Quantcast

Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?

Food

When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released and then abruptly withdrew a draft document on the cancer risks posed by the pesticide glyphosate, Monsanto jumped at the chance to say that its signature chemical had been exonerated.

The EPA says it has more work to do. In the meantime, the Environmental Working Group took a closer look at the science underpinning the World Health Organization’s decision last year to classify glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen.”

Here’s what we found: A growing body of research is finding a link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, especially with some specific subtypes of the cancer.

In the now-retracted document, the EPA initially found insufficient evidence to classify glyphosate as a probable carcinogen, citing some studies that haven’t been able to associate glyphosate exposure with higher risks of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The trouble is, there are many kinds of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and by trying to link a whole group of different cancers to glyphosate exposure, the EPA draft may have missed associations with specific kinds of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

One such study, published in 2008 by Swedish researchers, found that exposure to glyphosate tripled the risk of a subtype of non-Hodgkin called small lymphocytic lymphoma.

This alarming link may be masked when the data is lumped in with other kinds of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that have different causes.

Moreover, there is often a lag time between exposure to a carcinogen and when people find out they have cancer. The same Swedish study found that a person’s risk of being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma began to rise more than 10 years after exposure.

This is disturbing, given that the use of glyphosate in the U.S. exploded 20-fold over the past two decades and most of the herbicide has been sprayed in just the past 10 years. We may be just beginning to see the public health consequences of this herbicide.

Studies that take a closer look at specific types of cancer show alarming evidence of the potential for glyphosate to increase cancer risk. They should not be ignored.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

‘Mistaken’ Release of Glyphosate Report Raises Questions Over EPA’s Ties to Monsanto

How Widespread Is the Use of Glyphosate in Our Food Supply?

Michael Pollan’s ‘Cooked’: A Recipe for Change

Quaker Oats Accused of Being ‘Deceptive and Misleading’ After Glyphosate Detected in Oatmeal

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

In this view from an airplane rivers of meltwater carve into the Greenland ice sheet near Sermeq Avangnardleq glacier on Aug. 4 near Ilulissat, Greenland. Climate change is having a profound effect in Greenland, where over the last several decades summers have become longer and the rate that glaciers and the Greenland ice cap are retreating has accelerated. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

The rate that Greenland's ice sheet is melting surpassed scientists' expectations and has raised concerns that their worst-case scenario predictions are coming true, Business Insider reported.

Read More Show Less
An Alagoas curassow in captivity. Luís Fábio Silveira / Agência Alagoas / Mongabay

By Pedro Biondi

Extinct in its habitat for at least three decades, the Alagoas curassow (Pauxi mitu) is now back in the jungle and facing a test of survival, thanks to the joint efforts of more than a dozen institutions to pull this pheasant-like bird back from the brink.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Elizabeth Warren's Blue New Deal aims to expand offshore renewable energy projects, like the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island. Luke H. Gordon / Flickr

By Julia Conley

Sen. Elizabeth Warren expanded her vision for combating the climate crisis on Tuesday with the release of her Blue New Deal — a new component of the Green New Deal focusing on protecting and restoring the world's oceans after decades of pollution and industry-caused warming.

Read More Show Less
Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson leaves the courthouse after testifying in the Exxon Mobil trial on Oct. 30, 2019 in New York. DON EMMERT / AFP via Getty Images

A judge in New York's Supreme Court sided with Exxon in a case that accused the fossil fuel giant of lying to investors about the true cost of the climate crisis. The judge did not absolve Exxon from its contribution to the climate crisis, but insisted that New York State failed to prove that the company intentionally defrauded investors, as NPR reported.

Read More Show Less

By Sharon Elber

You may have heard that giving a pet for Christmas is just a bad idea. Although many people believe this myth, according to the ASPCA, 86 percent of adopted pets given as gifts stay in their new homes. These success rates are actually slightly higher than average adoption/rehoming rates. So, if done well, giving an adopted pet as a Christmas gift can work out.

Read More Show Less