Media Centre in
"IARC evaluations are usually very good,
but to me the evidence cited here appears a bit thin."
He added: "From a personal perspective, I am a
vegetarian so I eat a lot of vegetables and I'm not
worried by this report."
Doesn't just about everything
cause cancer if you look hard enough?
classifies compounds on a
scale of decreasing certainty:
group 1 is for agents that are
definitely carcinogenic to humans
2A, probably carcinogenic to humans
2B, possibly carcinogenic to humans
3, not classifiable
4, probably not carcinogenic to
Monsanto said in its statement,
"IARC has classified numerous everyday
items in Category 2 including coffee,
cell phones, aloe vera
extract and pickled vegetables, as well as professions
such as a barber and fry cook."
But the IARC classified most of these items
at the less dangerous 2B level, whereas glyphosate is in the
'probably carcinogenic' 2A category.
Of Monsanto's list, only emissions from
high-temperature frying and the occupational exposure
experienced as a barber are rated as 2A.
What happens next?
It is not part of the IARC's process to
quantify any increased risk of cancer due to a chemical, or
to recommend a safe exposure level, although its studies can
Rather, regulatory agencies around the world
will have to decide what to do with the agency's finding.
The US Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) is currently conducting a 'formal'
review of the safety of glyphosate (which it does not
consider carcinogenic in humans) and said that it would give
"full consideration" to the IARC study.
Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos,
parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate