Study: [Round Up] won’t give you cancer

A recent write-up by author Ron Bailey at Reason cites a manuscript that was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute states that using glyphosate won’t give you cancer. The chemical is produced by Monsanto that enables farmers to to kill weeds by spraying it on genetically modified crops developed to resist pesticides. Bailey points out:

The study, conducted by researchers at the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), followed tens of thousands of licensed pesticide applicators for about two decades. The paper found “no association” between the popular herbicide and “any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies overall, including [non-Hodgkin lymphoma] and its subtypes.” The study did find “some evidence of increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia” in the highest exposed group, but it added that this association was “not statistically significant.”

According to Bailey the results reinforces tons of research by scientists and government panels on glyphosate who have consistently concluded the chemical is not cancerous. However, the real kicker is the build up used in order to eventually demonize the chemical that eventually lead to places like Europe to embrace the precautionary principle:

Nevertheless, in 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen.” This was the result of a carefully crafted anti-biotechnology campaign.

Environmental activists have perfected a highly effective scaremongering playbook, and they have been assiduously running those plays against glyphosate for nearly 20 years. First they scour the epidemiological literature to find any hint that a substance or process might cause human disease, especially cancer. This is not usually a difficult task, because somewhere, sometime, some cagey epidemiologist will have obliged them by torturing highly equivocal data into confessing the possibility of carcinogenicity. These epidemiological phantasms are then bolstered by a dodgy experiments done by activist-funded researchers.

Despite glyphosate’s benefits, environmentalists did not embrace it.:

After biotech crop varieties became commercially available in 1996, farmers across the globe r.rapidly began to adopt them, especially the ones resistant to glyphosate. Why? Because they no longer had to rely on plowing to control weeds, which saved substantial amounts time, fuel, and eroded topsoil. This meant reduced greenhouse gas emissions and less runoff into streams, so you might think environmentalists would have embraced biotech crops. They didn’t, largely because when biotech crops were being introduced in Europe during the late 1990s, groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth found they could attract funding and members by fanning fears about the new crop varieties.

It was with this that environmentalist groups were able to create a funding mechanism based on fear along with lots of media attention to boot. This despite the fact that during the mid-1990’s the EPA determined that glyphosate was not cancerous and at one point, according to Bailey, Proctor & Gamble applied for a patent to use glyphosate as a treatment for breast cancer.

Environmentalist chemophobia is one other manner greens use to make the case to ban or restrict the use of pesticides that are used to protect crop yields from insect infestations so food production is plentiful. If environmentalists succeed in banning gyphosate, farmers will be forced to use less effective and more expensive herbicides or resort to plowing. This, in turn, results in topsoil erosion, that results in higher food prices, more damage to the natural environment, and an eventual reduced food supply that can negatively affect millions.