Glyphosate not carcinogenic, European chemicals agency says

Glyphosate is an active ingredient found in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, the most popular weed-killer in the United States.
By Amy Wallace  |  March 17, 2017 at 10:49 AM
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March 17 (UPI) -- The European Chemicals Agency, or ECA, Committee for Risk Assessment, or RAC, has decided to maintain its current stance that glyphosate does not meet criteria as a carcinogen.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient found in Monsanto's Roundup, the most popular weed-killer in the United States and throughout the world.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding glyphosate as it has been considered by many environmental and health organizations as having potentially cancer-causing properties, however public health agencies have reported the evidence does not prove the chemical is a carcinogen.

The RAC concluded that the scientific evidence currently available warrants the classification for glyphosate as causing serious eye damage and toxic to aquatic life -- but that it does not meet the criteria to be classified a carcinogen.

In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, -- the World Health Organization's, or WHO, cancer group -- called for glyphosate to be classified as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

"Case-control studies of occupational exposure in the USA, Canada and Sweden reported increased risks for non-Hodgkins lymphoma that persisted after adjustment for other pesticides," the IARC said in 2015, adding that there is also "convincing evidence" that it can cause cancer in laboratory animals.

And in September 2015, California became the first state in the United States to label glyphosate as cancer-causing after the state's Environmental Protection Agency classified the chemical as a known carcinogen.

According to the Campaign for Accuracy in Public Health Research, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, European Food Safety Authority, United Nations/WHO, German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to the European Chemicals Agency and New Zealand's Environmental Protection Agency have all come out stating over the past two years that they believe glyphosate poses no cancer risk.

More than 200 lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto over the last two years by hundreds of people claiming they got non-Hodgkins lymphoma from using Roundup.

Monsanto company emails unsealed by U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco, show company executives discussed ghostwriting research papers on Roundup that would be signed by scientists.

The emails included internal emails and emails between the company and federal regulators.

Jess Rowland, the EPA official who evaluated glyphosate as a possible carcinogen, reportedly relied on the reports to conclude glyphosate should not be classified as carcinogenic.

Monsanto lost a court case on March 10 to keep glyphosate off California's public list of chemical carcinogens. The company has long-denied that glyphosate causes cancer.

"The allegation that glyphosate can cause cancer in humans is inconsistent with decades of comprehensive safety reviews by the leading regulatory authorities around the world," Monsanto said in a statement earlier this week.

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