Health Impact News Editor Comments
Last week the U.S. mainstream media widely reported on a new study published by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which evaluated 5 different insecticides and herbicides.
The herbicide glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, was included in the report and was linked to cancer. The agency stated:
For the herbicide glyphosate, there was limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The evidence in humans is from studies of exposures, mostly agricultural, in the USA, Canada, and Sweden published since 2001. In addition, there is convincing evidence that glyphosate also can cause cancer in laboratory animals.
On the basis of tumours in mice, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) originally classified glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group C) in 1985. After a re-evaluation of that mouse study, the US EPA changed its classification to evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans (Group E) in 1991. The US EPA Scientific Advisory Panel noted that the re-evaluated glyphosate results were still significant using two statistical tests recommended in the IARC Preamble.
The IARC Working Group that conducted the evaluation considered the significant findings from the US EPA report and several more recent positive results in concluding that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Glyphosate also 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. (Source.)
Glyphosate is the most common and most heavily used herbicide or pesticide in the world. According to the IARC, cancer rates world-wide are expected to increase from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million within the next 2 decades. (Source.)
This is certainly not the first study to link glyphosate to cancer, as the IARC report indicates. A study published in 2012 by French scientists in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology showed a link between GMO corn (heavy in glyphosate) fed to rats with liver and kidney disease and mammary tumours. The biotech industry launched an attack against the French researchers causing the journal to retract the study, but it has since been republished.
Depth of Glyphosate Pollution Currently in the U.S.
Glyphosate is used so heavily in the U.S. that it has been found in human breast milk, feeding tube liquids given to babies and children with cancer in hospitals, and 75% of the air and rain samples tested in the Mississippi delta region.
In 2014, Tropical Traditions tested some of the USDA certified organic products they were selling, and found glyphosate residue in organic food as well. They have now begun testing all of their products for the presence of glyphosate.
Other Glyphosate Links to Disease
Besides links between glyphosate and cancer, glyphosate has been linked to autism (see: MIT Researcher: Glyphosate Herbicide will Cause Half of All Children to Have Autism by 2025), gluten intolerance and allergies, destroying the microbiome, antibiotic resistant bacteria, kidney disease, and infertility.
Can we Trust the Government to Protect us From Glyphosate Poisoning?
The EPA allows for certain levels of glyphosate in U.S. foods, and they have been steadily increasing the amounts allowable. Even USDA organic standards allow a certain percentage of the EPA allowable amounts of glyphosate to be present in organic foods as residue.
If the U.S. government did not allow the presence of glyphosate in U.S. food, Americans would starve, as there would not be enough food available to feed the U.S. population.
In the latest U.S. Government report on pesticide residues, glyphosate was not even tested in any of the foods included in the report. (See: Federal Government Annual Report on Pesticide Residues Excludes Glyphosate.)