Glyphosate and cancer. This is something we are hearing so much about, seemingly all of the sudden, with major stories breaking in the last week. Just last Friday, a court case in California resulted in a $289 million dollar payment to a man named Dewayne Johnson, who claimed his years of using glyphosate (també conegut com resum) caused him to develop cancer. A few days before this story broke, glyphosate use was suspended by a judge in Brazil pending a government reevaluation of its toxicity.

What is going on here?

I am a farmer who uses glifosat. My dad started using it decades ago, and it has absolutely been the single greatest invention in agricultural history. And it is unequivocally, fantastically safe. It is one of the lowest toxicity herbicides we use on our farm. It is less toxic than alcohol. Less toxic thancaffeine. So what is all this about?

Why Do We Need It?

I am apart of a multi-generation family farm in southeast Saskatchewan, Canadà. We grow canola, blat, blat dur, pèsols, llenties, flax and soybeans, along with a few other crops. I farm with my sister, my mom and dad, my brother-in-law and my wife and two little boys. I love what I do.

In my part of the Canadian Prairies, ens granja en unes condicions força secs. Tracta de nostra Precipitació mitja temporada creixent 9 polzades, o 225 mm. Neu i caiguda pluges proporcionar-nos amb un altre 4-5 polzades. Aquest és l'agricultura semiáridas, on la pluja ve realment pot proporcionar la diferència entre pèrdues i. Tan, vam treballar molt dur per utilitzar cada gota d'humitat que arribem. Hem de. Això significa que no podem permetre que les males herbes creixen, i hem de deixar el sòl impertorbable que tant com sigui possible-no volem fins a la nostra terra si a tots ens pot evitar-ho.

What glyphosate allows us to do is to kill every weed in the field before the crop emerges. In the days before glyphosate, my grandfather had the very same goal – but he only had one way to do it. He had to work the land, over and over and over. The goal was to make it absolutely black. That was the only tool they had, and sadly, it was the direct cause of the great dust storms of the Dirty 30’s. Why would we ever want to go back to that?

D'altra banda, glyphosate allows us to control weeds in certain crops as they grow. Canola and soybeans are two crops I grow that are genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate. This means we can spray it over the crops, while they are young and struggle to compete with weeds, to keep them clean. We use different chemicals in other crops to accomplish the same thing, but none have the broad spectrum control that glyphosate has – and few of them are as cheap, or as safe.

The introduction of Roundup-Ready crops, incloent-hi blat de moro, soja, colza, cotton and so on, has allowed for safe, simple, very cost-effective weed control.

Is It Safe?

This is the big question, and if you follow the news at all, I could certainly understand if you don’t feel it is safe. You may think it causes cancer, autism, and any number of diseases. That is what you’ll find on the Internet.

Here’s the experience of a farmer.

I use glyphosate hundreds of hours every year. I load and run our sprayers (along with farm employees and my family) over thousands and thousands of acres spraying glyphosate. My son rides in the sprayer with me sometimes. I no es preocupi gens glifosat ser perillós.


Aquí està la cosa sobre polvorització d'una substància química com glifosat. Un acre de terra és 43,560 peus quadrats, que és una mica més petit que un camp de futbol americà. El que acre, 360 grams de glifosat ingredient actiu es ruixa. Dit d'una altra manera: 2 llaunes de cervesa de glifosat projectat sobre una àrea gairebé la mida d'un camp de futbol. Que és .015 mL de cervesa a cada peu quadrat- i que inclou la solució que l ingredient actiu glifosat està suspès a. Això és una molt baixa concentració. A standard “drop” of water is .05 mL. That’s less than a third of a drop of water!

Segur, some chemicals are highly toxic in even very small doses. Glyphosate isnot one of those chemicals. Its LD50, or the lethal dose for 50% of rats in testing, és 5,600 mg/kg. The LD50 for caffeine? 192 mg/kg. Don’t panic about your coffee though – that’s still very safe!

Fa glifosat causa càncer?

While I have explained that an acute dose of glyphosate is safe, that doesn’t really answer the cancer question. That is something that would accrue over many years, and may have little to do with the aforementioned LD50. Has this been studied thoroughly enough to be sure glyphosate is indeed safe? And has it been studied by independent organizations and scientists?

John Giesy, a professor and research chair in environmental toxicology at the University of Saskatchewan, would argue that yes, glyphosate is safe. He has quite the resume, as a professor or honorary professor at six other universities and is the most cited author in the world in the combined fields of ecology and environmental sciences. In an article you can findaquí, when speaking about the subject of cancer, he had this to say:

“Certainly you wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But whether it’s caused by glyphosate, en la meva opinió, is highly unlikely.”

En 2015, l'Agència Internacional de recerca sobre el càncer (IARC), a WHO agency, claimed that glyphosate was a “probable carcinogen”. Glyphosate is hardly alone in this category, with such partners as high temperature frying, working as a hairdresser, red meat or shiftwork. Stuff that is actually carcinogenic on their list? Alcoholic beverages, sawdust and processed meat (to name a few). Sí, beer and hot dogs are considered more likely to cause cancer than glyphosate (font).

It was this IARC report that started all of this, and there are some real questions as to their methodology. De fet, according to the then- European Crop Protection Director, General Jean-Charles Bocquet,

“From the summary conclusions it appears that IARC has made its conclusions as a result of an incomplete data review that has omitted key evidence.”(font)

It was recently discovered that the IARC had removed findings from studies that concluded glyphosate was not a carcinogen before they published the final version. They also used the infamous, now retracted Seralini rat study in their analysis.

El fet és que nombroses organitzacions concloure glifosat és segur, incloent-hi el bo i l'agricultura organització de les Nacions Unides, l'administració de seguretat alimentària Europea, La salut de Canadà, l'Agència Alemana de risc, i així successivament. Un estudi massiu executar en 89,000 els agricultors i els familes a Iowa i Carolina del Nord des de 1993 no ha pogut trobar cap vincle entre glifosat i càncer. Quant més proves necessitem?

Necessito glifosat a la meva granja. Això m'ajuda a ser més sostenible, ambientalment i econòmicament, it helps me protect my soil from erosion and build soil health, and it helps me sequester carbon, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The fear over glyphosate is unfounded, and we need to slow down and have a real discussion about it. If you want to come to my farm and see how we use this contentious chemical, please let me know. My door is open for anyone who wants to have their questions answered.


*  This first appeared Agost 13 at Jake’s blog site Un any en la vida de pagès