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Scientists Call For New Review Of Chemicals Found In Roundup

Mike Mozart, flickr Creative Commons

A group of scientists and environmentalists are calling for an independent review of the chemicals found in the popular herbicide Roundup.

Agriculture giant Monsanto first started selling glyphosate, the major chemical in Round Up, in the 1970s--but it remains controversial.

A band of environment and public health advocates say the chemical mixed with other ingredients could contribute to the risk of cancer and is due for modern tests.

Fred vom Saal is one of them. He is a professor emeritus of biological sciences at the University of Missouri.

"This is just from my perspective irresponsible on the part of the government that this is the most heavily used herbicide in the world and we’re relying on 40 year old data,” Saal says.

A recent review by the European Union’s food safety authority found that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans. In a statement, Monsanto said “no regulatory agency in the world considers glyphosate to be a carcinogen.”

Kristofor Husted is a senior reporter at KBIA in Columbia, Mo. Previously Husted reported for NPR’s Science Desk in Washington and Harvest Public Media. Husted was a 2013 fellow with the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources and a 2015 fellow for the Institute for Journalism and Justice. He’s won regional and national Edward R. Murrow, PRNDI and Sigma Delta Chi awards. Husted also is an instructor at the Missouri School of Journalism. He received a B.S. in cell biology from UC Davis and an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University.