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World Health Organization Labels Glyphosate Probable Carcinogen

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For Immediate Release: 
Friday, March 20, 2015

Washington, D.C. – The Environmental Working Group today called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require mandatory GMO labeling after the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm designated the herbicide glyphosate, widely used on GMO crops, as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”  

“The widespread adoption of GMO corn and soybeans has led to an explosion in the use of glyphosate – a main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and Dow’s Enlist Duo,” said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of EWG. “Consumers have the right to know how their food is grown and whether their food dollars are driving up the use of a probable carcinogen.”

The new classification by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, is based on research on human exposure in the U.S., Canada and Sweden and on animal studies that found what the agency called “convincing evidence” that the chemical caused cancer in laboratory animals. A previous IARC study found “limited evidence” linking glyphosate exposures to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, in humans.

EWG also encouraged Congress to reject legislation dubbed the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act that would preempt state GMO labeling laws and would restrict the ability of the federal Food and Drug Administration to mandate national GMO labeling requirements.

EWG urged the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate the safety of glyphosate for use on farms and in consumer products.

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