In a final death blow to years and months of lobbying, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last Monday declared “glyphosate”, the main active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup and known widely as an herbicide against pests, likely DOES NOT CAUSE CANCER.

The pronouncement took the herbicide industry and the anti-glyphosate lobbyists by surprise. This assessment goes against the conclusion of a European scientific panel as well as a well-publicized ruling by California regulators earlier this year, specifically the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) that glyphosate weed killer is a “known, cancer-causing carcinogen” and will be included in Proposition 65!

Plus, no less than the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has ruled in 2015 that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic”.

And we who have been following the events leading to this declaration by the EPA are dumbstruck and flabbergasted by the whole thing! Why, why, why that with all the thousands of peer-reviewed studies that have been conducted on the effects of glyphosate on people when ingested does the EPA rule out that this carcinogenic chemical doesn’t cause cancer?

We cannot comprehend up to now how the EPA managed to come to that conclusion after all these years.

A long fight against a cancer-causing herbicide

Environmentalists worldwide have fought long and hard to convince governments to ban or strictly limit the use of Roundup. Despite the proliferation of studies showing the direct connection between use of the herbicide as well as GMO crops grown with Roundup to cancer, the European Union in November voted to extend the license of glyphosate for another 5 years.

The EPA is also expected to consider a similar extension of the product’s registration to 2019 – and that Monday’s draft assessment is supposed to be part of the process of extension.

As usual, the controversy around glyphosate is centered on Monsanto’s creation of genetically modified crops (GMOs) whose main active ingredient is glyphosate. These crops have been genetically altered to resist Roundup weedkiller.

Data has been released though that Monsanto and the EPA were aware of the carcinogenic nature of glyphosate from way back in the early 1980s. Uncovered EPA memos and internal correspondence from the EPA indicated that Monsanto had documented data pointing to glyphosate causing cancer in lab animals such as mice, dogs and rats. Monsanto, allegedly with the EPA’s cooperation and complacency, hid the information away from consumers, the public, and investors.

Studies that Monsanto used to assert that Roundup is a safe product actually showed that glyphosate causes irreversible damage to the kidneys as well as hyperplasia in rats (Hyperplasia is a precancerous condition characterized by the increase of healthy cells in organs and tissues).

Monsanto and the EPA have been colluding and covering up incriminating evidence about glyphosate and Roundup for almost 35 years. Are you going to let them get away with it?

If you have further information regarding the EPA’s and Monsanto’s unethical collusion to keep the public in the dark about glyphosate, do share with us in the comments section below!

Image by Global Justice Now / CC BY 2.0