Glyphosate is an active component of Roundup and called a contributor to growing cancer rates by the World Health Organization. (File photo)

Glyphosate is an active component of Roundup and called a contributor to growing cancer rates by the World Health Organization. (File photo)

LETTER: ‘Protect first, permit later’

To the editor:

In 2002, there was accumulating evidence certain pesticides had a possible association with cancer.

The herbicides in this case with a possible association with cancer were glyphosate and 24D which are often used together. Glyphosate is the active component of Roundup and the most widely used herbicide in the world.

In March 2015, the World Health Organization declared glyphosate a probable carcinogen, and in June 2015 declared 24D a possible carcinogen.

The malignancy most commonly seen in these studies was Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL). The association was strongest in agricultural and lawn care maintenance workers.

Studies even indicated a possible association of NHL in children of families that used the services of lawn care maintenance companies.

In the spring of 2016, Monsanto was sold to the multinational pharmaceutical company Bayer for $66 billion, a company that owns the brand name Aspirin, a patent which will never end.

This year, Bayer is probably going to settle class action lawsuits in California that are based on Roundup’s probable carcinogenicity, for $10 billion. There are apparently many more class action lawsuits coming down the pipe both in the United States and Canada.

I am writing this mostly to make people aware of these lawsuits, so if they have family members they think may have been affected by the use of Roundup, they can pursue this legally.

(You can google “Canadian law firms involved in Roundup class action lawsuits.”)

Another reason for putting pen to paper is that I was part of a small group who took our concerns about spraying herbicides on school grounds and public spaces to the local authorities back in 2002 and we were not taken seriously.

It took several years for the spraying of herbicides on school grounds in Armstrong to stop. To those in positions of influence that set policies or approve new pesticides, I can just say that I hope you constantly hold to the precautionary principle — Protect first, permit later.

Philip Rutherford, MD

Armstrong