U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is Latest Regulatory Agency to Reaffirm that Glyphosate is Not Carcinogenic
EPA assessment ‘more robust’ and ‘more transparent’ than IARC, agency says
Whippany, N.J., April 30, 2019 – Bayer today issued the following statement regarding an interim registration review decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reapprove glyphosate for use in the U.S. The decision was accompanied by public comments by EPA Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Alexandra Dunn, who stated, “There’s no risk to public health from the application of glyphosate.”
“Though we are still reviewing the full interim decision, it is significant that the U.S. EPA and other expert regulators who have assessed the extensive body of science on glyphosate-based herbicides for more than 40 years continue to conclude that these products are safe when used as directed and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic. Bayer firmly believes that the science supports the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides, which are some of the most thoroughly-studied products of their kind, and is pleased that the regulators tasked with assessing this extensive body of science continue to reach favorable conclusions.”
As part of the announcement, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler stated, “EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate.”
Additionally, EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Alexandra Dunn, in an interview with the Des Moines Register, stated, “Our available scientific data does not support a cause-and-effect relationship between exposure to glyphosate and Parkinson’s disease or Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” Ms. Dunn also noted that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was “the only agency globally that has connected glyphosate to cancer.” In the EPA’s interim decision, the Agency also noted that its independent cancer assessment is “more robust” and “more transparent” than IARC’s review, which only considered a subset of published studies included in the EPA evaluation and was reached with no meetings that were open to the public, public comment process or external peer review.
Glyphosate has been approved for use in more than 160 countries, and today’s EPA announcement is just the latest instance of a global regulatory agency reaffirming that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, following similar findings by multiple leading regulators around the world. Since IARC’s assessment in 2015, regulatory and scientific bodies that have reaffirmed their conclusions about the safety of glyphosate-based products and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic include the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), German BfR, and Australian, Canadian, Korean, New Zealand and Japanese regulatory authorities, as well as the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR).
In January 2019, Health Canada concluded that “After a thorough scientific review,” concerns about glyphosate safety “could not be scientifically supported when considering the entire body of relevant data.” Health Canada also noted that the 20 scientists who conducted the review, who had not been involved in its 2017 re-evaluation of glyphosate, “left no stone unturned” and “had access to all relevant data and information from federal and provincial governments, international regulatory agencies, published scientific reports and multiple pesticide manufacturers.” Health Canada lists 1,300 studies in its reference list relating to its 2017 re-evaluation of glyphosate, which supported its determination that glyphosate-based herbicides can be used safely. Similarly, EPA’s 2017 cancer risk assessment considered 121 studies that it considered relevant – 90 percent of which were sponsored by parties other than Monsanto. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) noted in 2017 that its 2015 assessment lists 700 scientific references alone in the area of mammalian toxicology.
In a press release about the EPA’s announcement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today said, “If we are going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, we are going to need all the tools at our disposal, which includes the use the glyphosate,” adding “USDA applauds EPA’s proposed registration decision as it is science-based and consistent with the findings of other regulatory authorities that glyphosate does not pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.”
To access the EPA’s Proposed Interim Registration Review Decision and Responses to Public Comments for Glyphosate, visit https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/proposed-interim-registration-review-decision-and-responses
For more information on Roundup, visit https://www.bayer.com/en/glyphosate-roundup.aspx