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Does Roundup Cause Cancer?

Roundup, the weed-killing herbicide made with the active ingredient glyphosate, has sparked much controversy over the years with many studies showing Roundup linked to cancer. As a result, many individuals have also been asking the questions: What kind of cancer does Roundup cause, and Does Roundup cause cancer?

Roundup Linked to Cancer

Agribusiness Monsanto has found itself in the middle of a series of lawsuits filed by individuals claiming to have gotten ill with cancer due to Roundup. Roundup is an herbicide used to kill weeds, including annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops.

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St. Louis-based agribusiness, Monsanto, is the manufacturer of Roundup and it has been on the market ever since the 1970s. A study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found the Roundup cancer-causing agent to likely be its main ingredient, glyphosate. Researchers regarded glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen and performed lab tests on animals, concluding the chemical damaged DNA in human cells.

On the contrary, Monsanto has detested those research findings and have argued that their product is safe. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) also took Monsanto’s side in the Roundup linked to cancer debate, stating that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a risk to human health.

With that said, critics, including Greenpeace, have wondered if the UN/JMPR’s conclusion was biased due to some of their members having prior involvement with Monsanto.

There is much debate still on both sides regarding if Roundup causes cancer and if glyphosate is the Roundup cancer-causing agent. Nevertheless, approximately 25 lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto with many plaintiffs stating that Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a common yet potentially fatal blood cancer.