In response to a recent International Agency for Research on Cancer report, which found that the Monsanto herbicide glyphosate “probably” causes cancer in humans, a cohort of international doctors is now petitioning the European Union Parliament, the EU Commission, and several other health and food safety authorities to take action by banning the use of this prolific chemical.
A letter written on May 14, 2015, by the International Society of Doctors for the Environment, or ISDE, contends that a growing body of evidence shows that glyphosate, as well as dozens of other commonly used crop chemicals, is dangerous to both people and the environment. Signed by the group’s president, it calls on glyphosate in particular to be outlawed with no exceptions.
“The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), belonging to the World Health Organization (WHO), has recently published an assessment of carcinogenicity of the following organophosphate agrochemicals: glyphosate, tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, [and] diazinon,” the letter reads.
“Converging sources of evidence show that chronic exposure to insecticides and herbicides has to be considered a major source of environmental deterioration and health hazard at population level.”
IARC Warned About Cancer-Causing Effects Of Crop Chemicals Like Glyphosate More Than 20 Years Ago
Building upon what IARC found back in 1991 when it warned about the toxicity of non-arsenical pesticides, declaring them as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” the international body has since added some 20 compounds to the list, many of which are still in widespread use in industrial agriculture.
“In humans, significant risks associated [with] pesticide exposure have been identified mostly for nervous, immunological, endocrine, cardiovascular, respiratory, reproductive, hemolymphopoietic and renal systems,” warns the letter.
“Glyphosate in particular — the most common herbicide worldwide — is now considered as ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ and listed in the IARC class 2A. The herbicide has been associated with health problems such as birth defects, infertility, damage to the nervous system, Parkinson’s disease and several forms of cancer.”
Let’s Not Forget About Malathion, Diazinon, Tetrachlorvinphos And Parathion, All Of Which Also Cause Cancer
While warning that up to 10% of all food samples in Europe now contain glyphosate — at least 80% of the American food supply is contaminated with glyphosate — the letter also points out several other prominent crop chemicals that IARC has also determined “probably” cause cancer in humans. These include:
- Malathion, an organophosphate pesticide used to control insects in agriculture, as well as to control mosquitoes and fruit flies in public health control measures (malathion is banned in the EU).
- Diazinon, an organophosphate pesticide used to control insects on fruit, vegetable, nut and field crops.
- Tetrachlorvinphos, an insecticide commonly used to control pests in livestock settings. The chemical is also used in flea treatments for pets (tetrachlorvinphos is banned in the EU).
- Parathion, an extremely toxic insecticide used on agricultural crops. It was banned by both the EU and the U.S. in 2003.
“Glyphosate is now linked to kidney disease, antibiotic resistant bacteria, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, depression, ADHD, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, cachexia, infertility, and developmental malformations,” warns Brian Silhavy for Health Impact News.
“It destroys the microbiome of humans and plants, which is the root cause of many modern diseases.”
The full ISDE letter calling on the EU to immediately ban glyphosate for the sake of public and environmental health is available to Download Here.