U.S. farm study finds no firm cancer link to glyphosate

LONDON, U.K. (Reuters) — A large long-term study on the use of glyphosate by agricultural workers in the United States has found no firm link between exposure to the pesticide and cancer.

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the study found there was no association between glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, “and any solid tumours or lymphoid malignancies overall, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma and its subtypes.”

It said there was “some evidence of increased risk of acute myeloid leukaemia among the highest exposed group,” but added this association was not “statistically significant” and would require more research to be confirmed.

The findings are likely to affect legal proceedings taking place in the U.S. against Monsanto, in which more than 180 plaintiffs are claiming that exposure to Roundup gave them cancer, which Monsanto denies.

The findings may also influence a crucial decision due by the end of the year on whether glyphosate should be re-licensed for sale in the European Union.

EU countries had been scheduled to vote on the issue last week, but again failed to agree to a proposal for a five-year extension.

The EU decision has been delayed for several years after the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer reviewed glyphosate in 2015 and concluded it was “probably carcinogenic” to humans. Other bodies, such as the European Food Safety Authority, have concluded glyphosate is safe to use.

The research is part of a large and important project known as the Agricultural Health Study, which has been tracking the health of tens of thousands of agricultural workers, farmers and their families in Iowa and North Carolina.

Since the early 1990s, it has gathered and analyzed detailed information on the health of participants and their families, and their use of pesticides, including glyphosate.

Reuters reported in June how an influential scientist was aware of new AHS data while he was chairing a panel of experts reviewing evidence on glyphosate for IARC in early 2015.

But since it had not at that time been published, he did not tell the expert panel about it, and IARC’s review did not take it into account.

The publishing of the study Nov. 9 comes more than four years since drafts based on the AHS data on glyphosate and other pesticides were circulating in February and March 2013.

In a summary conclusion of the results, the researchers, led by Laura Beane Freeman, principal investigator of the AHS at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, reported that among 54,251 pesticide applicators in the study, 44,932, or 82.9 percent, of them used glyphosate.

“Glyphosate was not statistically significantly associated with cancer at any site,” the conclusion said.

The researchers said they believed the study was the first to report a possible association be-tween glyphosate and AML, but that it could be the result of chance and should be treated with caution.

Comments

  • Prop 65 is intended to warn customers that products contain chemicals known to cause cancer AND OR Reproductive harm. While there may not be a firm cancer link to Glyphosate, there is without any doubt a link to Glyphosate causing significantly lower sperm count, and significantly increased abnormal sperm in numerous studies which can be found on ScienceDirect if you search for Roundup and Sperm. Since, the science clearly shows that Glyphosate causes reproductive harm by reducing sperm count, it should remain on the Prop 65 list in my opinion.

  • FarmersSon63

    No, it is designed to warn people of a “possible” danger.
    Not a proven danger.
    That is why it worthless.
    At real world exposures, glyphosate has been proven to be safe by every regulatory agency in the world.

    • Wally

      Regulatory agencies are not science organization. Take the EPA for example. They allowed Monsanto to hide the science that shows glyphosate causes cancer as a trade secret just before they approved it over the objections of their own staff toxicologists.

      Both the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization have declared glyphosate to be a probable human carcinogen.

      A recent peer review scientific study posted on the Nature website shows that Roundup causes fatty liver disease at concentrations over 430,000 times lower than the contamination allowed in the food supply.

      Monsanto’s 1981 glyphosate study in rats by Lankas & Hogan shows that Glyphosate causes malignant LYMPHOMA … Glyphosate-induced Malignant Lymphoma particularly in the female rats. These malignant lymphomas were found ONLY in the treated animals and found in fourteen different types of tissue. The controls animals did not have any lymphomas.

      Monsanto study with 240 rats in their 2-year feeding trial concluded in 1990, which is called “Stout and Ruecker” in the literature. The data from this are revealed in the 1991 EPA memo and in Greim (2015) and clearly show cause for concern which was swept under the rug in the 1991 memo. Three EPA toxicologists also did not concur with the conclusions and did not sign the memo.

      The cancers related to transgenic organisms and glyphosate mainly increase cancers that were far rarer. Cancer of thyroid, pancreas, liver, bladder, stomach, and esophagus are all up since the introduction of transgenics and rise in glyphosate application by 17 fold.

      Table 3. Pearson’s coefficients between disease and glyphosate applications (N=21
      encompassing 1990-2010), except autism (N=16; autism data only available for 1995-2010).
      Disease Coefficient, R R 2 × 100 Probability, p
      Thyroid cancer (incidence) 0.988 97.6 =7.6E-9
      Liver cancer (incidence) 0.960 92.1 =4.6E-8
      Bladder cancer (deaths) 0.981 96.2 =4.7E-9
      Pancreatic cancer (incidence) 0.918 84.2 =4.6E-7
      Kidney cancer (incidence) 0.973 94.8 =2.0E-8
      Table 4. Pearson’s coefficients between disease and the percentage of US corn and soy crops
      that are GE (N=15 encompassing 1996-2010; GE crops were first planted in 1995).
      Disease Coefficient, R R 2 × 100 Probability, p
      Thyroid cancer (incidence) 0.938 87.9 =2.2E-5
      Liver cancer (incidence) 0.911 82.9 =5.4E-5
      Bladder cancer (incidence) 0.945 89.3 =7.1E-6
      Pancreatic cancer (incidence) 0.841 70.7 =4.0E-4
      Kidney cancer (incidence) 0.940 88.4 =2.0E-5
      Myeloid leukaemia (deaths) 0.889 79.0 =5.4E-5
      Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America

      ISSN 1177-4258

      Glyphosate is a potent endocrine disruptor that has no safe dose. It causes DNA breaks and irreversible cellular death. It mimics glycine in the body. It causes rapid aging, multiple diseases, and early death.

    • S.G.

      It’s been proven FarmersSon63. And no, it has not been proven to be safe by every regulatory agency in the world. lol

    • Viva La Evolucion

      Prop 65 warnings are intended to notify people that merchandise may contain products that cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive harm. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and agree that glyphosate does not cause cancer, even though it was recently classified a likely carcnogen.
      But, Glyphosate is without a doubt a product that causes reproductive harm. If you search for Roundup and Sperm on ScienceDirect you can read numerous studies done on both formulations of Roundup and Glyphosate alone, which all clearly show that Roundup and Glyphosate exposure significantly reduces sperm count in the test subjects. If exposure to a product reduces one’s sperm count then I think that qualifies as reproductive harm, and thus I think that Glyphosate’s Prop 65 warning should remain law. What are your thoughts on all of the scientific evidence showing that Glyphosate reduces sperm count?

      • FarmersSon63

        It has been proven that there is no danger at real world exposures.
        Just don’t take a bath in it for 12 hours.

        • Viva La Evolucion

          I agree that Roundup won’t kill you and probably won’t give you cancer at real world exposures, but it will definitely reduce your sperm count Please go to the ScienceDirect website and search for Roundup and Sperm and you can view the numerous studies done on Roundup, which all show that it significantly reduces sperm count of the test subjects at real world exposure levels. Since Prop 65 is not only a warning for cancer causing chemicals, but also a warning for chemicals that can cause reproductive harm, I think it should remain on the Prop 65 list.

          • FarmersSon63

            Again, not at real world exposures.
            Just because you cut and paste the same clip over and over does not make it true.

          • Viva La Evolucion

            3.6mg per kg body weight is real world exposure level

            https://reference.medscape.com/calculator/weight-dosing

          • Harold

            You are not cutting and pasting? I see a reference to a kettle and a pot.

    • Viva La Evolucion

      Every regulatory agency in the world? What about Sri Lanka? I thought they banned glyphosate.

  • Wally

    Monsanto toxicologist Donna Farmer had this to say about this study in Monsanto internal documents that were uncovered in lawsuit discovery.

    “Many groups have been highly critical of the study as being a flawed study, in fact some have gone so far as to call it junk science. It is small in scope and the retrospective questioneer on pesticide usage and self reported diagnoses also from the questioneer is thought to be unreliable”
    https://usrtk.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Monsanto-communications-re-concerns-over-Hardell-research.pdf

    Over 30% of the study participants could not be contacted for the telephone questionnaires that this study is based on. What about the health of these people?

  • patzagame

    A U.S. study involving tens of thousands of agricultural workers over more than two decades found glyphosate’s link to cancer not “statistically significant.” — A large long-term study on the use of glyphosate by agricultural workers in the United States has found no firm link between exposure to the pesticide and cancer.

    Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the study found there was no association between glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, “and any solid tumours or lymphoid malignancies overall, including non-Hodgkin lymphoma and its subtypes.”

    It said there was “some evidence of increased risk of acute myeloid leukaemia among the highest exposed group,” but added this association was not “statistically significant” and would require more research. There is a lot wrong with this conclusion.

  • FarmersSon63

    At which dose did the IARC say glyphosate is a danger?

    • Viva La Evolucion

      It is 3.6mg per kg body weight that glyphosate exposure will significantly reduces ons sperm count. So, if you are are 150 lbs that would be roughly 1 drop of glyphosate getting into your food per day that would cause you to have a significant reduction in sperm count.

      • Harold

        People continuously ask for dose levels and overlook how many hidden doses they receive each day. Would it matter? Who could control a dose even if they knew the “safe level”? That is the build in genius of the chemical industry to keep their sales of the product active. Nobody knows, then nobody cares, and nobody can find out. With lab rats the dose is measured precisely but with human rats it cannot. Millions of meals and therefore millions of human rats and no one knows the dose that the human rat is on. How convenient it is to say that there has been no human harm when there has been no doctor or scientist monitoring the million human rats and even so the dose is unknown. The lab rat gets better treatment than the human rat does. If I were a lab rat at least I would know the dose that they were giving me. Unfortunately, I have to ask the rat and go by what the rat is saying. The genius of the Chemical industry is to say ignore the rat. Did I mention that the farmers plants are growing just fine and there are seeming no problems there. I bet you the farmer could tell me precisely the dose that his plants are on. Interesting; the profit plant has a higher status than a human being rat.

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