In September 2016, after a two-year review, the EPA issued a report concluding that glyphosate, the weed-killer in Roundup, was “unlikely to cause cancer” in humans at realistic exposure levels.
The report was not surprising. The EPA originally classified glyphosate as a “possible carcinogen” in 1985, but flip-flopped in 1991 with little explanation and has classified it as “not carcinogenic” ever since.
The EPA continued defending glyphosate after it was upgraded to a “probable human carcinogen” by cancer-research experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) who re-analyzed the data in March 2015.
Things got interesting last week.
On February 10, lawyers unleashed a bombshell piece of evidence that top officials at the EPA worked with Monsanto, and they want testimony from the man himself — Mr. Jess Rowland.
Mr. Rowland led the EPA review of glyphosate and wrote an 86-page report concluding it was not likely to be carcinogenic. He left the EPA in 2016, days after the report was “leaked” and used by Monsanto.
That report was marked “FINAL” when the EPA still had years to go on its review of glyphosate. It was quickly pulled off the EPA website, along with summaries of three EPA-Monsanto meetings in 2015.
Questions of collusion were raised in a letter by Marion Copley, a 30-year EPA toxicologist who accused Mr. Rowland of playing “political conniving games with the science” and intimidating staff to change reports to favor pesticide-makers like Monsanto.
Ms. Copley left the EPA in 2012 and sent the letter to Mr. Rowland on March 4, 2013, about 10 months before she died of cancer at the age of 66. It includes a 14-point list of ways Roundup could cause cancer:
“Glyphosate was originally designed as a chelating agent … Chelators clearly disrupt calcium signaling, a key signaling pathway in all cells and mediates tumor progression.”
- Chelators inhibit apoptosis, the process by which our bodies kill tumor cells
- Chelators are endocrine disruptors, involved in tumorigenesis
- Glyphosate induces lymphocyte proliferation
- Glyphosate induces free radical formation
- Chelators inhibit free radical scavenging enzymes requiring Zn, Mn or Cu for activity (i.e. SODs)
- Chelators bind zinc, necessary for immune system function
- Glyphosate is genotoxic, a key cancer mechanism
- Chelators inhibit DNA repair enzymes requiring metal cofactors
- Chelators bind Ca, Zn, Mg, etc to make foods deficient for these essential nutrients
- Chelators bind calcium necessary for calcineurin-mediated immune response
- Chelators often damage the kidneys or pancreas, as glyphosate does, a mechanism to tumor formation
- Kidney / pancreas damage can lead to clinical chemistry changes to favor tumor growth
- Glyphosate kills bacteria in the gut and the gastrointestinal system is 80% of the immune system
- Chelators suppress the immune system making the body susceptible to tumors
“I have cancer and I don’t want these serious issues … to go unaddressed before I go to my grave. I have done my duty.”
The EPA duty to protect the environment is now up to Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s ex-Attorney General who built his political career by fighting the EPA and completely ignoring one of the biggest man-made environmental disasters in the world.
Oklahoma now has more earthquakes than anywhere else in the world since the “fracking” boom in 2009. That bubble popped, but the ground is still shaking.
And while a Republican-led Congress would like you to believe EPA regulations are holding the economy back, Monsanto’s net profits exceeded $10 billion in the last five years alone — thanks Obama.
Just months after Obama signed the “Monsanto Protection Act” in March 2013, the EPA approved Monsanto’s petition to dramatically increase crop-spraying limits on Roundup and boost the “safe” levels of Roundup in our food.
Over 85% of crops in the U.S. are soaked in Roundup — including non-GMO wheat immediately before harvest in certain parts of the U.S., which is why tests find Roundup in Cheerios and a lot of other foods we eat every day.
The bigger concern is Roundup in animal feed (cows, pigs, chickens, etc.) and unknown amounts in eggs and milk. We may never know. The FDA immediately canceled plans to start testing food for Roundup after the presidential election.