US agency reports backs glyphosate

Glyphosate is being backed by more and more agencies and parliaments, making a 2014 report suggesting the weedkiller is carcinogenic "an outlier", according to manufacturer Monsanto.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a report, concluding that glyphosate is not likely to cause cancer in humans. Outside scientists will review the report in October.

Monsanto business director Gary Philpotts said the conclusion was "not surprising", though he added that the conclusion was "helpful" in that it showed an International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report from 2015, which said the chemical was probably carcinogenic was an "outlier".

He said decisions such as at the recent Swiss parliament backing of glyphosate, were "at odds with IARC" .

He added: "The IARC classification of 'probably carcinogenic to humans' is continually referred to by activists opposed to glyphosate renewal in EU, but the IARC report is an outlier and sits alone against the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence reviewed by regulatory bodies around the globe including the US, New Zealand, Australia and most recently Switzerland. Even the joint committee of the UN and WHO have publicly stated 'unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans'.

"It’s worth noting that even here in Europe the German risk assessment body BfR and EFSA recommended that the glyphosate license should be renewed based on an extremely thorough review of all available data. The license renewal was derailed when the member states representatives ignored the advice of EFSA and BfR."

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, which won an award at the Glee trade show last week.

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