Shares of Monsanto Co. (MON) were lower over 2% Monday after the World Health Organization said the company’s widely-marketed glyphosate herbicide is likely carcinogenic. Monday afternoon, the company responded by saying it disagrees with WHO’s assessment and argued that it is inconsistent with decades of ongoing comprehensive safety reviews.
“We are outraged with this assessment,” chief technology officer Robb Fraley said in a statement. “This conclusion is inconsistent with the decades of ongoing comprehensive safety reviews by the leading regulatory authorities around the world that have concluded that all labeled uses of glyphosate are safe for human health. This result was reached by selective ‘cherry picking’ of data and is a clear example of agenda-driven bias.”
The company pointed out that WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer issued its classification based on a “limited data review after hours of discussion at a one-week meeting” and references no new data or studies.
In an official report, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified the weed killer as probably carcinogenic, even though there was “limited evidence” of the herbicide’s carcinogenicity.
Glyphosate, which is sold under the Roundup brand, is the most-used herbicide in the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported citing the Environmental Protection Agency. MON is trading in the lower half of the 52-week range between $105.76 and $128.79, on heavy volume of 6 million shares. Average daily volume is 2.8 million shares.