Glypho cancer claims a wake-up call

27 Mar, 2015 01:00 AM
We need farmers to carry on farming, not to be killed off

A VETERINARY pathologist has warned the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) findings on glyphosate should serve as a wake-up call for Australian agriculture.

Matt Landos, who currently works in the aquaculture industry in Port Lincoln, South Australia, says he believes the IARC findings that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic should spark a review of the pesticides approval process in Australia.

“Glyphosate is the biggest product in the market, its use is so widespread, yet there is more and more evidence of the dangers of the organophosphate pesticides, which includes glyphosate.

“I think we need to be looking at the APVMA (Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority) and its procedures in terms of determining the safety of products.”

“This is just another example of the need for change in terms of the way the APVMA makes its decisions.”

Dr Landos acknowledged there had been massive productivity gains by using glyphosate, but said this may prove to be false economy on an overall level.

“If we begin to see increasing rates of cancer and the cost that puts on our health system then that could cost much more.”

However, Adam Blight, corporate affairs manager for Monsanto Australia, which produces the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, said Australians could rest assured products used here were safe.

“The APVMA conducts rigorous testing on all pesticides.

“It is technically competent and globally recognised, it is regarded as a world class regulator, so Australians can be confident the food they eat is produced in a safe way.”

However, Dr Landos said reports such as that from the IARC showed residue levels previously considered to be safe could be harmful.

“Australians need protection, and with the APVMA we have one of the slowest regulators to change in the world. With something like the insecticide endosulfan, we were the 80th country in the world to ban it.”

Dr Landos said although there was farmer outcry at the prospect of changing glyphosate regulations, he was not anti-agriculture.

“I believe we need farmers to carry on farming, not to be killed off, and the evidence is there to suggest farmers have higher rates of cancer than the general population.”

Mr Blight countered, saying he had research suggesting the opposite.

Dr Landos acknowledged changes to pesticide use would be difficult, particularly in industries dealing with bulk commodities such as grains, where premiums for low residue or organic products are less or where glyphosate boosted productivity by big margins, but said it needed to be looked at.

“We need the research and development to be looking beyond the narrow sphere of herbicides for productivity gains.”

“There’s non-chemical technologies for weed control such as microwave energy or steam application showing some promise, so we need to ensure work continues on these types of research.”

Gregor Heard

Gregor Heard

is the national grains writer for Fairfax Agricultural Media
Date: Newest first | Oldest first


21/07/2016 10:45:26 AM

From the article above. this quote is factually wrong! Glyphosate is not an organophosphate pesticide " yet there is more and more evidence of the dangers of the organophosphate pesticides, which includes glyphosate."
27/08/2015 6:06:24 AM

Have u bothered to look at Lankas (1981) which was funded by Monsanto and determined our NOAEL for Codex ADI at 0.3 mg/kg, it used the same rats (Sprague daw) for 26 months? or how about the Monsanto study by Hammond (2004) on roundup ready corn where half the rats went missing from the data set? I'm not defending Searllini but its interesting that Food and Chem Tox seem to have double standards, probably same as FSANZ who use the Lankas determined ADI. The people determining these products should not be testing the safety of them, wish I could deliver canola and tell them my oil content is.
26/08/2015 3:20:06 PM

People are happy to poor carcinogenic chemicals directly onto there scalp to dye the colour of the hair, including many so called greenies. There is enough history and science that proves this chemical is safe to use as recommended.
26/08/2015 2:43:22 PM

Thanks to sensible contributors. They know who they are. Far too many people reach for the outrage button at the slightest provocation and for very silly reasons. Calm rational consideration of arguments preferable.
26/08/2015 2:20:48 PM

After using Glysophate for many years maybe now I can get a retirement package from a class action. Look out Monsanto, who patented this product then encouraged much greater use through GMO technologies.
Prof. Ivan Kennedy
26/08/2015 12:48:50 PM

Interested to see the questioning of my expertise and reference to Prof Seralini's papers. My research group has an international reputation managing environmental and ecotoxicological risk for animals and plants. My teaching class routinely used Seralini's papers as an example of invalid science. His experiments seem designed (using test animals liable to tumours from the least stress), to always obtain an answer condemning glyphosate (concentrations far too high, irrelevant tests, etc.). We reject such poor science that doesn't test the hypothesis that glyphosate is too risky to use.
Chick Olsson
13/04/2015 11:01:40 AM

Glyph is a fabulous product, but the rise of organic farm product demand is huge in the cities, so we might as well get used to more and more consumers shunning ag chem use.
One health
13/04/2015 9:18:53 AM net/files/webfm/plataforma/Kremer Preface2009.pdf Glyphosate increases diseases in crops. You won't find that on a label - but scientists are documenting serious problems with it.
7/04/2015 5:09:12 PM

Prof Kennedy Sydeny Uni expert on this subject academic_staff/ivan.kennedy.php
7/04/2015 6:42:41 AM

So Fred Haskins, your "new" work by Seralini you found on Google is likely to be re-commenting on his previous published data? The data that was overwhelmingly canned and caned by the scientific community for dodgy statistical analysis. Has he actually done the experiment, an experiment independent of the first or is he still simply regurgitating the old experimental data?
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