As of May 10, 2015, Dr. Mercola reports the following results about the carcinogenicity of Roundup:
Demands for labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were recently stimulated even further when the prestigious International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization declared glyphosate a “probable carcinogen.”1,2
Research3 has also revealed that inert ingredients like ethoxylated adjuvants in glyphosate-based herbicides are “active principles of human cell toxicity.” They also suspect that4 Roundup might interfere with hormone production, possibly leading to abnormal fetal development, low birth weights, or miscarriages.
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, is sprayed heavily on 84 percent of all GMO crops, including soy, corn, canola, and sugar beets—all the key ingredients in processed foods.
After reviewing 44 scientific studies, half of the IARC panel thought that glyphosate should be classified as a Group 1 “known carcinogen,” with the other half opting for a Group 2 “probable carcinogen” rating.
Environmental groups recently sent a letter5 to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for the agency to reexamine the safety of glyphosate in light of the IARC’s determination.
The cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization last week announced that glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, is probably carcinogenic to humans. But the assessment, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France, has been followed by an immediate backlash from industry groups.
What does the IARC report say?
The IARC regularly reviews the carcinogenicity of industrial chemicals, foodstuffs and even jobs. On March 20, a panel of international experts convened by the agency reported the findings of a review of five agricultural chemicals in a class known as organophosphates. A summary of the study was published in The Lancet Oncology.
Two of the pesticides — tetrachlorvinphos and parathion — were rated as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”, or category 2B. Three — malathion, diazinon and glyphosate — were rated as “probably carcinogenic to humans”, labelled category 2A.
What is a 2A carcinogen? One where there is evidence of carcinogenicity in animals but as yet no epidemiological studies in humans. See the definition here: Wikipedia – 2A carcinogens
The agents in this list have been classified in Group 2A (probable [human] carcinogens) by the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer). The term “agent” encompasses both substances and exposure circumstances that pose a risk. This designation is applied when there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans as well as sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In some cases, an agent may be classified in this group when there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans along with sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals and strong evidence that the carcinogenesis is mediated by a mechanism that also operates in humans. Exceptionally, an agent may be classified in this group solely on the basis of limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.
This is the FDA definition of a Group 2a Carcinogen:
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If you use it to kill weeds growing through cracks in your driveway, stop. Use vinegar instead. Common vinegar is acidic enough it will kill virtually any plant.
Some clever salesman came to Lynnwood Public Works and sold them on the idea of spraying Roundup up and down Lynnwood streets to kill the weeds that grow in quarter inch cracks between curb and sidewalk. See Engineer Bill Lider’s photo of where spraying was done on 200th Street SW:
Bill has researched the issue. He calculates that Lynnwood has sprayed around 500 gallons of Roundup on city streets at 2.0% concentration, which is the recommended concentration. See Bill’s tabulation here. The really dumb thing about the way Roundup was used is that it was being sprayed in a four-foot wide swath instead of in the quarter inch crack where the weeds grow.
And what is so bad about a few weeds growing in cracks? There is no way you can ever keep up with all the weeds growing through all the cracks in every street in Lynnwood. Life is extremely tenacious and determined, especially plant life.
And it makes even less sense to try to do it with Roundup because when it rains Roundup stops working after around a month. Moreover, even if you kill the weeds with Roundup, you have not removed them. Instead of green weeds, you have brown weeds. Any improvement is marginal anyway.
If you want to get rid of weeds in certain locations, hire some high school kids and send them out with a $70 Black and Decker edger from Amazon.