Despite a Monsanto lobbyist refusing to drink water contaminated with Roundup, even though he was tasked with arguing that it was perfectly safe, the agribusiness giant is irate with the World Health Organization for finding evidence the popular pesticide causes cancer in humans.
Roundup is the world's most widely used herbicide and so Monsanto understandably wants an international health organization to retract a report linking the chief ingredient in Roundup to cancer. Why consider human life and health if gets in the way of sales, right?
The company said on Tuesday that the scientific report, issued on Friday by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), was "biased" and contradicts regulatory findings that the ingredient, glyphosate, is safe when used as directed.
A working group of the IARC, based in Lyon, France and further from the U.S. bully's hardline tactics than many regulators, said after reviewing scientific literature it was classifying glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans." based on the data examined. This wouldn't be the first toxic substance mass produced by the company. Its other deadly products have included Agent Orange, PCBs and Dioxin.
"We question the quality of the assessment," Philip Miller, Monsanto vice president of global regulatory affairs, predictably said on Tuesday in an interview. "The WHO has something to explain."
To provide some context for the scope of the issue, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated agricultural use of glyphosate in 2012, the most recent year available, at more than 283 million pounds, up from 110 million pounds in 2002.