World Health Organization Identifies One of the Most Common Herbicides as ‘Possibly Carcinogenic’

The World Health Organization’s cancer research unit has a new ranking for the 2,4-D herbicide: possibly carcinogenic

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This herbicide is one of the most common weed-killers out there.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has just released a statement labeling the common 2,4-D herbicide (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid), one of the most common weed-killers used by farmers, as “possibly carcinogenic,” based on limited evidence in experimental animals, according to Reuters. 2,4-D is best known as the primary ingredient utilized in Agent Orange, the chemical weapon used during the Vietnam War. Today, 66 percent of 2,4-D used nationwide is utilized for agricultural purposes, on crops that include the genetically modified organisms grown by Dow AgroSciences.

Earlier this year, WHO announced that glyphosate — the primary ingredient used in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup — was classified as a “probable carcinogen.” The only reason that the language used to describe 2,4-D is weaker is because the scientists found “inadequate evidence in humans and limited evidence in experimental animals,” although the herbicide has been loosely linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in several academic studies.


In the conclusion of the report, the research team also stated that “there is strong evidence that 2,4-D induces oxidative stress... and moderate evidence that 2,4-D causes immunosuppression.”