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Last month, a US court awarded a man $ USD289 million after determining that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, contributed to his cancer.
The case did not surprise Australian farmers, Ron and Tralee Snape, who have used the glyphosate herbicide on their 350-acre farm for decades.
"I just trashed my mind and went straight back to the chemicals we were using," says Ron Snape.
In 2010, Tralee was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and the family oncologist initially told the couple that Tralee had farmer cancer.
You have farmer lymphoma.
"He asked:" What are you doing? "And we said & # 39; Farmers & # 39; and these are the words he does not forget: he said:" Too many farmers are being represented in this particular type of cancer to make it a coincidence. "You have farmer's lymphoma."
Dr. Michael Antoniou, a molecular toxicologist at King & # 39; s College in London, has spent years researching glyphosate. He says that the chemical's industrial use is harmful.
"It is very, very clear, even from industry studies, that glyphosate causes cancer in the doses in which it was tested and this came out very clearly in the evidence presented in the San Francisco court case," says Dr. Michael Antoniou.
"The results of our research show that cancer is not the only negative health result that can arise from exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide, but there are other life-threatening or equally serious metabolic diseases."
In 2015, the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic".
The manufacturer of Roundup, Monsanto, has always maintained that its product is safe to use and has rejected the decision of the US court.
"The jury's decision does not change the fact that more than 800 studies and scientific reviews … have discovered that glyphosate does not cause cancer and did not cause Mr. Johnson's cancer," said a Monsanto spokeswoman.
Despite the historic court case and calls for the product to be banned, The Australian Authority for Pesticides and Veterinary Drugs (APVMA) argues that Roundup is safe.
"Glyphosate is registered for use in Australia and APVMA-approved products containing glyphosate can continue to be used safely according to the instructions on the label," says Executive Director, Dr. Chris Parker.
The National Farmers & Federation (NFF) has backed APVMA and Monsanto.
"Well, we have to have faith in Australia […] all regulators around the world have analyzed this substance in the last 40 years and discovered that, in particular, if it is used the way we use it, it is safe, "says Fiona Simson, president of the NFF.
After years of fighting cancer, Tralee Snape is in remission and is warning other farmers to join their fight.
"It horrifies me that a company can be so irresponsible and really commercialize a product that will cause so much dissension in our family and around the world when the World Health Organization warns that this is more than likely carcinogenic. company can put the money above the moral, "says Ron Snape.
"There is such a cloud over this chemical and I feel a little sad for the farmers who now have their heads in the sand, take it out, boys, we have a responsibility."