WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers are threatening to cut off U.S. funding for the World Health Organization’s cancer research program over its 2016 finding that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, is probably carcinogenic to humans.
Manufactured by GMO multinational Monsanto, Roundup is the most widely used weed killer on the planet. Sprayed on corn, soybeans, cotton and other crops since the 1970s, it is also widely used on lawns and golf courses. As such, Monsanto has a clear financial interest in the World Health Organization’s cancer research program reversing its scientific finding from 2016 that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic.
Nevertheless, despite the blatant attempt by U.S. lawmakers to defend Monsanto and ignore the health interests of American citizens, there seems little doubt that, at the international level, the company will eventually be held to account for its actions. In a sign of what may be to come, following a two-day hearing held in the Netherlands in 2016, five international judges publicly accused Monsanto of engaging in “practices which have negatively impacted the right to a healthy environment, the right to food, and the right to health.” In their advisory opinion, they stated that were the crime of ‘Ecocide’ to be recognized in international law, the facts reported to them could fall within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Calling for the primacy of international human and environmental rights law to be asserted, the judges wrote that “the time is ripe to consider multinational enterprises as subjects of law that could be sued in the case of infringement of fundamental rights.” To learn more about this important international hearing, read this article.