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Agriculture

Scientists Call For Review Of Roundup Chemicals

A group of scientists and environmentalists is calling for an independent review of the chemicals found in the popular herbicide Roundup.

Agriculture giant Monsanto first started selling glyphosate, the major chemical in Roundup, in the 1970s, but it remains controversial. A band of environment and public health advocates says the chemical mixed with other ingredients could contribute to the risk of cancer and is due for modern tests. Fred vom Saal, a professor emeritus of biological sciences at the University of Missouri, is one of them.

“This is just from my perspective irresponsible on the part of the government that this is the most heavily used herbicide in the world and we’re relying on 40 year old data,” he says.

A recent review by the European Union’s food safety authority found that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans. In a statement, Monsanto said “no regulatory agency in the world considers glyphosate to be a carcinogen.” 

This story was produced by Harvest Public Media, a collaboration among public media organizations in the Midwest examining issues related to agriculture.