This herbicide has become the foundation for an entirely novel approach to farming - biotech agriculture - that has expanded rapidly throughout the globe.
Roundup is now heavily sprayed in what is known as the "Soy Republic," an area of Latin America larger than the state of California. This region has undergone a profound transformation since genetically modified (GM) crops were first introduced in 1996. Some 125 million acres in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay are now devoted to GM soy production.
The linkage to lymphoma is the most recent research raising concerns about glyphosate's connection to cancer. Scientists from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services, specialize in illnesses caused by toxic substances. They published the results of the US Atlantic Coast Childhood Brain Cancer Study in 2009. Children with brain cancer from Florida, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania were compared to age matched controls. The researchers found that if either parent had been exposed to Roundup during the two years before the child's birth, the chances of the child developing brain cancer doubled.
Does the evidence linking Roundup to cancer prove causality? In the 1964 landmark Surgeon General's Report, which for the very first time linked tobacco to cancer, Surgeon General Dr. Luther Terry presented criteria for the establishment of a cause and effect relationship in a scientific study.