One of the most commonly used herbicides by farmers all over the country probably has the potential to cause cancer in humans, the World Health Organization agency has said.

Latest research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and published recently in a UK medical journal, classified glyphosate as potentially cancer-causing.

Monsanto has called for the claims to be withdrawn.

The researchers cited studies of occupational exposure to glyphosate in the US, Canada and Sweden, said there was evidence “increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma” along with a positive trend for some ailments in mice in separate studies.

Despite the only finding “limited evidence” that glyphosate was a carcinogen for humans, they were confident enough to classify it as probably carcinogenic to them.

The widely used agricultural chemical which Monsanto sells under the Roundup brand, is popular among farmers and gardeners alike.

For its part, Monsanto rejected completely the findings of the research.

“We are outraged with this assessment,” said Dr. Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s Chief Technology Officer.

“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,” he said.

“Safety is the top priority for every person who works at Monsanto. Glyphosate-based herbicides on the market meet the rigorous standards set by the regulatory and health authorities who work every day to protect human health, and we want our customers and consumers to be assured of these evaluations,” Fraley added.

Meanwhile, one defender of Roundup, Dr Patrick Moore, who claimed in an interview that the Monsanto herbicide is safe to drink, refused to drink it when invited to do so.