The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently declared the weed killer Roundup a “probable human carcinogen” amidst numerous studies linking it to non-Hodkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and leukemia. A number of journal reviews have specifically linked Roundup to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including studies performed by the International Journal of Cancer, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers.
Roundup, a popular weed killer, is used both residentially and commercially to prevent the growth of weeds. The active chemical in Roundup, glyphosate, inhibits an enzyme that is critical to the growth and development of plant life. The chemical, produced by Monsanto, took off in popularity in the 90’s and is currently used on over half the farmlands in the United States.
It is likely that glyphosate is in the food supply as it is used on over half of the farmlands. The USDA, however, does not test foods for glyphosate. They did test food in 2011 and found ranges between .26 and 18.5 ppm, below the 20 ppm limit set by the EPA. A study published by the journal Entropy in 2013 found that residue from Roundup could enhance the damage caused by other toxins.
The strongest link seems to exist between Roundup and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL), with one study indicating that individuals exposed to glyphosate are twice as likely to contract NHL. NHL is a cancer of the lymphatic system. Signs of NHL include swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain, chest pain or coughing, fever, fatigue, and weight loss. A physician can diagnose NHL through imaging tests, blood tests, and a biopsy of the lymph nodes.
For their part, Monsanto adamantly denies that glyphosate may increase the risk of cancer, noting a lack of new research, evidence, or scientific data. Bottles of Roundup do not warn of any carcinogens or of the fact the chemical glyphosate has been linked to NHL. Several individuals, including a farmer and a horticulturist who developed cancer after extensive exposure to glyphosate have filed suit against Monsanto.