Active Ingredient in Roundup Most Likely Causes Cancer, International Research Agency SaysApr 3, 2015
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (I.A.R.C), a respected branch of the World Health Organization, has declared that glyphosate is a "probable" carcinogen. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, a widely used herbicide. A New York Times op-ed article titled "Stop Making Us Guinea Pigs" pointed out that this announcement comes at a time when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that new breeds of genetically engineered potato and apple are safe to eat. The news that Roundup's active ingredient probably causes cancer in humans is worrisome, considering that it is vital to the production of engineered corn and soybean crops.
The NYT article takes issue with the way in which these types of risks are discovered and asserts that manufacturer Monsanto should be responsible for making sure its product, which has made billions, is safe before placing it on the market. Roundup has been used since the 1970's, but its dangers have only surfaced in recent years. The article states that "There is a sad history of us acting as guinea pigs for the novel chemicals that industry develops. For this we have all too often paid with our damaged health." Now that the risks of glyphosate are more pronounced and it is clear that more research needs to be done, Monsanto should be responsible for funding more studies and not the taxpayer.
Roundup has also been linked to other health risks, including inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease), multiple sclerosis, cancer, cachexia (wasting syndrome), infertility and developmental malformations. A study published in Entropy in April 2013 also suggested a potential link to cancer, infertility and Parkinson's disease.