At least one mainstream medium in Australia is publishing a documentary about the undeniable ill effects of using Monsanto’s primary product, Roundup, in farming. This documentary is based, among others, in the published IARC report in 2015 declaring glyphosate as carcinogenic, and the Australian Cancer Council’s take on Monsanto’s Roundup. Better late than never.
Australia’s peak cancer body is calling for an independent review into the world’s most popular weedkiller, which has been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Cancer Council Australia is concerned there has not been an independent or formal review of the chemical glyphosate — the active ingredient in Roundup — in more than two decades.
The chemical is the most widely used herbicide on the planet and is popular with home gardeners and farmers in Australia.
In 2015, the World Health Organisation body, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
“We are concerned that this issue’s not being taken seriously enough in Australia, particularly by the agricultural industry,” Cancer Council Australia CEO Dr Sanchia Aranda said.
“The IARC report is independent and does suggest that there is absolutely a reason for concern.”
Glyphosate was patented by Monsanto four decades ago, sparking a revolution in agriculture.
Instead of ploughing or tilling fields farmers started spraying glyphosate to kill weeds before planting their next crop.
Roundup was marketed to farmers and home gardeners across the world as safe and effective.
More than 500 glyphosate products are sold in Australia today.
“It is the safest herbicide that’s ever been developed,” said Scott Partridge, the vice-president of Bayer, the company which recently bought Monsanto for $63 billion.
School groundskeeper wins landmark case
In August, a jury in California awarded $US289 million ($410m) to California man Dewayne Lee Johnson, who claims Monsanto’s weedkiller was a substantial factor in causing his terminal cancer, and that the company failed to warn of the potential risk.
The trial blew the lid on a decades-long campaign by Monsanto to protect its flagship product. A trove of company documents, known as the Monsanto Papers, reveals a history of the company ghost-writing articles in support of glyphosate, attempts to undermine the IARC finding, and internal concerns about the safety of Roundup.
In one email from 2003, Monsanto’s lead toxicologist warns the company cannot say that Roundup is not a carcinogen because they have not done the necessary tests.
“For the last 20 or 30 years, Monsanto has engaged in a systematic and deliberate campaign to attack any science that says their product is not safe and to attack any scientist that has the courage to say something,” said Brent Wisner, a lawyer on the legal team which won the landmark case.
“They have a corporate culture that has zero interest in safety. It has only an interest in maintaining the ability of them to sell this product.”
Monsanto said the documents revealed in court were “cherry-picked” and insisted more than 800 studies and reviews showed glyphosate was safe.
The company is challenging the jury verdict.
As always, the Big Chemo industry will just charge the entire settlement amount to the normal cost of doing business, while nobody is dragged into his lonely cell for allowing or inflicting pain and suffering to thousands of its product users.
Unless these people are rounded up, the flow of carcinogenic materials into our food systems will never stop. There should be a policy to require an in-house testing, i.e. those who produced these products should test the same on themselves, before any field testing of new products is allowed. If after some time they don’t get sick or die, then they can sell those products in the open market.
That should supersede any corporate funded clinical tests and research papers, which are never scientific.