A new study conducted by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley has found that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, can increase a person’s risk of cancer by up to 41 percent. As reported by the Daily Mail, “Roundup is believed to be the UK’s most widely used weedkiller and, globally, the most popular in history.”
Glyphosate was first registered for use in the US in 1974 as an herbicide used to eradicate weeds. Since then, Monsanto has included it as a component of the pesticide Roundup. Past studies found that high doses of the chemical given to lab animals caused cancer, while evidence of its effect on humans was limited. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that research suggested glyphosate could be linked to serious conditions in humans, including liver and kidney disease, infertility, birth abnormalities, and possibly cancer.
According to the Daily Mail, “the study’s authors say their study is different from past research because it evaluates all published human studies and all the different previous glyphosate studies.” The research was primarily focused on people most exposed to the weedkiller. Results from the data linked glyphosate to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare form of cancer which starts in the white bloods cells.
The team of scientists came to this conclusion following a landmark verdict in a recent court case in which a terminally ill groundsman in the San Francisco Bay Area was awarded $289 million after a jury found Roundup weedkiller contributed to his cancer.
“Together, all of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding: exposure to [glyphosate herbicides] is associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma,’ noted researchers.
Monsanto continues emphatic denials that its product causes cancer and insists there are plenty of studies establishing its safety. Despite Monsanto’s claims, however, more than 4,000 plaintiffs have filed lawsuits, including 800 in the past year alone – alleging Monsanto’s product made them or members of their family ill.