epa-efeMexico City

Glyphosate, a herbicide that some scientists say is linked to cancer in humans, is not considered highly dangerous in Mexico, a representative of Greenpeace said Wednesday.

Within the "European Union there is already discussion of withdrawing glyphosate from the market in five or 15 years," Maria Colin of Greenpeace Mexico told EFE.

In Mexico, she said, the National Commission for Human Rights made a recommendation based on a complaint filed by 40 people and Greenpeace.

However, the recommendation focuses only on the reduction and progressive elimination of glyphosate, which is marketed worldwide under the brand name Roundup, but it does not say anything about the dangers of the chemical.

Roundup was developed by US agrichemical giant Monsanto, which is now part of Germany's Bayer.

Recently, a group of scientists published Mutation Research magazine "a compilation of many studies that relate the exposure to glyphosate ... to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer in humans," Colin said.

According to the study, which included 54,000 pesticide users, the substance increases the risk of suffering from Non-Hodgkin lymphoma by as much as 41 percent.

This is not the first study linking glyphosate to cancer in humans.

In fact, Colin said, in 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) named glyphosate "as a possible carcinogen for humans, based on evidence with animals."

And besides being carcinogenic, it is also considered an endocrine disruptor and a chemical that affects the development of children, she said.

Colin also explained that agricultural workers and their families are among the groups that have the most exposure to glyphosate because it is used in farming practices and, therefore, they are more likely to develop cancer.

However, she emphasized the dangers of the substance to the general population as well "since food is a source of exposure to these pesticides and therefore we are consuming glyphosate."

But the agrotoxin, which was developed during the 1970s and soon became popular for use in eliminating weeds, is not only present in crops, it is also used in parks and public spaces, Colin said.

In 2017, nine of the 28 European Union member-states unsuccessfully opposed granting a five-year extension to the permit allowing the use of glyphosate inside the bloc.