The world’s most widely-used herbicide, Roundup, has been classified as “probably” carcinogenic to humans by a branch of the World Health Organization. The culprit ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. However, the agrochemical giant Monsanto has rejected the new conclusions.
RT reports: The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in their latest study said that there was “convincing evidence” that glyphosate in Roundup can cause cancer in lab animals.
St. Louis-based Monsanto was not pleased with WHO conclusions, claiming that scientific data does not support their assumptions and urging the health watchdog to hold a meeting to explain the findings.
“We don’t know how IARC could reach a conclusion that is such a dramatic departure from the conclusion reached by all regulatory agencies around the globe,” Philip Miller, Monsanto’s vice-president of global regulatory affairs, said in a brief statement released soon after the report was published.
The study, published Friday in the journal Lancet Oncology also said it found “limited evidence” that glyphosate was carcinogenic in humans for “non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” The conclusion of the research was based on studies of exposure to the chemical in the United States, Canada, and Sweden that date back to 2001.
According to the study, Glyphosate is used in more than 750 different herbicides in air dissemination during spraying, in water and in food. IARC said glyphosate was traced in the blood and urine of agricultural workers.
IARC has four levels of classifications for cancer agents. Glyphosate now falls under the second level of concern known as ‘probable or possible carcinogens.’ The other agents are classified either as carcinogens, ‘probably not carcinogenic’ or ‘not classifiable’.
Glyphosate, which was invented by Monsanto back in 1974, is a broad-spectrum herbicide used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses known to compete with commercial crops.