Researchers from the University of Washington evaluated existing studies into the chemical — found in weed killers including Monsanto’s popular Roundup — and concluded that it significantly increases the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a cancer of the immune system.
“This paper makes a stronger case than previous meta-analyses that there is evidence of an increased risk of NHL due to glyphosate exposure,” said Lianne Sheppard, study co-author and University of Washington professor. “From a population health point of view, there are some real concerns.”
A former scientific adviser to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on glyphosate, Sheppard has criticized the environmental agency for “not following their own rules” in evaluating the herbicide when an advisory panel was convened in 2016 to determine its safety after several papers were published on Roundup’s carcinogenicity. Two more of the study’s authors also served on that panel, which is still cited by Bayer as proof that their product is safe. The EPA is now reviewing the study.
The researchers focused on heavily-exposed groups, they said, because if Roundup wasn’t carcinogenic – as Bayer-Monsanto argues – even a high degree of exposure shouldn’t lead to increased cancer risk. They included a 2018 study that Monsanto had previously used to disprove the Roundup-cancer link – but which in fact confirms it among the heavy exposure cases.
“Together, all of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding: exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides are associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkins lymphoma,” the authors wrote.
Bayer dismissed the new study as “statistical manipulation” contradicting “the extensive body of science, 40 years of real world experience, and the conclusions of regulators.”
The US Environmental Protection Agency said in a 2017 draft risk assessment that the herbicide “is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,” while the European Food Safety Authority maintains a similar stance. Bayer, which acquired Monsanto in 2018, said the same year that glyphosate is a “safe and efficient weed control tool.”
In 2015, however, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Moreover, the chemical has triggered multiple lawsuits from people who believe that exposure to the herbicide caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In 2017, CNN reported that more than 800 people were suing Monsanto; by the following year, that figure was in the thousands.
After a historic court ruling in August in which the agrochemical conglomerate was forced to pay $78 million for “acting with malice” in concealing the carcinogenic risk of its product, resulting in a California groundskeeper’s cancer, Bayer-Monsanto is facing over 9,300 additional lawsuits from others with non-Hodgkins lymphoma who believe Roundup was responsible. The next case begins later this month.
* This article was automatically syndicated and expanded from RT America.
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