Herbicide Sprayed on Skeena Forests Might Be More Dangerous Than Previously Thought

New study suggests higher cancer risk.

Photo credit: @erive via Twenty20

Dozens of industry-funded research studies about Monsanto weed-killer glyphosate relied on poor science that may have downplayed the health risks to humans. 

That’s the conclusion of a new analysis from the Institute of Cancer Research at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, in which researchers examined over 50 corporate-backed scientific studies, many of them previously secret.

This could have health implications for the Skeena. Glyphosate, the most widely-used herbicide in the B.C. forest industry – is sprayed in forest cutblocks in northern and central parts of the province. The herbicide has also been sprayed along railway tracks in the Skeena. Researchers with the University of Northern BC recently determined that glyphosate can persist in the environment for up to a dozen years, potentially making it unsafe to eat wild berries, as Skeena Strong has previously reported.

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Photo credit: @ashley.broomall via Twenty20

The new analysis suggests that across the world most of the “safety studies submitted to regulators by large chemical companies” in recent years “do not comply with modern international standards for scientific rigor, and lack the types of tests most able to detect cancer risks,” according to the Guardian.

“The quality of these studies, not of all, but of many of these [corporate] studies is very poor. The health authorities … accepted some of these very poor studies as informative and acceptable, which is not justified from a scientific point of view,” lead author Siegfried Knasmueller told the media outlet.

As a result of emergent health concerns, a number of countries and regions are planning to ban the use of glyphosate, including Germany, France, Mexico and New York City.

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Written by Skeena Strong

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