Professor of environmental medicine says: don’t use it
The Danish Working Environment Authority (WEA) has declared glyphosate a carcinogen, according to a report in the Danish news outlet Nyhederne. This means that they will demand that due care is taken when it is used, and they will recommend a change to other less toxic chemicals.
The WEA operates under the auspices of the Danish Ministry of Employment. The WEA’s verdict reinforces the decision of the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency IARC that glyphosate is a “probable” carcinogen.
Philippe Grandjean, professor of environmental medicine at the University of Southern Denmark, commented, “”We know that glyphosate cause cancer in other mammals, but it has not been demonstrated in humans. This is because the effects have not been investigated thoroughly enough in people yet. But when we see that other mammals get cancer from glyphosate, we must assume that people who are exposed to the substance can also develop cancer.”
Glyphosate is used in many Danish gardens to control weeds – but Grandjean encourages people to stop using it.
“Gardeners should dispose of Roundup as hazardous waste. Pesticides have often proved more dangerous than we thought, and I do not think they belong in our homes,” he says.
The major use of Roundup however, takes place in agriculture. Glyphosate is by far the most widely used pesticide in Denmark.
In 2013 1,389 tons of the substance was sprayed on Danish soil. Grain for animal feed is allowed to be sprayed 10 days before the grain is harvested.
“It is so common a substance – and our use of it is so extensive – that this WHO report must be taken seriously,” says Grandjean.