April 22, 2015   |   Jonathan Schoenfeld
April 22, 2015
(ANTIMEDIA) A union of 30,000 doctors and health professionals announced efforts to eliminate the use of glyphosate-based herbicides following results from an International Agency for Research (IARC) evaluation that classifies glyphosate a probable cause of cancer. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world and is the active ingredient in weed killers such as Monsanto’s RoundUp.
The IARC’s classification of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen means that there is limited evidence in humans and significant evidence in animals that it causes cancer. Despite IARC written results, Monsanto chooses to publish contradictory statements based on an EPCA reaction statement.
Monsanto had this to say:
The IARC conclusions published in Lancet Oncology contradict the world’s most robust and stringent regulatory systems – namely the European Union and the United States – in which crop protection products have undergone extensive reviews based on multi-year testing and in which active ingredients such as glyphosate and malathion been found not to present a carcinogenic risk to humans.
Monsanto has a great incentive for denying glyphosate as a carcinogen considering that “RoundUp” weed killer and “RoundUp Ready” seeds make up the majority of their multibillion-dollar a year business.
Unfortunately, corporations often do what is ultimately best for business despite health and environmental concerns. Monsanto abides by this philosophy considering that evidence unearthed from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) archives states that Monsanto has been fully aware that glyphosate causes cancer for almost 35 years.
FESPROSA, Argentina’s union of 30,000 doctors and health professionals, has been pushing for a ban on glyphosate products and related herbicide-resistant crops since deaths related to cancer surpassed previous national averages. The increase in cancer was directly linked to areas with heavy use of GMO seeds and herbicides containing glyphosate.
FESPROSA explains their concerns on the matter:
In our country glyphosate is applied on more than 28 million hectares. Each year, the soil is sprayed with more than 320 million litres, which means that 13 million people are at risk of being affected, according to the Physicians Network of Sprayed Peoples (RMPF). Soy is not the only crop addicted to glyphosate: the herbicide is also used for transgenic maize and other crops. Where glyphosate falls, only GMOs can grow. Everything else dies.
Our trade union, the Federation of Health Professionals of Argentina (FESPROSA), which represents more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals in our country, includes the Social Health Collective of Andrés Carrasco. Andrés Carrasco was a researcher at [Argentine government research institute] CONICET, who died a year ago, and showed the damage caused by glyphosate to embryos. For disseminating his research, he was attacked by the industry and the authorities at CONICET. Today, WHO vindicates him.
Glyphosate not only causes cancer. It is also associated with increased spontaneous abortions, birth defects, skin diseases, and respiratory and neurological disease.
Health authorities, including the National Ministry of Health and the political powers, can no longer look away. Agribusiness cannot keep growing at the expense of the health of the Argentine people. The 30,000 health professionals in Argentina in the FESPROSA ask that glyphosate is now prohibited in our country and that a debate on the necessary restructuring of agribusiness is opened, focusing on the application of technologies that do not endanger human life.
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