Studies have conclusively proven that the popular herbicide Roundup causes birth defects, and an increasingly robust body of data linking the toxic chemical to cancer is also emerging. One of the most disturbing findings of this research is that the chemical may be carcinogenic in doses up to 4,000 times lower than what people may be exposed to during normal use of the chemical.
These findings have serious implications for those living near agricultural fields or in other areas with Roundup spraying.
Roundup is the trade name of Monsanto’s blockbuster herbicide glyphosate. It is one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, in large part because Monsanto has engineered genetically modified (GM) varieties of alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, soy and sugar beets to resist the chemical concoction. This has led to a surge in Roundup spraying on agricultural fields worldwide.
Cancer rates skyrocket in GMO-growing regions
Some of the earliest evidence of Roundup’s connection to cancer came from the “Soy Republic,” a region of several South American countries that now has 125 million acres devoted to GM soy production. Doctors in these regions have noticed such a sharp uptick in cancer cases since GMO cultivation took off that they have formed an organization, Doctors of Fumigated Towns, and held a conference in 2010. Studies have now confirmed what these doctors long suspected: Towns with more Roundup spraying have higher cancer rates.
“The change in how agriculture is produced has brought, frankly, a change in the profile of diseases,” said Argentinean pediatrician Medardo Avila Vazquez, who specializes in environmental health. “We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects and illnesses seldom seen before.”
Perhaps the most damning verdict for Monsanto came in April 2014, when the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a review of 25 years worth of research into pesticides and a type of cancer called and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The study found that organo-phosphorus herbicides, including Roundup, were associated with a higher cancer risk. A 2009 study in the United States also found a doubled risk of brain cancer in children whose parents were exposed to Roundup up to two years prior to the child’s birth.
Regular exposure causes DNA damage
Because correlational studies cannot prove causation, scientists have conducted numerous studies to see if Roundup does indeed produce the cellular and genetic changes that lead to cancer. The evidence is clear: It does.
Numerous studies have confirmed that Roundup causes DNA damage in a wide variety of animal species. Other studies have shown that human cells exposed to Roundup turn cancerous.
Another method to test for carcinogenicity is to see how a chemical affects cell division. In a 2004 animal study, Roundup was found to cause serious errors in cell division of a type associated with cancer. The researchers noted that the dose of Roundup used was 500 to 4,000 times lower than the dose that humans would get from using the chemical or from being in an area where aerial spraying takes place.
Finally, studies have also shown that Roundup damages human DNA. Significantly, all these studies showed particular damage to the DNA of lymphocytes. When these cells turn cancerous, lymphoma is the result.
But though the evidence of Roundup’s deadliness continues to mount, government and industry continue to pretend that the chemical is harmless, and the spraying continues.
“The tobacco companies denied the link between smoking and cancer, and took decades to recognize the truth,” Avila Vazquez said. “The biotech and agrochemical corporations are the same as the tobacco industry; they lie and favor business over the health of the population.”
Sources for this article include:
- Bayer considers pulling Roundup from U.S. market after judge rejects $2 billion settlement deal
- SHOCKER: Most products labeled “Non-GMO” can still be grown with sewage sludge, antibiotics, growth hormones, hospital bio-waste, synthetic pesticides and Roundup
- Study reveals Bayer’s Roundup linked to “a host of chronic and mental illness”
- Monsanto hit with $290 million cancer liability ruling in Roundup (glyphosate) herbicide trial