Dicamba, leukemias and cancers. Scientific study


Chemical Born Killer. Playing the leading role, on the scene of ecocides and murders in agriculture, is dicamba, The designated heir apparent to glyphosate is confirmed to cause leukemia and cancer, even 20 years after exposure to its risks. The scientific study by the National Institute of Health (USA), in theInternational Journal of Epidemiology. (1)

The invisible poison

Dicamba has been commonly used as an herbicide over the decades in agriculture as well as in parks and gardens. The recent approval of GMO cotton and soybeans resistant to it, including in the European Union, has led to a significant increase in its use.

Researchers at the National Institute of Health (US) have now updated the largest cohort study ever conducted on the correlation between dicamba exposure and the occurrence of malignancies. The Agriculture Health Study, thus integrated, involves 49,922 pesticide users-among them, 26,412 dicamba users (52.9 percent)-in Iowa and North Carolina.

Dicamba and neoplasms

Participants were followed in two phases, enrollment (1993-1997) and follow-up (1999-2005). Exposure was estimated in cumulative intensity-weighted working life days. Previous analysis had suggested associations between dicamba, colon and lung cancer. Following consideration of another 12 years and 2,702 cancer cases, however, new evidence has emerged.

‘In this evaluation of liver and intrahepatic bile duct cancer, their correlation with the increasing use of dicamba was found. With effects that have lingered even 20 years later’. (1)

The updated scientific study points out that exposure to dicamba may increase the risk of a range of malignancies. Tumors of the liver and intrahepatic bile duct, but also acute and chronic lymphocytic leukemia and mantle cell lymphoma.

Chemical curse

Dicamba, as we anticipated back in 2016, is a highly toxic and volatile octotogenarian agrotoxic. Neither has DDT, which has in fact been more successful (and still resides in 15 percent of Italian surface waters, according to ISPRA reports).

Monsanto (now Bayer) and BASF have brought it to prominence in recent years specifically as a Chemical Born Killer. The ultimate solution to eliminate pests that have developed resistance to glyphosate over time. Most importantly, an opportunity to strengthen the Big 4 ‘s monopoly on global agriculture.

The venomous 4–Bayer, Basf, Corteva (formerly DuPont and Dow Chemicals) and Syngenta, which already hold more than 60 percent of the global pesticide and seed market–have thus developed dicamba-resistant GMO varieties of soybeans and cotton. A chemical curse as much for those who buy them and spray their fields with the deadly agrotoxin as for their neighbors who suffer the destruction of their crops. (2)

The only choice seemingly available to farmers who fear chemical siege of their fields is to adapt their crops to the dicamba model. As happened in the US between 2017 and the first half of 2020. Instead, the only sensible choice is to fight this model and those who advocate it.

Sure disaster, uncertain future

It is worth mentioning the recent ban on dicamba use in the U.S., by order of the San Francisco Court of Appeals. The U.S. judiciary annulled the permit granted by EPA(Environment Protection Agency) in 2018 because its poor rationale underestimated the risks to other crops.

The first dicamba-related conviction, also in the U.S., 265 million fines to Bayer and Basf, in turn considered damage to off-target plant species only. In that case, 30 thousand peach trees killed by the drift effect of the agrotoxin.

It is amazing how authorities, in the US and Europe, continue to overlook or underestimate-perhaps under the guise of ‘lack of evidence’-the public health hazard of agrotoxics. Institutions and the omertous press, from one side of the Atlantic to the other, respond only to the orders of the strong powers. And the Agriculture Health Study-a study that comes from a public body and is published by the University of Oxford-does not even receive press agency. Shame!

For more details, see the ebookPlanet,’ third volume of the ‘Covid-19, abc‘ trilogy.

Dario Dongo


(1) Catherine C Lerro, Jonathan N Hofmann, Gabriella Andreotti, Stella Koutros, Christine G Parks, Aaron Blair, Paul S Albert, Jay H Lubin, Dale P Sandler, Laura E Beane Freeman. (2020). Dicamba use and cancer incidence in the agricultural health study: an updated analysis. International Journal of Epidemiology. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyaa066
(2) Center for Biological Diversity. National Institutes of Health Study Links Dicamba, Increased Cancer Risks. 4.5.20, https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/national-institutes-health-study-links-dicamba-increased-cancer-risks-2020-05-04/

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.