USA agency backs glyphosate

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published its official classification of glyphosate as "Not Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans."

This determination is the published conclusion of EPA’s Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC).

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said in March 2015 that glyphosate was a "probable carcinogen. But the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found in November 2015 that glyphosate is "unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans". 

Glyphosate is up for re-registration in the EU and the EC has recommended a seven-year extension, but not for retail or amenity sales.

Monsanto, which markets glyphosate-based Roundup, chairman and chief executive officer Hugh Grant said: "No pesticide regulator in the world considers glyphosate to be a carcinogen, and this conclusion by the U.S. EPA once again reinforces this important fact. Glyphosate has a 40-year history of safe and effective use. Unfortunately, last year’s inconsistent classification by IARC generated unwarranted concern and confusion about this important agricultural tool. This rigorous assessment of the data by EPA builds on the sound conclusions of both the European and Canadian regulatory authorities and once again makes it clear that glyphosate does not cause cancer."

EPA said it "includes all of the studies (epidemiology and animals) reviewed by IARC as well as a subset of animal studies reported in a review article by Greim et al. (2015) but not reviewed by IARC".

EPA added: "The inclusion of the positive findings from studies with known limitations, the lack of reproducible positive findings and the omission of the negative findings from reliable studies may have had a significant bearing on IARC’s conclusion on the genotoxic potential of glyphosate."

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