Science

Monsanto's Weed Killer Possibly Linked To Cancer

By Duna Bil , Jan 30, 2017 02:47 AM EST
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California is now thinking of requiring Monsanto's Weed Killer to be labeled as a possible cancer risk  after some people expressed more concerned on its possible health impacts. The popular weed killer, Roundup, received a decision from the World Health Organization regarding it's possible health threat on humans in 2015. The health organization named one of its main ingredient glyphosate, as “probably carcinogenic to humans” citing “limited evidence".

That ruling has pushed California officials to look for ways to list glyphosate as a chemical known to cause cancer. If the listing becomes official, California can require Monsanto to label Roundup as a possible cancer threat, a judge tentatively ruled Friday. The chemical giant and weed killer maker insists that it poses no risk to people.

If it carries out the proposal, California would be the first state to order such labeling . In turn, Monsanto has sued California, denying that their product poses any health risk. According to the WKBN , Monsanto said that the allegation is “flawed and baseless”.

Interestingly, some experts agree with Monsanto that the proposal is ridiculous. Monsanto's weed killer shouldn’t have a health impact on humans. “Glyphosate is very toxic to any plant, but it’s practically non-toxic to anything that’s not a plant,” said Jeffery Scott, a Cornell University professor.

Monsanto attorney Trenton Norris said on Friday that the labeling could hurt Monsanto as many consumers would see the labels and stop buying Roundup. Critics are worried about the potential risk with glyphosate, Roundup’s main ingredient, which is both colorless or odorless. Monsanto introduced the chemical in 1974 as a potent way to eliminate weeds while leaving crops and plants intact, the KRON4  says.

Roundup is sold in more than 160 countries, and Californian farmers use it on 250 types of crops. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency labels the chemical as having “low toxicity” but recommends people avoid entering a field for 12 hours after its application. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, however, with U.N. World Health Organization, classified Monsanto's weed killer ingredient, glyphosate, as a “probable human carcinogen.”

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