The Implications of Glyphosate Being Listed as “Causing Cancer” in the State of California


Should we be happy that Glyphosate, that chemical known to cause cancer and included in most pesticides, has been declared by the State of California as “causing cancer” effective July 7, 2017? Nor that Monsanto’s, the manufacturer of the herbicide Roundup, plea to reverse the listing of glyphosate as a “cancerous chemical” in Proposition 65 was denied by the trial court?

The listing of glyphosate as a carcinogenic chemical was proposed and approved as part of Proposition 65. Proposition 65 requires listing of certain chemicals and substances as carcinogenic, as stipulated by the California Labor Code.

Glyphosate, the “active ingredient” in Roundup
Why is it so controversial these days? What would be the implications of it being classified as “cancerous” to most of the industries?

Let’s explore first what is glyphosate. Firstly, it is known to be the “active ingredient” of Monsanto’s famous herbicide called Roundup. It is carcinogenic. It was studied by a host of international research teams including the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO). After a year of study, the IARC declared in 2015 that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

It should have been the end of the story. However, its toxicity does not end there. What hasn’t been studied extensively is that it has “inert ingredients” that makes this chemical more dangerous to human health.

While it is carcinogenic to humans, the “inert ingredients” of this chemical make it more deadly to the human endocrine systems, cellular processes and the transfer of toxins across the blood-brain barrier. Its toxicity level as the “active ingredient” in the Roundup herbicide is moved up a notch.

Now, remember that we wrote about GMO crops and Roundup Ready crops being planted and sold here in the Philippines? Well, those “Franken foods” go to our stomachs and also become part of the water supply of the land. Glyphosate and its host of inert ingredients collaborate to kill the good bacteria in our human digestive systems and weaken our immune systems as well!

The inert ingredients of Roundup are often ignored, although they have been tested to be powerful helpers in making glyphosate more available in the environment. In fact, this chemical has contaminated several organic produce in the U.S. Children and infants get these toxins from human breast milk of their mothers. U.S. regulatory agencies are also not monitoring and testing enough products for glyphosate contamination.

Even in the US, pesticide makers aren’t required to test the full formulation of their products, just the active ingredient. Which means we would not be able to know the full destructive attributes of Roundup products.

About the “inert ingredients” of Roundup, they actually may be more toxic to humans than glyphosate. In a study of the toxicity of 9 pesticides and their particular ingredients, Researcher Gilles-Eric Seralini found a glyphosate adjuvant, polyethoxylated tallowamine, was deadlier than glyphosate when tested on embryonic, placental and human umbilical cells. Roughly 8 out of the 9 formulations were 1,000 times more toxic than just the active ingredients alone.

Likewise, French scientists managed to test the “inert ingredients” in Roundup – and found it 10,000 times more toxic than glyphosate alone. The study was published in Biomedical Research International in 2014.

And the impact of it on children is rather immediate! A study in 2014 traced the 30% increase in child autism cases since 2012 to the chemical glyphosate, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Likewise, Dr. Stephanie Seneff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology asserted the direct correlation between glyphosate and the rise in children’s autism. He predicted that if un-reined, one in two children will be autistic by the year 2025.

So, are you also concerned by the disastrous effects of the chemical glyphosate on our food and environment? Add your opinions to the comments section below!

Image by Artist / CC0 1.0