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UN cancer agency sees a cancer risk in Roundup and other pesticides

The UN's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said Friday that three pesticides, including the popular weedkiller Roundup, were "probably" carcinogenic and two others, which have already been outlawed or restricted, were "possibly" so. IARC classified the herbicide glyphosate -- the active ingredient in Roundup -- and the insecticides malathion and diazinon as "probably carcinogenic" on the basis of "limited evidence" of cancer among humans.

The insecticides tetrachlorvinphos and parathion were classified as "possibly carcinogenic" in the light of "convincing evidence" from lab animals, it said.
The classification, made by an expert panel, is not binding, said IARC, an agency based in Lyon, southeastern France, that comes under the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO). "It remains the responsibility of individual governments and other international organisations to recommend regulations, legislation or public health intervention," it said.

Glyphosate -- introduced in the 1970s under the brand Roundup but now manufactured generically -- is the most-produced weedkiller in the world, the IARC said.

Agricultural use of it has surged since the introduction of crops genetically modified to be resistant to the chemical, enabling farmers to douse a field in one go to kill weeds.
"The general population is exposed (to glyphosate) primarily through residence near sprayed areas, home use and diet, and the level that has been observed is generally low," the IARC statement said.
The evaluation of glyphosate saw "limited evidence" of a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma, as seen in studies in the United States, Sweden and Canada conducted among farm workers since 2001.

In 1985, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified glyphosate as "possibly carcinogenic for humans" on the basis of experiments on lab mice.
UN cancer agency sees a risk in Roundup and other pesticides - Yahoo News

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