There has been a long history of ridiculous fearmongering by environmental activists masquerading as health experts. BPA, MSG, Alar, DDT, and food coloring are just a handful of chemicals that fell prey to overblown fears or outright fabrications. Today, the whipping boy that takes the brunt of the unfounded chemophobic assault on science is the herbicide glyphosate.
Glyphosate is demonized primarily for one reason: Monsanto. To many of its irrational detractors, who refer to the company as "Monsatan," anything the company touches is, by definition, evil. The seed giant genetically engineered some of its crops to be resistant to glyphosate so that farmers could spray it on their fields; the crops would survive while the weeds were destroyed. It's not a perfect solution. For instance, glyphosate resistance among weeds is becoming a larger problem.
While the threat of glyphosate-resistant weeds is a nuisance for farmers, it won't really scare anybody. So, in an effort to attack both Monsanto and GMO crops in general, anti-science food activists accused glyphosate of causing cancer. This is utter nonsense, but thankfully, regulators appear to be siding with the evidence.
There is neither biomedical nor epidemiological evidence to support the claim. That is why, in May of this year, the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization (both agencies of the United Nations) stated that glyphosate is "unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans." Then, just two weeks ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made a similar declaration. As reported by our own Dr. Julianna LeMieux, the EPA gave glyphosate its safest possible classification.
Now, another victory for evidence-based science has been won, this time in Switzerland. According to Swissinfo, a news site based in Switzerland:
The House of Representatives has rejected a petition from various organisations such as Greenpeace and the Consumers’ Association for French-speaking Switzerland, which have been calling for a ban on the use of all synthetic chemical pesticides, such as the weed-killer ingredient glyphosate.
A majority of parliamentarians said on Friday there was insufficient scientific evidence to justify a ban on the general use of glyphosate, especially for farming.
Europe is notoriously averse to modern food technology. So when Europeans, who have gone so far as to enshrine the "precautionary principle" into EU law, are rejecting Greenpeace's fearmongering, it indicates that the jig is up. The political tide, boosted by evidence, is starting to turn in favor of glyphosate.
Of course, this will change few opinions among the true believers. Monsanto haters and GMOphobes are implacable. We can already hear their objections. "If glyphosate is so safe, why don't you drink a glass of it?" That's absurd. Organic farmers use manure to fertilize crops. Perhaps they should drink a glass of that.