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Fact check: South African political party misleads about glyphosate’s cancer risk

| | March 13, 2017

Calling for a probe into “a possible crime against humanity”, a South African political party wants to halt the use of a weed-killer on major food crops. But do claims by the Inkatha Freedom Party about the widely used chemical glyphosate hold up?

“Why is South Africa poisoning its people?” asked Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the leader of the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), in a statement released late last year [2016].

The IFP wrote that because the World Health Organisation classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” (cancer-causing), “South Africa is feeding its people toxins, thus feeding the cancer pandemic”.

But the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), working with scientists from the WHO, reached a different conclusion.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Sri Lanka's glyphosate-kidney disease scare illustrates why science, not politics, should dictate public health policy

The joint meeting concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a cancer risk to humans when they are exposed to it either through food or farming.

South Africa’s department of health limits the amount of glyphosate to less than 2 mg/kg in maize and 10 mg/kg in soya, roughly half of what the internationally accepted maximum limits are.

In 2012/13, the health department’s forensic chemistry laboratory detected no glyphosate in food samples tested.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Is South Africa ‘feeding its people toxins’, as the IFP alleges?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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