Citing a probable link to cancer, France announced that Roundup weedkiller–or glyphosate–will no longer be available for sale over the counter at garden centers throughout the country. France has chosen to go on the offensive, according to the French Ecology Minister, Segolene Royal, in regards to the banning of pesticides.
Royal, who recently caused a stir by suggesting that people stop eating Nutella (and other products containing palm oil), notes the popular weedkiller is a probable carcinogen, according to the United Nation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, so she has asked that garden centers stop putting glyphosate on their shelves.
Because glyphosate is not included in the government’s testing for pesticide residues on food or the monitoring of chemicals in human blood and tissue samples, there is zero data on just how much glyphosate people are exposed to. The United States Environmental Protection Agency said they will analyze the UN agency’s findings.
According to Aaron Blair, a National Cancer Institute scientist emeritus, the UN agency based their results on a variety of human, animal and cell studies. These studies found glyphosate in the blood and urine of farmworkers, and that chromosome damaged cells increased risks of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and tumor formation in some animal studies.
Monsanto maintains their products pose no harm to humans, while CropLife America, a trade association representing pesticide manufacturers, says, “It’s important to remember that glyphosate acts on an enzyme that exists only in plants and not mammals, contributing to the low risk to human health.”
While the EPA reviews its approval of the weedkiller, other countries have banned it or are considering bans. Monsanto claims the “dose makes the poison,” but at what point will Americans be so overexposed to the chemical that the dose is heightened by drinking a glass of water or eating a slice of bread?
Via The Independent