GM Free Cymru

Crucial paper 61: Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases IV: cancer and related pathologies

Date Added to website 7th November 2015


CRUCIAL PAPER 61: Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases IV: cancer and related pathologies
Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff.
Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry 15 (2015), 121–159.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the pervasive herbicide, Roundup, and its usage, particularly in the United States, has increased dramatically in the last two decades, in step with the widespread adoption of Roundup®-Ready core crops. The World Health Organization recently labelled glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic.” In this paper, we review the research literature, with the goal of evaluating the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate. Glyphosate has a large number of tumorigenic effects on biological systems, including direct damage to DNA in sensitive cells, disruption of glycine homeostasis, succinate dehydrogenase inhibition, chelation of manganese, modification to more carcinogenic molecules such as N-nitrosoglyphosate and glyoxylate, disruption of fructose metabolism, etc. Epidemiological evidence supports strong temporal correlations between glyphosate usage on crops and a multitude of cancers that are reaching epidemic proportions, including breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer and myeloid leukaemia. Here, we support these correlations through an examination of Monsanto’s early studies on glyphosate, and explain how the biological effects of glyphosate could induce each of these cancers. We believe that the available evidence warrants a reconsideration of the risk/benefit trade-off with respect to glyphosate usage to control weeds, and we advocate much stricter regulation of glyphosate.


Note: For the first time the authors, Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, present in tabulated form the data contained in secret Monsanto studies conducted in the period 1980 - 1990 which showed unequivocally that animals exposed to very small quantities of glyphosate in their food supply developed tumorigenic growth in multiple organs. Both Monsanto and the American EPA knew of these and other deleterious effects, but the EPA agreed to refer to these early studies as "trade secrets" and prevented public scrutiny. The results were considered inconvenient, and so they were ignored. To make matters worse, the EPA then agreed to further Monsanto-sponsored studies which used inappropriate control group data to create "experimental noise" and to mask carcinogenic and other effects in the animal test groups. Other fraudulent practices have also been subsequently revealed, including the non-reporting of test group deaths, the fabrication of data tables, and the falsification of experimental data. 

Dr Samsel is the first independent researcher to have been given access to the full Monsanto / EPA dossier of research reports, and the new paper itemises the key research findings in these early papers and presents a number of detailed appendices of the results.

The authors conclude:
"In this paper, we have reviewed the research literature on glyphosate and on the biological processes associated with cancer, and we have provided strong evidence that glyphosate is likely contributing to the increased prevalence of multiple types of cancer in humans. Monsanto’s own early studies revealed some trends in animal models that should not have been ignored. Forty years of glyphosate exposure have provided a living laboratory where humans are the guinea pigs and the outcomes are alarmingly apparent."

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