In response to a WHO agency conclusion that one of Monsanto’s herbicides contains a key ingredient which can probably cause cancer, the agrochemical conglomerate has decided to hire an investigation panel.
In March one of the World Health Organization’s research agencies has concluded that glyphosate, a key ingredient in some of the herbicides produced by Monsanto , could pose a cancer risk. The International Agency for Research on Cancer came to this conclusion after reviewing several scientific literature material.
Although the findings could require further analysis and research in order to be fully confirmed, Monsanto’s answer to the cancer probability claims, was seen as completely out of order. In what some call a typical response for Monsanto, the company states that the findings were “junk science”.
Monsanto has been known to overreact to concerns and accusations in the past as well, but the demand for a retraction and the dismissing language used against the scientific claims, were seen by some to be out of line, considering the reputation and nature of the agency which conducted the research.
In an attempt to permanently dismiss any concerns about their herbicide ingredients, Monsanto has reportedly hired the Intertek Scientific And Regulatory Consultancy company. They are to convene a panel of world renowned scientists which has the objective of reviewing the work of the WHO agency .
Some critics, especially ones from outside the U.S. consider the practice irrelevant since the panel does not analyze the suspected substances but rather the method in which the agency reached its conclusion.
Monsanto officials stated that the company will provide information for the review but it will not interfere with the panel’s procedures. The company also stated that although it will support all the costs for the panel convening and its activities, the findings will still be objective and transparent.
Many farmers use herbicides which contain the suspected cancer risk ingredient, on a variety of crops, especially because Monsanto crops are designed to be highly resistant to weed killers.
However since farmers starting using these herbicides some unwanted weeds have become more resistant to the product, which prompted the farmers to increase the amount used. Therefore the risk generated from the alleged cancer producing ingredient could rise as increasing amounts of these herbicides are sprayed.
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