‘The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reaffirmed their belief that glyphosate is not a carcinogen, despite initially concluding the chemical was probably carcinogenic.
On Thursday, the EPA concluded a regulatory review of glyphosate and found that the most widely used herbicide in the United States is not a carcinogen. While the latest review reaffirms the EPA’s previous stance on glyphosate, this conclusion marks the first time the EPA has expressed support for glyphosate after several lawsuits resulted in juries ruling that the chemical was in fact responsible for cancer.
“EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used according to the label and that it is not a carcinogen,” the agency said in a statement. A Bayer spokesman told Reuters, “Glyphosate-based herbicides are one of the most thoroughly studied products of their kind, which is a major reason why farmers around the world continue to rely on these products.”
Bayer bought Monsanto and their glyphosate-based product Roundup for $63 billion in 2018 and the company has publicly maintained that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
The EPA’s ruling that glyphosate is not carcinogenic contrasts with a 2015 study by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which found that glyphosate may contribute to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Aaron Blair, a scientist emeritus at the National Cancer Institute and lead author of the study, told Reuters at the time, “There was sufficient evidence in animals, limited evidence in humans and strong supporting evidence showing DNA mutations and damaged chromosomes.”
The IARC report was published in Lancet Oncologydetailing evaluations of organophosphate pesticides and herbicides. The report concluded that there was “limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.” The evidence for this conclusion was pulled from studies of exposure to the chemical in the U.S., Canada, and Sweden published since 2001.’