Scientists and environmentalists have been saying for decades that the world’s most common weed killer, glyphosate, also known as Monsanto’s Roundup, is a carcinogen. Last week, a World Health Organization report indicated that, indeed, glyphosate is a “probable carcinogen.” Now there’s evidence that the Environmental Protection Agency knew glyphosate was a probable carcinogen thirty years ago, but approved it for use anyway. Here’s a summarized chronology of events:
1985: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was aware of the herbicide’s ability to cause cancer 30 years ago, even categorizing it as a ‘Class C Carcinogen.” Class C carcinogens have “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential.”
1991: The EPA already had evidence of multiple studies showing glyphosate is a possible carcinogen, but still reversed its decision suggesting that suddenly, six years later, there wasn’t enough evidence. It approved the herbicide for widespread use, classifying it as “Group E: evidence of NON-carcinogenicity for humans.” According to the Organic Consumers Association: “Six years (after the EPA classified glyphosate as a carcinogen), just about the time former Monsanto lawyer Michael Taylor got himself installed in a key position at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the EPA reversed that decision.”
2013: Although the evidence of glyphosate’s carcinogenicity had been mounting for years, the EPA increased the upper limits of allowable amounts of glyphosate that can be sprayed on crops.
2015: World Health Organization declares glyphosate a “probable carcinogen.”
Study after study continues to link Roundup to cancer. A few months ago, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found a link between some pesticides and a significantly increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma — a type of cancer of the lymphatic system. In this type of cancer, tumors of the lymph nodes or within the lymph system can form. According to the review of 44 studies, 80 active ingredients in 21 classes of chemicals, researchers found that exposure to glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, doubles the risk of this deadly cancer.”
Other research links Roundup to the growing incidence of infertility and sterility.
When I consider the timeline and the recent news, it screams negligence on the part of the EPA. What do you think? Should the EPA have banned glyphosate thirty years ago?