RoundUp (glyphosate) Causes Cancer, says World Health Organization

A Man Is Spraying Herbicide

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The World Health Organization (WHO) finally states, officially, what the rest of the world is already aware of: that the world’s most popular herbicide, RoundUp, probably causes cancer in humans, as well as damage to chromosomes and DNA.

The Lancet Oncology published a report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) where scientists detail the evaluation of this organophosphate herbicide. This report states that there was “limited evidence” of carcinogenicity for humans, specially, for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. This conclusion was reached after hundreds of studies that were performed between 2001 and 2012, involving exposure to this chemical throughout Canada, Sweden, and the US.

Scientists reviewing these studies found “convincing evidence” that glyphosate (RoundUp) caused cancer in studies done with animals. In fact, this report notes that the United States EPA, back in 1985, originally classified RoundUp as a possible carcinogen The IARC looked at the original EPA findings, as well as more recent reports, before coming to their conclusion that there is sufficient evidence to show that this herbicide could cause cancer.

The fight that surrounds RoundUp is connected to the debate surrounding GMO foods. Tons of this herbicide is used on GM crops, including soybeans and corn, which have been modified to survive the effects of this potent herbicide. Many corporations, most notably Monsanto, are heavily invested in this chemical. Unfortunately, this has resulted in glyphosate being found in water, food, air, and even in nearby soil that has not been sprayed with this herbicide.

The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public health published a study in 2014 that stated that it had found a link between RoundUp and a deadly health problem called CKDu, or Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown origin. This fatal disease has affected many rice farmers in Sri Lanka, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and other nations. Brazil has already banned RoundUp and Sri Lanka is expected to do the same shortly.

Scientists believe that RoundUp is helping to carry toxic heavy metals that are already present in some agrichemicals, directly to the kidneys. CKDu was first seen in Sri Lanka in the 1990’s, soon after the introduction of glyphosate, and to date has taken an estimated 20,000 lives.

This study does not offer any new scientific evidence, but it offers a comprehensive review of studies that were previously published.  As expected, Monsanto not only denies that there is any real proof to these claims, and insists that these are nothing more than theory, they are also pressuring the World Health Organization to withdraw their claim that their product can cause cancer.

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Monsanto receives billions each year from the sale of their soybeans, corn, and other seeds that have been designed to withstand its own herbicide spray. Monsanto is asking for a meeting with the WHO to discuss their findings.  This St. Louis based company insists that the statement from the WHO contradicts what they call “decades of scientific review” that have called RoundUp safe. Monsanto spokespersons blast the IARC for “cherry picking” their data and accused them of having an agenda and called them “biased.”

Several consumer groups stated in a conference call with reporters that they were very hopeful that the IARC study would force the EPA to take action, or at least take a closer look at the safety of RoundUp. They also said that they hoped this study would encourage the White House to create a nationwide labeling law that would allow consumers to know whether or not the foods they were buying contained GMO ingredients.

It’s interesting to note that Monsanto, in response, did not decide to make their product safer. They did not, apparently, even consider ways to refute the claim, state that they would review this report, or that they might even consider re-formulating the product. Monsanto simply stomped their feet and demanded that these statements, backed by scientific data, be retracted.


SEE ALSO: Top Reasons to Ban Roundup Forever


Dave Schubert, from the cellular neurobiology laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California states “There are a number of independent, published manuscripts that clearly indicate that glyphosate can promote cancer and tumor growth and it should be banned.”

With the already existing overabundance of evidence from previously published research papers, on top of this recently released study, it becomes very clear that RoundUp is dangerous. There are hundreds of other means of fighting weeds besides resorting to a cancer causing, kidney killing herbicide such as RoundUp.