Thoughts on economics and liberty

No, the WHO has NOT banned glyphosate! And the EPA says the weed killer is safe and noncarcinogenic.

FIRST OF ALL, NO, THE WHO HAS NOT BANNED Glyphosate. In any case, WHO does not ban things.

This hullabaloo is about a report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)’s classification of of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen`

What is this agency?

It is a part of the WHO. But it has NOT banned glyphosate.

What did it say?

Basically it identified glyphosate as a PROBABLE carcinogen.

Full list of items classified by IARC. Note that glyphosate is classified as 2A But also note these are classified as 2A. Here’s the 2015 press release

  • Frying, emissions from high-temperature
  • Hairdresser or barber (occupational exposure as a)
  • Malaria
  • Non-arsenical insecticides (spraying and application of)
  • Red meat (consumption of)
  • Shiftwork that involves circadian disruption
  • Very hot beverages at above 65 °C (drinking)

So this means virtually everything we do can probably cause cancer. So much for precision and science.

Also: IARC response to criticisms of the Monographs and the glyphosate evaluation

They note that hazard identification is not equivalent to risk assessment. They need to undertake that. They note: “There is clear value in IARC and WHO liaising closely in future exercises of hazard identification and risk assessment and as mentioned in Section II of this document, discussion is in progress.”

Basically they have not PROVEN that it causes cancer. Just that it could be associated with some cancers. That’s reason for caution but not for alarm.

Note that even coffee is a probable carcinogen. And red meat. Most people carry on with their life knowing that ultimately everyone has to die and a few minor matters will not harm. People who use it daily must not inhale or put it on their skin.

What about the court case?

What regulators are saying

Roundup of Cancer Evidence – The EPA says the weed killer is safe and noncarcinogenic, Wall Street Journal, 14 May 2019

“the European Food Safety Authority holds a contrarian view.” [Source]

What the science says

“It is shown that the classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen was the result of a flawed and incomplete summary of the experimental evidence evaluated by the Working Group.” [PubMed paper]



Sanjeev Sabhlok

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