EPA: Glyphosate, the Herbicide in Roundup, Does Not Cause Cancer

EPA: Glyphosate, the Herbicide in Roundup, Does Not Cause Cancer

[Fonte: U.S. News] EPA reaffirmed that glyphosate does not cause cancer in its review process of the U.S.’s most widely used herbicide.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency on Tuesday reaffirmed its finding that the most widely used herbicide in the country does not cause cancer.

Glyphosate does not pose a public health risk when used as directed, EPA found in its proposed interim registration review, which is the latest step in the agency’s review process for the herbicide.

“The agency’s scientific findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies,” EPA said in a press release.

This finding comes roughly a month after a federal jury awarded a California man $80 million in damages after finding that the popular weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate, played a substantial role in his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bayer, the company that owns Roundup’s producer, Monsanto, is appealing the verdict. Thousands of similar cases are pending at the federal and state level.

The latest step affirms EPA’s findings in its preliminary risk assessments from 2017.

Many public comments on the agency’s preliminary risk assessments focused on the herbicide’s possible cancer risk as well as its potential harm to monarch butterflies and pollinators like bees. EPA responded to the comments in its proposed interim registration review, saying that there are scientific uncertainties behind the decline of monarch and pollinator populations.

The proposed interim registration review found that “the benefits that glyphosate confers to growers outweigh the geographically limited risks to non-target organisms.”

It did identify potential risks to mammals and birds, but said these would be limited to at or near the application area of the pesticide. The agency is proposing spray drift management measures to reduce risk to non-target organisms.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue cheered the finding, saying it is based on science and consistent with the findings of other regulatory authorities.

“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 [of] glyphosate,” Perdue said.

Green groups continue to stand by research that ties glyphosate to cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“Health agencies and credible non-industry experts who’ve reviewed this question have all found a link between glyphosate and cancer,” said Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “EPA should take the advice of its own science advisors—who have rejected the agency’s no-cancer-risk classification.”

Environmental Working Group, an activist group that petitioned EPA to reduce the tolerance level of glyphosate in food like oats, pointed to a toxicological report on glyphosate from an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services that found that “a possible association between exposure to glyphosate and risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma could not be ruled out, based on conflicting results.”

“We think EPA’s finding is not accurate and makes the rest of the risk assessment hard to interpret,” says Alexis Temkin, a toxicologist for the Environmental Working Group.

Registered pesticides must undergo review at least once every 15 years. EPA’s review process for glyphosate is intended to make sure that as changes in science, public policy and pesticide use occurs, “products in the marketplace can continue to be used safely,” according to EPA.

EPA plans to release a decision in late 2019 with enforceable restrictions for the use of glyphosate.

Once the notice is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 60 days to comment on it. 

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