Last year, the World Health Organization announced that glyphosate–the world’s most widely used herbicide also known as Roundup–was a “probable human carcinogen.” Shortly thereafter, French officials banned sales of Roundup nationwide as Monsanto, Roundup’s manufacturer, prepared to stand trial for “crimes against humanity and the environment” in The Hague. The previous year, our own Government Accountability Office called out the Food and Drug Administration for its failure to test Roundup through the pesticide monitoring program because it was too “costly.” Then, studies released by private consumer groups like Moms Across America found that 70% of our water contained Roundup, and that our urine showed levels 10 times greater than that of Europeans. So really, what else could the FDA do?
Timing is everything. On September 29th, the Environmental Protection Agency updated the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard with far more rigorous pesticide protection standards. The following day, lawsuits against pesticide manufacturer Monsanto were filed in California and New York by workers who claim their cancers were caused by exposure to pesticides. Coincidink? I don’t think so.
It’s great to see a country take action on toxic chemicals–even if it’s not our own. After the United Nations called it a “probable human carcinogen,” France banned the sale of glyphosate–aka Roundup–at garden centers nationwide. The most widely sprayed herbicide on the planet, glyphosate is used in tandem with genetically modified “Roundup Ready” crops like corn and soybeans. According to Newsweek, as of 2012 Roundup was also the herbicide of choice for New York City parks. But the tide may be turning in America, too.