Despite Another Major Jury Verdict, Bayer, the Parent Company of Monsanto, insists that Glysophate, the key ingredient in “Roundup” is Safe
By Kirk T. Schroder, Ellwood Thompson’s Food Advocate
This week an Oakland jury found that Monsanto’s popular weed killer “Roundup” was the cause of cancer for a California couple due to long-term exposure and use of “Roundup”. That jury handed an unprecedented $2 billion verdict in punitive damages against Monsanto after reviewing evidence showing that Monsanto officials manipulated science reports, media and regulatory agencies to convince the public that Roundup” is safe for humans.
The Oakland jury verdict is the third major recent court loss for Monsanto’s “Roundup” after two prior juries also found that glyphosate, Roundup’s key ingredient, causes cancer. It is estimated that over 4,000 similar cases are awaiting trial in various state courts around the United States.
Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer, issued a statement after the recent Oakland jury verdict insisting that glyphosate is safe. Bayer noted that there is a “consensus among leading health regulators worldwide that glyphosate-based products can be used safely and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic…” Bayer and Monsanto rely upon an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review of glyphosate where the agency stated that the “EPA continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.” However, a 2018 story by Rolling Stone magazine explains in detail how Monsanto allegedly manipulates the EPA into agreeing with Monsanto’s position on this sensitive issue. On major factor is the little known fact that pesticide companies literally fund the EPA’s pesticide office. Under the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, the regulatory system for pesticides, according to the Rolling Stone article, is “conceived as a way to make sure the companies who profit from the products pay for the costs associated with regulating those products, rather than the taxpayers.”
Not everyone agrees with the EPA and Bayer/Monsanto that glyphosate is safe. The World Health Organization, though its own study, found that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Currently, the European Union (EU) has approved the use of glyphosate in plant protection products until 2022. However, the EU is now beginning to review glyphosate before considering whether or not to permit its continued use beyond 2022.
Last month, another public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), released the long-awaited Draft Toxicological Profile for Glyphosate. The ATSDR is consistent with the 2015 assessment of another health agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that find that glyphosate causes cancer. Many organizations cite the ATSDR’s report as explaining the "vast array"of scientific evidence linking glyphosate-containing products to cancer.
THE BOTTOM LINE: As evidence becomes more available regarding links between glyphosate and cancer, consumers need to be conscious to avoid products and foods that are sprayed with glyphosate. One obvious way to do this is to eat foods and products that are organic and non-genetically modified (gmo) when possible. Also, The Detox Project is conducting an awareness campaign to make their glyphosate-free labels more mainstream.