The Monsanto Company is again under fire as a recent report states that Glyphosate, the main ingredient in the company’s money-making Roundup herbicide, is the most widely used herbicide chemical in the world. Studies have suggested that this chemical is a possible human carcinogen. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency includes Glyphosate in it’s list of carcinogenic risk chemicals.
The report, which was written by Charles M. Benbrook of the Environmental Sciences Europe journal, states that more than 3.5 billion pounds of Glyphosate have been used in the US alone since Roundup’s release in 1974. This number climbed drastically after the introduction of Roundup Ready crops in 1996. The report cites recent studies that have found links between Glyphosate exposure and serious health effects such as liver and kidney disease, and some types of cancer.
Benbrook states “The dramatic and rapid growth in overall use of glyphosate will likely contribute to a host of adverse environmental and public health consequences,” https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-016-0070-0 He goes on to say “My hope is that this paper will stimulate more research on glyphosate use and human and environmental exposure patterns to increase the chance that scientists will quickly detect any problems that might be triggered, or made worse, by glyphosate exposure.”
Glyphosate was declared a “probable carcinogenic to humans” in March of 2015 after a unanimous vote by 17 of the world’s leading cancer researchers within the International Agency for Research on Cancer. This was done in behalf of the World Health Organization.
In September of 2015, the state of California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) responded to these actions by beginning the legal process of listing Glyphosate as a known human carcinogen under the Proposition 65 Law, which was first introduced in 1986 as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. https://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/CRNR_notices/admin_listing/intent_to_list/090415LCset27.html
Round Up products make up for 90%of Monsanto’s revenue. Monsanto fired back with a lawsuit, adamantly defending the safety claims of its billion dollar product. Monsanto Company v. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, et al, case number 16-CECG-00183, was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Fresno.
Monsanto claims that listing glyphosate under Proposition 65 would violate the company’s constitutional rights, and further damage it’s reputation. The lawsuit states “If glyphosate is added to the Proposition 65 list, Monsanto will be required to provide a ‘clear and reasonable warning’ on its glyphosate-based products that states that the products contain a chemical ‘known to the state to cause cancer.’” And goes on to accuse the OEHHA of “delegating law-making authority to an unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable, and foreign body without providing intelligible principles or procedural safeguards to define the boundaries of that authority or prevent its arbitrary exercise.”
Monsanto claims that it’s glyphosate products are safe to use when the directions are followed correctly, and that the report by WHO was influenced by politics and lobbying. In addition to the lawsuit, Monsanto has demanded the retraction of the IARC Report.
These reports, and the defensive actions that the company continues to take against the allegations of the dangers of their products, can only further the evidence of it’s malicious, money hungry intentions.