Today the German government has approved 5 more years of using Glyphosate, which was the deciding vote in the EU. What is Glyphosate and why should you care?
Glyphosate was discovered by a chemist that worked for Monsanto in 1970, it was later called Roundup and is marketed as a weed killer. Monsanto built on this idea and "invented" crops that wouldn't be harmed by Glyphosate which would allow farmers to freely spray the weed killer on the crops without actually harming the crops.
And since it's discovery and the invention of the "Roundup Ready" crops, sales have skyrocket in the US and around the world.
Glyphosate is absorbed in the foliage (usually green, above the ground part) and not so much in the root and because of its use and overuse weeds, ever trying to survive have in fact started to mutate to become more disagreeable.
So that's what it is. A very strong weed killer. (Truth be told it kills almost everything it touches)
So what is the problem? Farmers need all the help they can get, it's a hard job and one that most farmers do for the love of it and not the paycheck.
Glyphosate has been researched and tested about as many times as one could expect. The problem is bias. I am not going to put too much of my own personal belief into the mix. Full disclosure is that I believe it is a horrible product that should be banned around the world.....
But bias is one of the biggest issues.
And lets start with the WHO (World Health Organization) They have a department called IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), who published a report which stated that Glyphosate most likely is cancerous and classified it as a a Group 2a carcinogen. Though Reuters in a couple of different stories by Kate Kelland suggested that the IARC lead scientist knew of an unpublished study that proved that Glyphosate did not cause cancer and was able to get a draft copy of the report which contradicted some of the key features in the final report; however, the IARC stands behind the report.
A co-analysis by WHO and UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) found that Glyphosate most likely doesn't cause cancer.
This is one organization (WHO) that you would think would be able to come to a decisive conclusion. Is Glyphosate safe? But struggles to have a consistent message. Which bags the question as to why?
The answer is exhausting but rather important. Bias.
One side believes that the other is somehow influencing the findings of the tests.
Let us take the Reuters stories by Kate Kelland, which you can read here and here. She strongly implies that the IARC should have deemed that Glyphosate be safe and she goes on to imply that there was an intentional and deliberate act of some mysterious person or people within IARC to deem the product a carcinogen. However, there are many reports that contradict Ms. Kellands story and imply that she was spoon fed the information from an agency called Science Media Center, which is essentially a PR firm for Scientists. So, what that means is if there is a story that scientist wants to get to the media they call Science Media Center, which then finds the reporter it deems would be best to publish the story and connect the two. The problem?
There are reports that one of the biggest donors and supplier of scientists is from companies like Monsanto. On the website of Science Media Center, they have four tweets posted from Doctors and smarter then me people, all of them complementing the decision with the harshest Doctor stating " giving all interested parties a 5-year window in which to seek viable alternative solutions.”
But this is the problem. The Science Media Center has a perceived bias and instead of having some scientists that agree with the decision and some that don't, they only have ones that do.
And before you ask, there are many scientists that believe that the Glyphosate should be banned and that it is a sad day for the EU for this decision.
Now, I can't tell you for sure if Glyphosate can in fact cause cancer but it seems to me that no one can. Being a cancer "survivor" I can tell you that in my opinion until some independent and non-biased multiple, blind studies come out, any risk or hint of a risk at a cancer causing product that we consume on a daily basis, shouldn't be legal. Not ever.
For a little light but interesting read check out http://www.ehn.org/monsanto-glyphosate-cancer-smear-campaign-2509710888.html