Last year, a panel from the World Health Organization (WHO) came to the conclusion that glyphosate, the main chemical component of Monsanto’s popular weed killer commercially known as RoundUp, was a “probable carcinogen.” The WHO decision was based on the mounting scientific evidence that proved the chemical caused cancer in lab animals, in addition to countless other conditions.
But a few days ago, a WHO panel with the United Nations published a report that appeared to conclude that there was no link between glyphosate and cancer. At least that’s how the media interpreted the findings:
The report — a mere six pages long — actually does very little to weaken the link between glyphosate and “cancer” because the panel wasn’t looking at “cancer” as a whole. They were looking for non-Hodgkins Lymphoma incidences in organisms that had ingested produce that had previously been treated or exposed to RoundUp during the growing process. Additionally, they only relied on research that was submitted to the panel, and conducted no studies of their own.
Notice all of the caveats in that last statement.
1. They didn’t do the research themselves, nor did they contract any of it.
2. They looked for only one disease.
3. They did not look at skin exposure or inhalation dangers.
When those factors are removed, it becomes increasingly unlikely that they would be able to find a link because you are removing some of the largest criteria.
Again, look at the headlines above. Scrolling through news results would give a reader the impression that glyphosate is safe, but the truth is that the studies were flawed and the real studies available show a direct correlation, if not complete causation.
The greatest flaw in the WHO panel’s new report is that it suggests that the chemical is safe — because it isn’t “linked to cancer” — but cancer is just one of a few illnesses that have been linked to glyphosate and RoundUp. According to an article by Alexis Baden-Mayer from the Organic Consumers Association (found on EcoWatch.com), RoundUp/glyphosate has been linked to the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Anencephaly (birth defect)
- Birth Defects
- Brain Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Celiac Disease
- Gluten Intolerance
- Heart Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Liver Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Respiratory Illnesses
The list even goes on from there, but the point is that the new report from the WHO panel only checked for one of the conditions on this list, and completely ignored the dangers of all of the other correlating conditions.
100 million tons of RoundUp/glyphosate are pumped into the environment every year, and as Roundup-Ready GMOs continue to become more common, that number is expected to rise substantially. After all, the main reason GMOs exist is so they can be herbicide resistant.
And until earlier this year, neither the Food and Drug Administration nor the Environmental Protection Agency had been testing the food we eat for glyphosate residues. Those plans were announced in February and March of this year.
The headlines aren’t telling us the rest of the story, and they are cherry-picking the data from the already-cherry-picked report to sell a talking point that Monsanto desperately wants sold. And with a biased WHO report to back them up, you can expect Monsanto to declare victory if the media continues to fail to do their jobs.
Image credit - Rodale's OrganicLife.