Glyphosate Under Microscope

March 23, 2015 11:17 AM
Glyphosate Under Microscope

As WHO labels herbicide as ‘probably carcinogenic,’ Monsanto asks for closer review of data.

The safety of glyphosate—and the research on it—is under a microscope after the World Health Organization on Friday labeled the popular herbicide as “probably carcinogenic.”

The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) based its decision on a recently published research review in The Lancet Oncology, which looked at five organophosphate pesticides, including glyphosate.

Monsanto, which uses glyphosate in its extensively used Roundup herbicide, disagreed strongly with the findings, asserting that the chemical has been approved as safe by regulatory agencies in the United States and the European Union.

“We are outraged with this assessment,” said Dr. Robb Fraley, chief technology officer for Monsanto. “This conclusion is inconsistent with the decades of ongoing comprehensive safety reviewsby the leading regulatory authorities around the world that have concluded that all labeled uses of glyphosate are safe for human health. This result was reached by selective ‘cherry picking’ of data and is a clear example of agenda-driven bias.”

“We don’t know how IARC could reach a conclusion that is such a dramatic departure from the conclusion reached by all regulatory agencies around the globe,” said Dr. Philip Miller, Monsanto’s vice president of global regulatory affairs.  “We have issued an urgent request for appropriate personnel of the WHO to sit down with the global glyphosate taskforces and other regulatory agencies to account for the scientific studies used in their analysis and, equally as important, to account for those scientific studies that were disregarded.”

In a written statement, the St. Louis, Mo.-based company also took issue with the alarming-sounding nature of the “probably carcinogenic” label.   

“IARC’s classification does not establish a link between glyphosate and an increase in cancer,” the company said. “It’s important to put IARC’s classifications into perspective. 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.”

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Spell Check

Dave Burke
Smithfield, PA
3/25/2015 10:33 AM

  Amen,Fred. Why not label, because like "our Idiots " in government, money is all important. We are slaves to do their work and fill their dirty bank accounts. Wake up growers! Big yields, low profits. Whom is winning no matter grain price?

Dresden, IL
3/26/2015 05:29 AM

  Let's name it: Round-up - even if it wouldn't be toxic - there are so many weeds in US/Can tolerant to it, that the so called "super-weed" fields are covering now almost 100 mio acres. To get them back into production - there is just one way: transform to organic farming and just treat "mechanically"! It is no problem for mankind to surivive w/o Round-up - it's only a problem for Monsanto and Co... Cheers!

Carol Dutra
Hollister, CA
10/10/2015 01:43 PM

  Among the many cancers and diseases associated with glyphosate are: . Adenoma cancer in the pituitary gland Glioma tumors in the brain Reticular cell sarcomas in the heart Malignant tumors in the lungs Salivary mandibular reticular cell carcinoma Metastatic sarcomas of the lymph gland Prostate carcinoma Cancer of the bladder Thyroid carcinoma Adrenal reticulum cell sarcomas Cortical adenomas Basal cell squamous skin tumors .


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