Glyphosate being sprayed on a field in Suffolk, England. Introduced in the 1970s, it is the most widely used herbicide in the world. Credit Universal Images Group, via Getty Images
So 24 years ago, the EPA said Roundup is safe. NOW…there’s a recognized “probable” link to cancer.
How can that be? A trusted U.S. oversight agency said it was safe.
All I can imagine is a headline that reads, THIMEROSAL, LONG CLEARED, IS DOUBTED. It’s already been ten years since the IOM said injecting live viruses and mercury into humans can’t hurt them. Do we have to wait another decade or two?
(“Reviewers had no pestidice industry ties”…. You’ll notice that no one ever says anything like ….”Reviewers had no vaccine industry ties” when the CDC gives us another study showing no link between vaccines and autism.)
Thirty years ago, an Environmental Protection Agency committee determined that the popular weed killer Roundup might cause cancer. Six years later, in 1991, the agency reversed itself after re-evaluating the mouse study that had been the basis for the original conclusion.
Now the issue is back again, in an even bigger way. An agency of the World Health Organization has declared that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, “probably” causes cancer in people. One piece of evidence the agency cites is that same mouse study.
The declaration drew an angry response from Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, which has accused the agency of having an “agenda” and “cherry picking” the data to support its case.
The conclusion is “starkly at odds with every credible scientific body that has examined glyphosate safety,” Philip Miller, Monsanto‘s vice president for global regulatory affairs, told reporters on Tuesday. That includes a recent review by German government regulators on behalf of the European Union. . . .
Officials at the agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said they had no agenda other than to inform the World Health Organization. They said the conclusion was based on studies of people, laboratory animals and cells.
“All three lines of evidence sort of said the same thing, which is we ought to be concerned about this,” said Aaron Blair, a retired epidemiologist from the National Cancer Institute who was chairman of the group of 17 reviewers from around the world; agreement on the classification was unanimous. . . .
The agency assessment began about a year ago with a literature search and culminated this month, when the working group met in Lyon, France. Reviewers had no ties with the pesticide industry, Dr. Guyton said.