The Herbicide Glyphosate and Its Apparently Controversial Effect on Human Health: An Updated Clinical Perspective

Author(s): Carlo Caiati*, Paolo Pollice, Stefano Favale, Mario Erminio Lepera

Journal Name: Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets
(Formerly Current Drug Targets - Immune, Endocrine & Metabolic Disorders)

Volume 20 , Issue 4 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Glyphosate (G) is the most common weed-killer in the world. Every year tons and tons of G are applied on crop fields. G was first introduced in the mid 1970s and since then its usage has gradually increased to reach a peak since 2005. Now G usage is approximately 100 -fold what it was in 1970. Its impact on human health was considered benign at the beginning. But over the years, evidence of a pervasive negative effect of this pesticide on humans has been mounting. Nonetheless, G usage is allowed by government health control agencies (both in the United States and Europe), that rely upon the evidence produced by the G producer. However, the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) in 2015 has stated that G is probable carcinogenic (class 2A), the second highest class in terms of risk.

Objective: In this review, we explore the effect of G on human health, focusing in particular on more recent knowledge.

Results: We have attempted to untangle the controversy about the dangers of the product for human beings in view of a very recent development, when the so -called Monsanto Papers, consisting of Emails and memos from Monsanto came to light, revealing a coordinated strategy to manipulate the debate about the safety of glyphosate to the company’s advantage.

Conclusion: The story of G is a recurrent one (see the tobacco story), that seriously jeopardizes the credibility of the scientific study in the modern era.

Keywords: Glyphosate, herbicide, genotoxic damage, oxidative stress, chemical toxicity, endocrine disruptor.

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Year: 2020
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