Weed Killer Probably Cancerous To Humans: WHO Reports

Weed killer manufactured by Monsanto is probably cancerous to humans, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published their findings in The Lancet Oncology on Friday.

The IARC is a specialized agency of WHO, located in Lyon, France. Researchers at IARC conducted studies and reported their conclusion declaring Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer has a chemical known as glyphosate that is “probably cancerous to humans.”

Other than the weed killer chemical found in Roundup, researchers also found two insecticides; diazinon and malathion are likely carcinogenic based on “limited evidence” of cancer found in humans.

The Telegraph reports concerns made by Andreas Kortenkamp, professor of human toxicology at Brunel University, London.

Professor Kortenkamp offers the following warning to anyone using Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.

“Professional gardeners would use industrial strength glyphosate to totally wipe their garden of all plants. Amateur gardeners can also buy it as Roundup in a formulation, which is not as strong. Anyone who sprays it could get a whiff of it. People should be very careful with this stuff and consider whether they need it. Home gardeners should hand weed to be on the safe side.”

IARC placed the weed killer ingredient, glyphosate in a 2A category based on the opinion of 17 experts and scientific evidence determined by Canadian, Swedish, and American researchers. Any chemical placed in this category suggests it is probably cancerous to humans.

Agence France-Presse reports a statement made by IARC regarding glyphosate and weed killer usage.

“The general population is exposed to glyphosate primarily through residence near sprayed areas, home use and diet, and the level that has been observed is generally low.”

Monsanto defends their weed killer, suggesting IARC’s latest findings are biased.

Reuters provides a comment made by Dr. Philip Miller, Monsanto’s vice-president of global regulatory affairs.

“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.”

Monsanto sent an urgent request to the IARC asking them to account for all scientific studies the agency used in determining their findings, as well as what research was overlooked or ignored.

The weed killer chemical, glyphosate is primarily used to kill weeds in genetically modified corn and soybean crops. Glyphosate is considered safe by the U.S. government, though WHO reports the weed killer is found in the air, food, and water after being sprayed.

[Featured image courtesy of Sion Touhig/Getty Images]