In 2015, the U.S. wheat industry expressed concern about a report by the non-regulatory International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that moved to reclassify glyphosate as a “probable” human carcinogen, even though more than 25 years of several, separate studies had concluded that the mammalian toxicity levels of glyphosate are low and glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
On Nov. 9, 2017, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) published new research on the use of glyphosate by agricultural workers. The study found no association between exposure to glyphosate, “and any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies overall, including non-Hodgkin Lymphoma…and its subtypes.”
This research was conducted as a part of the Agricultural Health Study (AHS), described on a website as “a prospective study of cancer and other health outcomes in a cohort of licensed pesticide applicators and their spouses from Iowa and North Carolina. The AHS began in 1993 with the goal of answering important questions about how agricultural, lifestyle and genetic factors affect the health of farming populations. The study is a collaborative effort involving investigators from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. More than 89,000 farmers and their spouses in Iowa and North Carolina have participated in the study. Their participation has provided, and continues to provide, the data that researchers need to help current and future generations of farmers and their families live healthier lives.”
Glyphosate is an active ingredient in many “non-selective” herbicide formulations. To learn more about how U.S. wheat farmers manage the use of glyphosate, visit the National Wheat Foundation for a five-part blog series on “The Facts About Glyphosate.”
This new research comes at an important time, as several U.S. agriculture groups, including the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), recently “joined forces to file a lawsuit in federal court against the State of California for ignoring science and conclusions from regulatory bodies around the world in a fundamentally flawed regulatory classification of glyphosate.” The coalition’s case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. Read the full announcement here.