Glyphosate probably causes cancer. That was the judgment of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015. This year, a University of Washington research team headed by Dr. Lianne Sheppard came up with a more definitive conclusion: exposure to the most widely used herbicide on earth, and the primary ingredient in Roundup, increases the risk of some cancers by more than 40 percent.
“Our analysis focused on providing the best possible answer to the question of whether or not glyphosate is carcinogenic,” said Sheppard, who is a professor in the departments of Environmental & Occupational Health Services and Biostatistics. “As a result of this research, I am even more convinced that it is.”
Case closed? Not according to the manufacturer of Roundup, Bayer (formerly Monsanto). But the company is running scared.
Even Germany wants to ban Roundup
Nineteen countries and a number of U.S. cities, counties — including Kitsap — and one state, California, have issued bans, restrictions or warnings on glyphosate. Even Germany plans to ban the chemical by 2023 despite the protests of Bayer, the country’s drug and chemical giant. Last month Bayer offered to pay $8 billion to settle more than 18,000 U.S. lawsuits alleging Roundup causes cancer, with the stipulation there will be no further lawsuits. It’s doubtful a deal will be reached anytime soon. The amount offered is only a tiny percent of the profit the company earns every year on the sale of the product.
The link between Roundup and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is much stronger than previously reported, according to Sheppard’s meta-analysis, a statistical method that included 65,000 people. Her research will surely be used by the plaintiffs.
You’ll get a chance to ask Sheppard about her research and results this month when she presents a Tuesday Talk at the Greater Hansville Community Center. We are honored to have someone of her stature coming to Hansville. I know she has great respect for the work of the Kitsap Environmental Coalition, which began in our community.
Tuesday Talk — “The News About Glyphosate,” by Dr. Lianne Sheppard
Oct. 8 at 6:30 p.m., in the Greater Hansville Community Center.
Stay sharp, read more
If you need an excuse to read more, here’s one: it keeps your brain in top shape, improving memory and your ability to concentrate and learn, reports psychologist Alan Castel, in his new book “Better With Age: The Psychology of Better Aging” (2018, Oxford University Press). Like me, you probably read because you find it relaxing and entertaining, too. All good reasons to stock up on a load of books for winter when you’re stuck inside.
You’re in luck, because GHCC’s Big Fall Book Sale is almost here. Alix Kosins and Howie O’Brien, who organize the twice-yearly book sale, say this one will offer a bonanza — 4,000 books will be available at bargain prices. Thirty-two boxes were donated from a private collection heavy on history, travel, gardening and science titles. As usual, there will be tables and tables of books from all your favorite fiction and nonfiction authors.
“We’ll also have a great selection of wall art, DVDs, vinyl and CDs,” said Alix. “But we can still use more books, so please donate.”
GHCC’s Big Fall Book Sale
Final drop-off, Saturday Oct. 12, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sale dates: Friday, Oct. 25, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 and 27, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the GHCC.
Annette Wright was an editor and writer for women’s magazines in NYC for 25 years (firstname.lastname@example.org).