After the World Health Organization determined glyphosate to be "probably carcinogenic," the biotech company heatedly responded that the report is biased and that glyphosate products are safe.
The week after the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed glyphosate – the main ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide RoundUp – to be “probably carcinogenic,” the biotech giant sprung to action, claiming that the report was biased and that glyphosate products like Roundup are safe.
Monsanto claims that the WHO report contradicts regulatory findings, which can, of course, be influenced by politics and lobby. At present the WHO has not yet responded.
Said Philip Miller, Monsanto’s vide president of global regulatory affairs, to Reuters: “The WHO has something to explain.”
The vice president claims that the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was provided by Monsanto with information on glyphosate’s safety, and that it ignored Monsanto’s input.
No doubt this response indicates a level of panic on Monsanto’s end. After all, the company has been losing major profits as consumer awareness increases regarding the adverse effects caused by glyphosate.
Roundup, formulated to be used on GMO or “Roundup Ready” crops engineered to be resistant to it, is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It was originally introduced in the 1970s to control weeds, and then took off when the planting of GMO crops skyrocketed in the past 15 years.
According to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), glyphosate use in the U.S. increased from about 20 million pounds in 1992 to 110 million pounds in 2002 to more than 280 million pounds in 2012.
With health concerns like ADHD, Alzheimer’s, birth defects, various cancers, depression, leaky gut syndrome, and more linked to glyphosate, it is rightly so it be taken off the market (like a German super-store recently decided to do) and the company answer for the detrimental effects it has contributed to.
The WHO organization did not indefinitely claim that glyphosate causes cancer, but rather that multiple scientific studies have suggested a link. Nonetheless, Monsanto is demanding the equivalent of declaring a person innocent, as there has been ‘insufficient evidence to prove his guilt’.
The study clearly says:
“For the herbicide glyphosate, there was limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” the study said. “The evidence in humans is from studies of exposures, mostly agricultural, in the U.S., Canada and Sweden published since 2001. In addition, there is convincing evidence that glyphosate also can cause cancer in laboratory animals. Glyphosate also caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells. One study in community residents reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage after glyphosate formulations were sprayed nearby.”
Monsanto is claiming such studies to be invalid, but critics say they merit attention.
According to Dave Schubert, head of the cellular neurobiology laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, “There are a number of independent, published manuscripts that clearly indicate that glyphosate … can promote cancer and tumor growth. It should be banned.”
As shared by EcoWatch: “Several leading public interest organizations agree with Schubert and today urged the Obama administration to “weigh heavily” the WHO’s recent conclusion that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” The groups believes that “As a result of WHO’s rigorous and independent review, the link between glyphosate and cancer has now been greatly strengthened.”
All in all, the evidence is mounting against Monsanto and the corporate giant is panicking. Demanding that the WHO retract its claim that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic,” the biotech company hopes to redeem its reputation and restore some of its diminishing profits.
But as consumer awareness increases, this is likely the last thing to happen. As recently came to news, Monsanto is being targeted in a lawsuit for misrepresenting its herbicide and deeming it ‘safe’, when plenty of studies have shown it to be anything but.
Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.