In March, 17 experts from 11 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. According to a report in the March 20, 2015 issue of Lancet Oncology, they were there to assess the carcinogenic potential of pesticides such as malathion and glyphosate.
Malathion, a widely used insecticide, was classified as “probably carcinogenic” to humans. Studies have found it to be associated with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and prostate cancer.
Glyphosate (Roundup) is the most commonly used herbicide in the world. Its use has increased with the development of genetically modified crops designed to be resistant to it.
In fact, glyphosate is so widely used it has been detected in water and food supplies.
The experts found case-control studies of occupational exposure to glyphosate to be associated with increased risks for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
In addition, glyphosate formulations induced DNA and chromosomal damage in mammals, as well in human and animal cells in vitro. The scientists classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” to humans.
This is an important announcement. Glyphosate has become ubiquitous in our society. Crops spayed with this pesticide produce foods we buy and consume.
The maker of glyphosate has claimed that it is safe. However, recent studies question its safety.
We certainly need more research on this. For now, my advice is to avoid using any herbicide containing glyphosate and avoid ingesting any food that has been treated with glyphosate. That includes more than 90 percent of the soy grown in the U.S.
It is best to eat organic food that is free of pesticides and insecticides.
Posts by David Brownstein, M.D.
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