The World Health Organisation’s cancer agency has declared the world’s most widely used weedkiller (glyphosate) a “probable carcinogen” in a move that will alarm the agrochemical industry and amateur gardeners.
IARC assembled 17 experts to assess five organophosphate pesticides.
After meeting for a week this month at IARC headquarters in Lyon,
France, the panel decided that two of the chemicals were “possible”
(class 2B) carcinogens and three were “probable” (class 2A) carcinogens.
Although malathion, another widely used insecticide, and tetrachlor
vinphos were also given a 2A classification, the glyphosate ruling will
make the most impact.
to the IARC, “there was limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans
for non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” a cancer of the lymph system.
In addition, the study said there was evidence that glyphosate could also cause cancer in laboratory animals.