WHO admits herbicides ‘possibly’ cause cancer in humans
THE World Health Organization (WHO) has just released the findings of its research team regarding the herbicide called 2,4-D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid).
The commonly used herbicide has been classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
That rather ambiguous-sounding classification means that there is supposedly “inadequate evidence in humans and limited evidence in experimental animals” of a link between 2,4-D and cancer.
In other words, the herbicide has been proven to cause cancer in lab animals, at least in some cases, but the researchers claim that they’re not quite sure if or how often it causes cancer in humans. The IARC based its classification on the “latest scientific literature,” and decided that the herbicide should fall into the category just below “probably carcinogenic to humans” (the category that glyphosate — another common herbicide — was placed in recently) but two categories above “probably not carcinogenic.”
Interestingly, one piece of the “latest scientific literature” the IARC refers to was a study commissioned by the makers of 2,4-D themselves — Dow Chemical Co. But even with the jury being rigged, the IARC determined that there is “strong evidence that 2,4-D induces oxidative stress… and moderate evidence that 2,4-D causes immunosuppression….”
That’s a jargony way of admitting that the herbicide almost certainly does cause cancer, but being the over-cautious, industry-pressured scientists that they are, they are apparently afraid to actually admit to what would seem rather obvious to any objective observer.
The link to GMO agriculture It’s important to understand the connection of both 2,4-D and glyphosate to the GMO agriculture industry. Both of these herbicides are used in conjunction with GM crops. GMO companies such as Dow and Monsanto have been genetically modifying crops to be resistant to these herbicides.
That’s the way the GMO model is supposed to work: create a plant that won’t die when you spray it with a particular herbicide, and hopefully, all the weeds around the crop will die instead.
One of the big problems with this Frankenfood approach to agriculture is that, not only are the herbicides “possibly” or “probably” carcinogenic to humans, but they also kill bees, butterflies and other forms of life. Bees are an enormously important part of natural ecosystems, and the massive die-off of millions of bees in recent years is very likely due, at least in part, to the widespread use of these herbicides.
But hey, who cares if people get sick and the bees die off, as long as Monsanto and Dow can continue reaping billions of dollars in profits, right? And of course, the glyphosate-containing Monsanto herbicide Roundup is used not only on GM crops, but also on lawns, gardens, school playgrounds, etc.
Apparently, the Dow product Enlist Duo, which just gained EPA approval and which contains both glyphosate and 2,4-D, will only be used on GM crops, but that’s only a slight consolation, since this deadly chemical cocktail will certainly enter the human food chain, even if it’s not sprayed directly on our lawns and gardens.
It’s also worthy of note that Enlist Duo was designed to replace the Roundup Ready GMO/herbicide system, because so many glyphosate-resistant “superweeds” have been popping up.
Which is a clear indication of just how unsustainable, short-sighted and dangerous these systems are — as the herbicide-resistant strains appear, these companies are forced to make even more powerful herbicides, and the deadly vicious cycle just continues becoming even more deadly.
One way you can do your part to fight this madness is to sign the Change.org petitions (links below) urging companies such as Home Depot and Lowe’s to stop selling Roundup in their stores. It’s only part of the solution, but it’s a step in the right direction.
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