Monsanto weedkiller Roundup probably causes cancer (non-Hodgkin lymphoma), says WHO

Does wonders to bamboo though. That is the one thing I have a supply of it for. The neighbors bamboo planting escaped it’s confines and wants to grow right up against the side of my house and that is what all the local garden experts say to use.

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The food is a big deal, even if the “half-life” of the chemical has long since passed.

But I’m also kind of worried about Joe Average homeowner with a crabgrass problem who can buy a 1 gallon container of the weapons grade super concentrate that is 50.2% glyphosate.

Who says this?

Just skimmed the first part of the linked BMJ paper, which turns out to be from 2003. It looks like all of the study participants were from Nebraska, where one would think there would be a pretty high level of ambient pesticides. This is actually good news for pesticide non-applicators.

From the OP:

What the scientists do know is that the people in these studies who were exposed to glyphosate experienced a higher incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma than those not exposed to the chemical. Other studies found that glyphosate led to DNA and chromosomal damage in human and animal cells in vitro, which can lead to cancer.

Well the ‘crops’ are sprayed before they come up from what I have gathered as the existing weeds are what they want to kill off cause unless it is round up ready you are gonna kill the crops off as well and they use a lot less of this than some of the previous things that are way worse for us and the environment also it breaks down to the inert component chemicals very quickly in the ground, within hours for most of it. Also

But yeah joe gardener should not be spraying the concentrate hither and yon as a habit and it may be irrelevant in not long as some weeds are not dying off anymore due to that pesky evolution thing.

I just use regular stuff, limited to some previously mentioned bamboo and blackberries which are invasive and like the bamboo nigh impossible to actually dig out and I use gloves and wash my hands afterwards.

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It does so by inhibiting the production of an amino acid that humans do not produce. Glyophosate has low to negligible acute toxicity in humans. Most weed-killers are pretty damn toxic to humans so if I had to choose a weedkiller, I would still choose glyphosate. For example, 2,4-D production has to be carefully monitored to minimize dioxin contamination. Agent Orange-related cancers stem from the use of dirty 2,4-D. The low acute toxicity of glyphosate may have given people a false sense of safety while applying it. I remember spraying it on weeds when I was a kid with no protective equipment. With any other weedkiller my father insisted on applying it himself while wearing a mask, heavy gloves etc.



Someone who is a caricature-grade loony terrified by ‘chemicals’ and attempting to use chiropractors and the paleo diet to keep autism away is more or less guaranteed to be against GMOs; but my impression of the bulk of concern that coalesces around ‘GMOs’ is that it’s less about science(if anything, it is concerned about this particular product of science because it fully believes that science is a very effective way of changing the world, and is a bit concerned about the planned changes; if people thought that science was nonsense, why would they worry about genetic engineers wasting their time with techniques that are bound to fail?); and more about a (frankly plausible) sense that the people in position to deploy the science are minimally trustworthy, wholly self interested, and perfectly happy to get things dangerously wrong, if it’s more profitable.

Unfortunately, through some combination of cluelessness on the part of certain noisy activists and extreme cluefulness on the part of certain PR departments being against a specific user, or use, of science has been largely conflated with being ‘anti-science’.

It’s rather like the timeworn strategy in government of accusing the opposition of being anarchists because they are against your government. There are, a few, actual anarchists, possibly even some among the people you are talking about; but it’s much more likely that the opposition thinks that you are operating a bad or dangerous or brutally self interested government, not that they want to smash all states and live in caves.


So, what kind of rate increase are we talking? I am assuming we see this increase mainly in people who apply it vs consumers.

Like it or not, weed killers is one of the reason we have such high yields. Cheaper, plentiful foods that feed millions of people I think out weighs a small percentage increase in cancers.

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Probably unrelated news, but…

What’s interesting is the unwillingness to even entertain the idea that there are other ways of doing things. That this is it. DDT was wonderful, abestos made great pipe insulation, thalidomide worked wonders for morning sickness. Nope, no alternatives exists. let’s just keep it going and label the critics as anti-science…


The WHO has a bad habit of throwing questionable things on the “probably causes cancer” list. They still seem to be under the silly idea that cell phones cause cancer, even though the one study they cited was questionable to begin with and had since been further undermined.

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Why non-hodgkin’s lymphoma in particular, as opposed to any other type of cancer? Can we be sure it’s not just ‘noise cancer’

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Also it really shows people bias.

WHO says cellphones cause cancer “Those idiots.”

WHO says round-up causes cancer, people blindly shout “I knew Monsanto was evil.”

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Who said anyone wasn’t entertaining the idea to do something different? I am sure Monsanto, DuPont and other companies are working on different kinds of weed killers. Especially those that they can make a new patent on and sell exclusively.

Are you talking about using something other than weed killers? Believe me, if there was a better, cheaper way for farmers to get rid of weeds than weed killer, they would use it.

That was how it was supposed to work. Apparently, from what I’ve ben reading, the reality is that the stuff gets sprayed, in large quantities, at every step in the growing process because farmers can just spray everything and have their crops survive. So there’s huge clouds of the stuff that’ve been clearly the cause of problems since the Round-Up Ready crops came on the market (but especially since glyphosate-resistant weeds started popping up).


On the other hand, glyphosate makes low-till/no-till farming practical and economical, both of which are far more sustainable than traditional tilling because they don’t let all of the topsoil erode into the ocean. Massive irreplaceable topsoil losses due to conventional farming are not in question. On the other hand, from the link Diana posted, it sounds like experts are pretty skeptical about the data behind WHO’s conclusion. All things considered, I’ll accept a tiny, highly debatable cancer risk if it means my great-grandchildren still have soil to grow food in.


Further issues being that Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a rare cancer. Something like 19.7 in 100,000 people in the US get it (new cases per year), compared with about 60.1 in 100,000 people in the US get lung cancer (also new cases per year).

If the rate of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma doubled, it’d still be a relatively uncommon cancer. So there’s a problem with pulling data out of the noise.

The reason the food +/- cancer studies are usually not worth the time to read is because they’re most often either reporting on an in-vitro study of massive doses of one specific chemical found in the food (for instance Lycopene and Resveratrol), or they’re doing a longitudinal study of limited power due to the fact that it’s practically impossible to properly control the variables after the fact.

But the point is: There’s a lot of crappy science reporting that starts out as simply parroting the University’s or lab’s press release. That goes straight to Reuters, where it gets picked up by writers who are more concerned with attracting eyeballs than actual journalism, who then sensationalize the shit out of the press release. And then tertiary reporting has a go at it, and then you get Daily Mail headlines like “7 in 10 drowning victims have a history of over-imbibing water” or “New Study Shows Drinking 3 Liters of Wine a Day Will Make You Live Forever”


My opposition to GMO crops is based on their net effects. The overwhelming majority of GMO seeds are a vehicle for massive pesticide use. Another problem with many GMOs is gene flow to other, or wild varieties. There is nothing inherently wrong with the idea of GMOs or the technology, but the implementation has been reckless and poorly studied. In my opinion ‘science’ based reflexive defense of GMOs is at least as bad as blanket GMO opposition.


Because farmers get certain kinds of cancers (brain, prostate, hodgkin’s NHL, Myeloma, Leukemia) at higher rates than control populations. It’s thought this might be due to occupational exposure, but there are many studies at the level of “Epidemiologist sifting through mortality records finds correlation.”

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