Do you use Roundup? If you do, you already know that Roundup is a weed killer made by Monsanto. Many people routinely use it on their lawns and gardens thinking it's harmless. But is it?
Last month, the news agency Reuters reported that the World Health Organization (WHO) claims that Roundup causes cancer. Specifically, the WHO's cancer arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) looked at the active ingredient in Roundup called glyphosate. They claimed that studies show that glyphosate can now be "classified as probably carcinogenic to humans." A carcinogenic substance is one that causes cells to become cancerous. In the case of glyphosate, they particularly focused on a special form of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The evidence for the IARC's conclusion came from studies of exposure, mostly agricultural, in the United States, Canada, and Sweden that have been published since 2001. What did Monsanto have to say about this?
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They, of course, denied it all. After all, how could it be possible that a chemical that kills weeds and is sprayed on the lawns that we and our children walk on as well as the foods we eat possibly be harmful? Aren't all chemicals good to eat and breathe? Maybe not. At least that's what those crazy people in Vermont think. Because of their concerns about the safety of glyphosate last year, Vermont passed the country's first mandatory labeling law for GMO (genetically modified) foods. Why? Because Monsanto deliberately developed GMO foods so that they could survive ever higher exposures to Roundup. When you eat a GMO food, you are eating a food that has been saturated in Roundup.
And if you live in an agricultural area, your risks are even greater. The IARC reports that Roundup is routinely found in the air, water, and food in those areas.
Last week, I saw two cases of advanced cancer in people under 30 years old. When I first started practicing medicine 40+ years ago, cases like that were extremely rare. Now they are common. According to The American Cancer Society, 71,850 men, women, and children will be diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2015. It is one of the most common forms of cancer in children. Your risk of getting it is 1 in 50. Let me make three simple and sensible suggestions. First refrain from eating Roundup infested GMO foods. Second, avoid using Roundup yourself. And third, don't let your children play on grass treated with Roundup. It's causing more harm to you than Monsanto will ever admit.
Yours for better health,