Everyone with an axe to grind about “evil chemicals” has been repeating the questionable finding of the IARC that glyphosate (Roundup’s main ingredient) is “probably carcinogenic.” The IARC is a subcommittee of the WHO, so the opponents of science were saying that the WHO said that glyphosate causes cancer. They didn’t.
The IARC made no estimates of risk or dosage, however, so the finding was of little value. As we reported earlier, this finding was extremely questionable, based on only 8 cherry-picked studies rather than the vast body of existing literature, Further, it turned out that the result was politically motivated, being pushed by activist Christopher Portier, formerly of the Environmental Defense Fund, who is not a toxicologist.
The WHO says glyphosate is not carcinogenic
Now all this is overshadowed by the joint announcement yesterday by the WHO and the UN itself that they have determined that “glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet” and that “glyphosate is unlikely to be genotoxic at anticipated dietary exposures.” You can read the Reuters summary here and the complete WHO report here.
So that’s it. Glyphosate has not been found to cause cancer or cause mutations. People can take down their signs in California. The IARC was clearly wrong, as the EFSA had already pointed out. And those marching against science will have to find new signs. Roundup is as safe as aspirin. Oh, and they found that diazinon and malathion aren’t carcinogenic either.
Originally published on Examiner.com on May 17, 2016