U.S. regulators have relied on flawed and outdated research to allow expanded use of an herbicide linked to cancer, and new assessments should be urgently conducted, according to a column published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

There are two key factors that necessitate regulatory action to protect human health, according to the column: a sharp increase in herbicide applied to widely planted genetically modified (GMO) crops used in food, and a recent World Health Organization (WHO) determination that the most commonly used herbicide, known as glyphosate, is probably a human carcinogen.

The opinion piece was written by Dr. Philip Landrigan, a Harvard-educated paediatrician and epidemiologist who is Dean for Global Health at the Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York, and Chuck Benbrook, an adjunct professor at Washington State University’s crops and soil science department.

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