In a recent interview, the CEO of Monsanto, Hugh Grant, claims that Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup is not carcinogenic. This claim goes against numerous evaluations of Roundup and its ingredients concluding that glyphosate – a primary ingredient in Roundup – is indeed carcinogenic.
Are we to believe Hugh Grant, the CEO of one of the most hated companies in the world, or 94 distinct scientists around the world concerning glyphosate’s cancerous nature?
As actor Mark Ruffalo has stated, it isn’t easy to watch Grant ‘slime his way through an interview’ discussing Roundup and Monsanto’s GE crops. Now, we are to believe the CEO of one of the most hated companies in the world when he says that Monsanto’s flagship product isn’t cancerous?
When Grant recently sat down with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson for a wide-ranging, two-part interview concerning Monsanto’s latest public dilemma – a slew of lawsuits against polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination – he said very clearly, “Roundup is not a carcinogen.”
The evidence is quite damning, though. More than 94 scientists around the world say that glyphosate surely is carcinogenic. And since glyphosate has been named as the most used herbicide EVER, it might be good to take Grant’s assurance with a grain of salt. This is, after all, the same man that said ‘hubris’ and ‘naivety’ were the reasons that the public fears GM crops so much, at the same time admitting the company has done little to assuage those fears.
“The journal Environmental Sciences Europe reveals that Americans have applied 1.8 million tons of glyphosate since its introduction in 1974. Worldwide, 9.4 million tons of the chemical have been sprayed onto fields. For comparison, that’s equivalent to the weight of water in more than 2,300 Olympic-size swimming pools. It’s also enough to spray nearly half a pound of Roundup on every cultivated acre of land in the world.”
Monsanto doesn’t seem to care that the majority of this herbicide use has been in the last 10-15 years, which means its true ramifications for causing cancer and other disease won’t be discovered for possibly another decade. One can see a pattern here; as with other Monsanto products, aspartame, DDT, Agent Orange, PCBs – we don’t get to know how the company is poisoning us until after the damage is done.
Monsanto even wants the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which found the herbicide to be ‘probably carcinogenic’ after reviewing loads of data, to print a retraction.
Grant told Hobson in his sit-down interview:
“Roundup is not a carcinogen. It’s 40 years old, it’s been studied; virtually every year of its life it’s been under a review somewhere in the world by regulatory authorities. So Canada and Europe just finished. Europe finished their review last year and came back with glowing colors. The Canadians were the same and now we are going through a similar process in the U.S., so I’ve absolutely no concerns about the safety of the product.”
Grant also attests that Health Canada and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) rejected the IARC’s findings. While this is true, it doesn’t paint an accurate picture of what science is saying about Roundup.
Last month, 94 scientists from around the world came out in defense of the IARC’s original findings, as Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman pointed out on Civil Eats.
The EFSA is also under fire for excluding certain pertinent insider scientific studies on the herbicide. Members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee have questioned the transparency of their methods to determine that glyphosate is safe and deserves renewal registration for sale in the EU. Sixty-seven members of the EU’s parliament want to halt the herbicide’s re-approval over health concerns.
Even notoriously slack US government officials are calling Roundup into question. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency internal watchdog group, the Office of Inspector General, announced late last month that it is opening an investigation into “herbicide resistance,” otherwise known as the spread of superweeds, as well as the human health impacts of chemicals that are used regularly to grow genetically modified, ‘Roundup Ready’ crops.
Grant has a lot of explaining to do, as the cancer-case numbers are growing higher every year. The rates of birth defects in areas where glyphosate is used prominently are often sometimes four times as high, and chronic toxicity studies have found damage to the liver, kidney, and pituitary gland in rats fed tiny amounts of Roundup.
As far as companies go, I suggest Monsanto describes ‘hubris’ to a T. What bigger mistake can the company make than thinking it is above Mother Nature – or above the law? Monsanto is neither.
This article originally appeared at Natural Society.