Monsanto’s GMO Weed Killer Damages DNA
Originally published in EWG’s AgMag Blog by Curt DellaValle
ScientistOne of the world’s leading experts on cancer risk, Dr. Christopher Portier, told an international conference in London this week that he is certain that glyphosate, the weed killer most commonly used with genetically engineered crops or “GMOs,” can damage human DNA in ways that could lead to cancer.
“Glyphosate is definitely genotoxic,” said Portier, who was former director of the office of Risk Assessment Research at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a branch of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. “There is no doubt in my mind.” A genotoxic substance is one that can lead to mutations or other genetic changes in DNA that could cause cancer.
Portier’s strong statement comes on the heels of the March decision by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, to classify glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Portier was an invited specialist and one of the co-authors of the International Agency’s report, which concluded that there is strong evidence that glyphosate causes DNA damage in human cells.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, Monsanto’s widely used weed killer.
Despite loud public criticisms from big corn and soy and, not surprisingly,Monsanto, the International Agency has stood by its scientific assessment.
Farmers’ heavy reliance on glyphosate to grow GMO crops has led to an explosion in its use – a 16-fold increase in the last two decades.
Read the full blog here.