Monsanto's pesticides are a cancer risk to humans,
the United Nations has found that glyphosate,
an ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer,
is not a cancer risk to humans.
The World Health Organization
(WHO) co-signed the statement with the FAO. The organizations also
found that glyphosate is not likely to be genotoxic, destructive to
cell's genetic material, in humans.
The groups met last week and published their conclusions on Monday.
Interestingly enough, in March 2015 the WHO's own International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a report which seems to contradict the new findings.
The IARC found that glyphosate "probably" contributes to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in humans and classified it as a ‘Group 2A' carcinogen.
Aaron Blair, a scientist emeritus at the National Cancer Institute and lead author of the study, told Reuters,
The IARC report was published in The Lancet Oncology detailing evaluations of organophosphate pesticides and herbicides.
The report concluded that there was,
The evidence for this conclusion was pulled from studies of exposure to the chemical in the US, Canada and Sweden published since 2001.
The researchers found,
The report points out that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) had originally classified glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic to humans in 1985.
The IARC Working Group evaluated the original EPA findings and more recent reports before concluding,
Glyphosate is not only the most widely-used herbicide, it is a key ingredient in biotech giant Monsanto's popular Roundup products.
Glyphosate is only one of Monsanto's products that have been recently connected to cancer, however. In June 2015 the IARC also found that the weed killer 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, known as 2,4-D, "possibly" causes cancer in humans.
Shortly after the IARC review, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), an independent agency funded by the European Union, shot back with their own study, claiming that glyphosate is,
If you are keeping score, that's the FAO, WHO, EFSA, and UN stating that glyphosate does not pose a risk of cancer to humans, and the WHO's IARC stating that it could be linked to cancer.
However, in the new statement the FAO and WHO deny that the conclusions reached by the IARC are contradictory to their findings.
According the WHO, the assessments are,
The FAO/WHO statements says the committee looked at studies to,
Despite the findings by the WHO and FAO, glyphosate has been linked to other health problems.
In 2014 Anti-Media reported on a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health which claims to have found a link between glyphosate and the fatal Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown origin (CKDu), which largely affects rice farmers in Sri Lanka and other nations.
In response Sri Lanka has banned glyphosate and Brazil is considering doing the same.
Sri Lanka's Minister of Special Projects S.M. Chandrasena stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a directive to ban glyphosate sales in the country.
With the USDA's 2014 decision to approve a new batch of genetically modified corn and soybean seeds designed to be resistant to glyphosate, we should expect to see an increase in herbicide use overall, and with it, possibly disastrous health effects.
In fact, the approval by the USDA now partners DOW Chemical and Monsanto together, a move which will only further entrench the control that corporate entities have over governments.
As the corporate and state power become one machine it will be harder for free minds to trust the establishment's science and rhetoric.
We must remain vigilant, think critically, and question everything.
If we learn anything from the battle over pesticide science and safety it should be a reminder not to be dependent on the factory farming-industrial complex and mainstream systems of food production.
If we choose to grow our own food, support backyard, front yard, and community gardens we can reduce the need for harmful pesticides and increase our independence.