There has been a lot of discussion in the media recently about the very sudden– and very recent– rise in coeliac disease ( or celiac disease if you live in the US), which affects people with a clinical gluten intolerance. Even scientists are stumped as to the cause.
Inevitably, these discussions have resulted in accusations swirling around social media as to what’s behind the rise in sufferer’s of the disease. And inevitably, the finger has been pointed at glysophate, the much maligned ingredient in Roundup.
Glyphosate-based herbicides have a 40-year history of safe use and are supported by one of the most extensive worldwide human health, safety and environmental databases ever compiled for a pesticide product.
These sensational health claims have nothing to do with the safety of our products, and everything to do with agendas. A routine regulatory review of the active ingredient in Roundup branded agricultural herbicides – glyphosate – is underway in several countries around the world. This periodic review requires that regulators take a comprehensive look at all safety and toxicology data available for a pesticide.
So why do a small number of recent studies claim to contradict glyphosate’s widely established safety profile? Some research contains unintended errors in testing or analysis. Others are aimed at intentionally playing on public health fears. No matter the intentions, all attempts to establish a connection between glyphosate and chronic diseases such as cancer, infertility, autism, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, heart disease, diabetes, and celiac disease have failed to withstand scientific scrutiny. That’s because comprehensive safety studies conducted over the last 40 years provide a large amount of data that scientists can use to put new claims into context.
Unfortunately, myths don’t need proof in today’s world of click-and-go social sharing. In fact, loose associations with a sense of urgency are the hallmarks of building urban legends. Thus, there are a host of websites dedicated to debunking popular Internet myths, including Beyond the Rows and Snopes.
In the end, as interesting, or alarming, as a single study may be, it’s important to look at the totality of evidence from all scientific literature available. That’s what public health experts and government regulators do. And it’s that totality of evidence that gives us confidence in the safety of all of our products, including glyphosate.
>> Learn more about the proven safety record of glyphosate.
>> Learn more about the U.S. Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).
>> Glyphosate does not cause cancer http://gmoanswers.com/ask/does-glyphosate-cause-cancer
This post first was first posted on Monsanto’s US blog ‘Beyond the Rows’, 21st November 2014