A jury in California recently ordered global agribusiness Monsanto to pay more than $2 billion to a US couple who both developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after years of using the popular weedkiller Roundup, in the ongoing debate about whether it causes cancer.
Icon Director of Research, Dr John Bashford, weighs in on the debate.
“The Roundup case is important because it raises concerns about the many environmental agents that we are all exposed to.
What we don’t have is clear proof that Roundup causes lymphoma. What we have is a concern about Monsanto not being frank about some of the information they have. At this point, the legal questions are not settled and the scientific evidence of harm remains unproven.
I think what is important is to reassure people that domestic exposure to Roundup is not likely to be a direct cause of lymphoma. However, this is something that will continue to be researched. I would say however that in the case of cigarettes, the effect was very clear from early on, but with Roundup there have been a lot of studies and we don’t have that same clarity. I think that tells us that if there is any effect, it must be very small.
The simple rules remain – don’t smoke, eat smart, stay slim, exercise regularly, know your family history and have your screening tests and you will reduce your incidence of cancer to a very significant degree.”