WHO Acknowledges Roundup Probably Causes Cancer
Posted by Mary West
After a 30-year cover-up of Roundup’s cancer-causing properties, an arrow has pierced the stronghold of the regulatory agencies that have proclaimed it safe. In a review of scientific studies on glyphosate, the globe’s most commonly used herbicide, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), confirms it probably causes cancer.
This admission is a stunning departure from the stances of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) on the chemical.
In the review published in The Lancet Oncology, researchers examined five agricultural chemicals categorized as organophosphates. Three, including glyphosate, were classified as 2A, which means “probably carcinogenic to humans;” while two were classified as 2B, which means “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
Biotech Industry Accuses IARC of Cherry Picking Studies
The biotech industry went on the offensive in response to this report’s findings, as the results conceivably could wield a lethal blow to the widely held fallacy that Roundup poses no threat to public health. Monsanto’s chief technology officer expressed outrage and accused the IARC of cherry picking the evidence. The Glyphosate Task Force, a group of agrichemical companies, criticized the review’s methodology; and Monsanto, a member of the force, alleged the review “purposefully disregarded dozens of scientific studies.”
One of the authors, Kathryn Guyton, senior toxicologist at the IARC, defended the review’s process, explaining that clear rules delineated which studies became part of the investigation. The included or “cherry-picked” studies had been published in government reports and peer-reviewed publications, while the rejected studies were those submitted by the biotech industries.
Conflict in a Nutshell
To clarify the issues, Live in the Now consulted Dr. Michael Wald, Director of Nutrition at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco in Westchester, New York and author of Frankenfoods – Controversy, Lies & Your Health. He describes the disagreement between the Glyphosate Task Force and IARC as “a conflict between those with a financial interest in glyphosate, who say it is safe, and those who do not have a financial interest, who overwhelmingly say it’s a possible carcinogen.”
How much credence should be given to the Glyphosate Task Force’s allegations that the IARC study is seriously flawed? “None,” asserts Wald. “I suspect that this task force was created to position themselves against any study, agency or publication that disagreed with the use and safety of glyphosate. Therefore, it is inherently biased and should not be trusted. A company that produces a chemical that is under fire simply cannot provide an unbiased opinion because of their political, social and financial stake in the continued use of the product in question – in this case glyphosate in Roundup herbicide.”
What Evidence Reveals a 30-Year Cover-Up?
An EPA panel first examined the cancer-causing potential of glyphosate on February 11, 1985. They categorized the chemical as a Class C carcinogen, which denotes “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential.” Six years later, they changed the category to Class E, which denotes “evidence of non-carcinogenic activity for humans.” The troubling part about the change is that it happened at the time Monsanto was making its first Roundup-Ready crops.
Monsanto Has Unprecedented Control over Regulatory Agencies
Jeffrey M. Smith, GMO researcher from the Institute for Responsible Technology, relays to RT that Monsanto has “unprecedented control” over the world’s regulatory agencies, an advantage that enables them to call the shots on glyphosate policy.
Outrageously, Monsanto was given self-regulatory power by the FDA. “This was a foolish decision on the part of the FDA, which supposedly was created as a safety watchdog against harmful influences upon human health,” says Wald. “Monsanto’s former attorney, Michael Taylor, was in charge of overseeing the GMO policy for the FDA. Taylor eventually became Monsanto’s vice-president and chief lobbyist but later returned to the FDA. The oversight agency made the decision to leave it up to the biotech giant to determine the safety of its own products. Moreover, the FDA didn’t require safety studies or labeling despite the overwhelming consensus of its own scientists who said GMOs would be dangerous. This seems highly suspicious.”
Monsanto influences and infiltrates regulatory agencies in the U.S. and around the world, notes Smith. In a recent year, the biotech giant paid 8.7 million dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying. In addition, they influence government through private and public officials who have ties to Monsanto. These strategies have been used to capture control of oversight agencies, which results in a green light being given to the biotech company for food products that are catastrophic to health and the environment.
While the power Monsanto has over government policy on glyphosate is pervasive and formidable, IARC’s honest ruling on the herbicide’s cancer causation is an encouraging sign the company’s armor isn’t impenetrable. Hopefully, the integrity shown by this agency will encourage other regulatory bodies to make determinations independent of Monsanto’s influence. Public health needs to be deemed more important than profits.
So how are Monsanto officials responding? They continue to insist the product is “safe enough to drink,” yet, as we see in the video below, they wouldn’t dare take a sip.