Long-term Study Finds That the Pesticide Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer

The report provides evidence that goes against concerns that Monsanto’s popular herbicide, Roundup, is carcinogenic. 

By Katarina Zimmer | November 9, 2017

ISTOCK, MIKEDABELLA new study has found no conclusive link between exposure to glyphosate—the main ingredient in a popular weedkiller—and cancer.

The new study, which was seen by Reuters, draws on long-term data collected through the Agricultural Health Study. This has monitored the health of nearly 90,000 people in Iowa and North Carolina from 1993 to 2010, including farmers licensed to apply pesticides to their crops, and their spouses. The researchers tell Reuters that among more than 54,000 pesticide applications taken into account in the study, 83 percent contained glyphosate. Yet they found no significant increase in cancers among those exposed to the chemical.

The widespread use of glyphosate, which is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, has become increasingly controversial as studies have produced mixed results on the hazards it poses to humans.

For instance, a 2015 study by the European Food Safety Authority concluded that glyphosate was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.” Yet a review by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer that same year classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” to humans. An investigation by Reuters later found that key information had been omitted from the report that supported the conclusion that the pesticide does not cause cancer in animals.

David Spiegelhalter, a professor at Cambridge University in the U.K. who was not involved in the most recent study, tells Reuters he believes that the analysis has been “large and careful” and shows “no significant relationship between glyphosate use and cancer.”

According to Reuters, the study did note that there was “some evidence of increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) among the highest exposed group,” but reports that the correlation was “not statistically significant.”

This news comes at the same time as a vote by European Union member countries deciding on a European Commission proposal to renew the authorization for glyphosate use for five more years, as the current license expires on December 15. The decision has left the E.U. split, according to BBC News: Nine countries voted against the proposal—including France and Italy—14 states supported it—such as Britain—and five countries abstained from the vote entirely, including Germany.

According to BBC News, critics are concerned that the widespread use of glyphosate poses risks to the environment as a whole. A 2016 study by Environmental Sciences Europe notes that some plants have developed resistance to the herbicide, driving farmers to apply increasingly larger amounts. Some countries have banned the use of glyphosate entirely, including Sri Lanka. Colombia has banned aerial spraying of the chemical.

Monsanto’s vice president of strategy, Scott Partridge, tells Reuters that with regard to cancer in humans, the results were solid. “This is the largest study of agricultural workers in history, over the longest period of time,” he says. “It is the gold standard . . . and it definitely demonstrates in a real-world environment that glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer.”




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Avatar of: concerned0n3


Posts: 1

November 9, 2017

It is truly amazing how shoddy your "science" can be. Here is a study that tells us that Monsanto's pesticide Glyphosate does not cause cancer. However, it only studied physical external contact with agricultural workers, and nothing whatever about eating foods that have been sprayed with Glyphosate.

Avatar of: OldCoot


Posts: 1

November 9, 2017

I worked for a railraod for 33+ years and durning the last of the sixtys we sprayed with 245-t brush killer. I would come off work soked with it and suffered for years with acute acmy( boiles and skin europsions. I lived through that but when it comes to resurch it all depends on who is paying for it. Roundup is not such a big deal now that a lot of nasty weeds have evalved resistience to it. I just worry about what is going to come along. I have seen the bees go, I have seen the butter flys go, I just have been worndering when people will go. Money will pave the way for anything that will make someone rich. This country the USA has aloud a lot of things that were and are dengerest to human health in the name of welth. Forgive my spelling I just can't.

Avatar of: cscouten


Posts: 2

November 10, 2017

Presumably the cited study is legitimate, published in a reputable, perer-reviewed journal.  If so, why not cite the published article so interested folks can access the details?  Is something being hidden?  

Avatar of: observerTM


Posts: 1

November 10, 2017

Cancer is not the only health concern. Interesting timing as the EU failed to continue registration of glyphoste last week. (see https://www.rt.com/newsline/407797-eu-glyphosate-vote-delayed/) I agree with 'cscouten' that reporting is suspect sans citation. Here's one to consider: Jayasumana, C., et al. 2014. Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 2125-2147; doi:10.3390/ijerph110202125


Avatar of: peacefrogtoo


Posts: 1

November 10, 2017

yes, It was a peer reviewed journal published report:

Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 11/9/2017    JNCI djx233


Looks like a huge study, not "shoddy" as commented below.

November 10, 2017

When an issue is decided on the number of votes and there are uncertainties, there is some confusion. What else is possible when specialists canot take decisions based on cocensus? Political and ideological considerations may become dominant. How can one arrive at acceptable level of risk? Ultimately, how low is low enough cannot be decided scientifically!

Avatar of: DogctorV


Posts: 1

November 10, 2017

This study did not follow 90,000 people. It enlisted peticide applicators applyingfor use of restricted use pestsicides (RUP) which Round Up is NOT in Iowa & North Carolina It surveyed them with periodic questionnaires. This is a last phase rushed to print to hype Monsanto's wishful thinking that it's flagship carcinogen is not carcinogenic to influence European government divided on glyphosate renewal.

First of all, the study makes arithmetical errors. It claims that it had data on 60% of well protected pesticide applicators, while it actually lost the majority to follow up & only had data on a minority- 46%. What happened to the rest? Who knows? They might have died of lymphoma.

It also did not survey farmers who haven't been certified while Round Up does not require pesticide certification because it is not a restricted use pesticide.It did not survey farmers kids while pediatric rates of cancers are rising for the past few decades. 

And of course, it did not survey people who are exposed to glyphosate in their air, water & food because it was restricted to those getting licensed to use RUPs in just two states- Iowa & North Carolina, rather than all of the US, never mind other countries which dont have stringent laws for application of pesticides whose farmers often wear no protective gear, as well as ordinary people exposed to Rond Up in air, water and food.

Just the usual Monsanto Propaganda Campaign we've all come to expect using the usual fraudulent journalists, science illiterate media :& industry friendly front groups feeding this junk to to them--the Science Media Center. 

It is just the usual Monsanto bullshit. 

Avatar of: duckman


Posts: 1

November 11, 2017

Have monsanto bought all your staff nice holidays?

Biggest load of tripe i have ever read, a true example of `if it says so on the internet it must be true`.

Or have you access to a parelel universe, you know the one where d trump wins the nobel peace prize, fake news anyone?


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