Monsanto has pressured the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) to “reassess” their best-selling herbicide, glyphosate. This came after the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) declared that Roundup (glyphosate) was ‘probably carcinogenic.’
The IARC sparked a host of actions from around the world that were unfavorable for Monsanto. Large retailers stopped stocking Roundup, and even the state of California is now requiring Monsanto to put warning labels on their Round Up bottles. Yet the Big Ag company asserts that “there is no evidence of carcinogenicity” in glyphosate.
It is true that in 1986 the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated this in their report on pesticide residues in food:
“The chronic toxicity of glyphosate is low; the only significant toxicity seen in a number of animal bioassays was mild hepatotoxicity at high doses in mice. There is no evidence of carcinogenicity… and “Glyphosate was without mutagenic activity both in vitro and in vivo.”
But the World Health Organization’s IARC stated in their March 20, 2015 report, which analyzed five organophosphate pesticides, that:
“The herbicide glyphosate and the insecticides malathion and diazinon were classified as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A).”
Of course Big Ag groups have denounced the most recent announcement by the IARC.
The National Corn Growers Association and CropLife International issued statements criticizing the IARC’s decision, but should we be surprised?
The National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling said:
“The movement to reclassify glyphosate as a class 2A probable carcinogen ignores the findings of more than four decades of credible scientific research. In doing so, this decision creates unnecessary fear and confusion over the proven safety record of this important agricultural tool.”
Perhaps Mr. Bowling is missing the recent reports that Monsanto sat on information linking glyphosate to cancer for more than thirty-five years?
According to evidence unearthed from the archives of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the United States, it has come to light that Monsanto was fully aware of the potential of glyphosate to cause cancer in mammals as long ago as 1981. And one does not need to guess why the WHO only recently reassessed glyphosate’s toxicity.
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.