The story with the agricultural giant’s Roundup weed killer began in the 1980s when tests on its primary ingredient, glyphosate, began to show cellular changes in laboratory animals that should have been considered early signals that the product could cause cancer. In 1995, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that this compound needed to be classified as a carcinogen.
However, six years later the EPA changed that classification and said it was wrong to designate it as a possible carcinogen, adding that the public had nothing to worry about.
Moreover, the laboratory data from the 1980s that the EPA used to classify glyphosate as carcinogenic suddenly became unavailable to the public, as Monsanto argued that all the early testing results for this chemical fell under the protection of the trade secret rule.
RT America’s Mike Papantonio discussed the issue with Carey Gillam, investigative journalist and author.
RT: Carey, you wrote a book called ‘Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science.’ Monsanto apparently viciously worked to cover up the fact that their weed killer could cause cancer. After so many studies, what is your opinion on the fact that the company is doing everything they can to try to deny the truth?
Carey Gillam: The cancer question is definitely a big one with this chemical. It is the most widely-used agrochemical in the world. It is in our water, food, our own bodies… The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) looked at decades of epidemiology and toxicology research and said this looks like a probable human carcinogen with strong ties to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma specifically. Monsanto says all of that research is wrong, this international agency is wrong and that this product is among the safest in the world, among the safest for people to use.