In Win for Bayer-Monsanto, Trump EPA Claims Cancer-Causing Weedkiller ‘Safe’

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For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, January 30, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency reaffirmed its claims today that the active ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s carcinogenic weedkiller Roundup is safe, ignoring a growing body of independent research showing a strong connection between glyphosate and cancer in humans.

“Today’s announcement underscores that the Trump administration’s willful ignorance of science and abject fealty toward the chemical pesticide industry knows no bounds,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “No American should believe for a second that Trump and EPA chief Andrew Wheeler ever give a thought to whether their policies could harm public health.”

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s Roundup, is the most widely used pesticide in the world. It is largely used as a weedkiller on genetically modified corn and soybeans. But it is increasingly being used for crop management and applied pre-harvest to a number of non-genetically engineered crops, including oats.

Last year, a report in Environmental Sciences Europe documented how the EPA ignored a large number of independent, peer-reviewed studies that link glyphosate to cancer in humans. Instead, the report found, the EPA used research paid for by Monsanto to support the agency’s position that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.

Since 2018, three separate juries found glyphosate caused cancer in four California residents who were exposed to the herbicide while handling Roundup, and awarded multimillion-dollar damages to the plaintiffs. There are now more than 13,400 similar cases against Bayer.

Last April, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released an analysis that gave weight to studies connecting glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and recommended monitoring children’s exposure to the toxic weedkiller.

In 2015, 17 of the world’s top cancer researchers convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer reviewed hundreds of studies on glyphosate and voted unanimously to classify the weedkiller as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” In 2017, California added glyphosate to its official list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

Three rounds of laboratory tests commissioned by EWG found glyphosate in nearly every sample of oat-based cereal and other breakfast products at levels higher than what EWG scientists consider protective for children’s health with an adequate margin of safety. Last week, Kellogg’s announced it will take steps to phase out the use of glyphosate to dry oats and wheat before harvest.

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