Monsanto Herbicide Dubbed 'Probably Carcinogenic' By WHO. Are They Right?

March 21, 2015 4:18 PM

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An ingredient in Monsanto Monsanto’s Roundup weed-killer – glyphosate – is “probably carcinogenic,” according to a new decision by the World Health Organization yesterday. The decision was laid out in a study in The Lancet Oncology, and published on the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) website. The study is based on a new look at the existing research on the chemical exposure in people and lab animals. Though it’s sure to raise consumer concerns, some – like Monsanto – say it’s unwarranted since no new data are included in the research, and previous studies have all deemed glyphosate relatively safe in the doses humans take it in. Consumers’ ears are certainly pricked at this new decision – but how convincing is it?

The report determines that there is “limited evidence” that the chemical can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer in humans. It says there is, however, “convincing evidence” that it can cause cancer in laboratory animals. Among people who work with the herbicide, who generally have traces of...

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