Recently, WHO found that glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s widely used weedkilller Roundup, may cause cancers in humans. Roundup is commonly sprayed on GMO crops. Shortly after, Monsanto’s Vice-President of Global Regulatory Affairs said the company wants the report redacted. Previous scientific studies showed that exposure to glyphosate increased the prevalence of cancer in mice.
The Environmental Working Group also argues that GMO crops have actually led to “a dramatic increase in the use of glyphosate,” as GMO crops are engineered to withstand weed killing chemicals. “Consumers have the right to know how their food is grown and whether their food dollars are driving up the use of a probable carcinogen,” said Ken Cook, President and Co-Founder of the Environmental Working Group. For Mother Jones, Maverick Farm Founder Tom Philpott shares this concern by stating, “weeds have evolved to resist that herbicide, forcing farmers to apply heavier doses and or added older, more toxic chemicals to the mix.”
- Wall Street Journal: “Health Agency Says Widely Used Herbicide Likely Carcinogenic”
- The Lancet Oncology: “Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate”
- Reuters: “Monsanto seeks retraction for report linking herbicide to cancer”
- Environmental Working Group: “Monsanto, GMOs And Cancer Risk”
- Mother Jones: “The Real Reason to Worry About GMOs”
- The Chicago Tribune: “World’s most popular weed-killer labeled ‘probable carcinogen’”
- NPR: “A Top Weedkiller Could Cause Cancer. Should We Be Scared?”
Prominent food columnist, Mark Bittman, writes “let’s finally start labeling products made with genetically engineered food” after WHO report on carcinogenic effects. “There is a sad history of us acting as guinea pigs for the novel chemicals that industry develops. For this we have all too often paid with our damaged health,” writes Bittman.
- NY Times: “Stop Making Us Guinea Pigs”
The DARK “Deny Americans the Right to Know” Act
The newly introduced Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (official name), sponsored by Rep. Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Rep. Butterfield (D-N.C.), would make it illegal for states to require GMO labeling. Dubbed the DARK (“Deny Americans the Right to Know”) Act by critics, it would overturn the balance of power between federal and state governments and prevent a state’s right to pass laws regarding food labels. The same bill, was introduced in April 2014 and was backed by multi-billion dollar food and beverage companies like Kraft Foods, Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents large food corporations.