Cancer won't stop Trump's EPA from keeping a pesticide on the market


Under Trump, the EPA works for chemical companies, not people.

Monsanto's signature herbicide, Roundup, isn't safe, but Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn't care. They're happy to let Monsanto keep selling it regardless of the risks.

Roundup contains a chemical called glyphosate, and there's ample evidence it can cause health problems, including cancer. Two recent court decisions sided with plaintiffs who alleged they got non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from using glyphosate. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found that glyphosate was "probably carcinogenic to humans."

In spite of this, the EPA just issued a decision saying there are "no risks to public health" and that glyphosate isn't a carcinogen as long as you use the chemical in accordance with its label.

And while the EPA may be interested in helping deal with the problem of weeds that become resistant to the chemical, it's not interested in helping decrease the use of it. Glyphosate is particularly dangerous to those who have to use herbicides regularly, such as farm workers who spray Roundup to kill weeds across large areas. Those people could see a 41% increased relative risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The harms aren't limited to only people with high rates of exposure. One recent study showed that even very low levels of glyphosate could still increase the rate of breast cancer cell growth.

An EPA that cared about the safety of the American population would work to decrease or eliminate the use of this chemical. Instead, this is yet another giveaway to polluters.

All of this is par for the course for the EPA under Trump. Enforcement actions have plummeted, which means companies can pollute with impunity. The EPA has also reversed an Obama-era proposal that would have banned another toxic chemical, methylene chloride, a substance found in paint strippers and adhesives.

Monsanto donated $25,000 to fund Trump's inauguration. Given that relatively paltry sum has won them the right to continue to sell a product that nets them nearly $5 billion per year, Monsanto got quite the deal.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.