Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?

Food
Does Glyphosate Cause Cancer?

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

David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
Trending
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less
Xiulin Ruan, a Purdue University professor of mechanical engineering, holds up his lab's sample of the whitest paint on record. Purdue University / Jared Pike

Scientists at the University of Purdue have developed the whitest and coolest paint on record.

Read More Show Less

Less than three years after California governor Jerry Brown said the state would launch "our own damn satellite" to track pollution in the face of the Trump administration's climate denial, California, NASA, and a constellation of private companies, nonprofits, and foundations are teaming up to do just that.

Read More Show Less