World’s most widely used herbicide ingredient shown to cause variety of cancers by research arm of World Health Organization
In a determination that could have far-reaching implications for the agro-chemical giants like Dow Chemical and Monsanto, the research arm of the World Health Organization has declared that glyphosate—the key ingredient of widely-used herbicides such as Roundup—should now be categorized as a “probable carcinogen” for humans.
In a report published on Friday in The Lancet Oncology medical journal, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), based in France, announced its findings after a meeting of 17 oncology experts from 11 countries met to review the available scientific research exploring the connection between glyphosate, as well as several organophosphate insecticides, and various human cancers. Though sometimes such chemicals are lumped together as pesticides, glyphosate is technically a herbicide, which targets other plants, not pests.
“Consumers have the right to know how their food is grown and whether their food dollars are driving up the use of a probable carcinogen.” —Ken Cook, EWGAccording to IARC, glyphosate is used in more than 750 different herbicide products and its use has been detected in the air during spraying, in water and in food. The panel of experts concluded that “limited evidence” exists to show the herbicide can cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma in humans and additional “convincing evidence” that it can cause other forms of cancer in both rats and mice. Researchers noted that glyphosate has been found in the blood and urine of agricultural workers, showing the chemical has been absorbed by the bodies of those who work most with it.