The World Health Organization recently caused a ruckus within the biotech world as it declared glyphosate ‘probably carcinogenic’ and now the makers of chemical death will have to answer for three more herbicides the WHO has now classified as cancer-causing.
After evaluating the insecticides gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (lindane) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), all widely used agricultural chemicals since before WWII, the World Health Organization’s specialized agency dedicated to cancer research has found all three chemicals to be carcinogenic.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is currently comprised of 26 experts from 13 countries. Not only did their recently released report determine that these three herbicides were deadly, but they told the world specifically what cancers they were more likely to cause:
- Lindane – Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL).
- DDT – Liver, Breast, and Testicular Cancer, as well as a suppressed immune system.
- 2, 4-D – While the warnings for this herbicide were less alarming, the researchers still called 2 ,4,-D, possibly carcinogenic. They also reported that it caused oxidative stress as well as a suppressed immune response, which are both known health conditions that support the development of cancer.
As officially reported straight by The Lancet:
“In June, 2015, 26 experts from 13 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC; Lyon, France) to assess the carcinogenicity of the insecticides lindane and 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)ethane (DDT), and the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D).
…The insecticide lindane was classified as “carcinogenic to humans” (Group 1)
…The insecticide DDT was classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2A).”
The backlash for the declarations of the IARC are likely to be fierce, and cause a tidal wave of change throughout the world. Already the WHO’s declaration concerning glyphosate caused Monsanto to demand a retraction, and several countries to ban its import or sale within their borders due to health concerns.
The WHO declaration also caused other countries to demand more research on glyphosate’s toxic effects, and several large DIY and garden centers have stopped selling glyphosate due to the news.
Could the WHO’s latest determinations on DDT, 2, 4-D, and Lindane spell the end for companies like Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow and Bayer?
A summary of the final evaluations is available online in The Lancet Oncology.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.