Glyphosate is approved for use in more than 160 countries. Over 100 studies were assessed by the US EPA regarding the carcinogenicity of glyphosate. In the interim registration review from January 2020, EPA concluded that it “did not identify any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.” The EPA thoroughly assessed risks to humans from exposure to glyphosate from all registered uses and all routes of exposure and did not identify any risks of concern.” EPA also reiterated its conclusion that “glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans”, its most favourable rating.
Furthermore, also EFSA and other regulatory authorities (e.g. Canada, Japan, Australia, Korea, etc.) routinely review all approved pesticide products and have consistently reaffirmed that glyphosate-based products can be used safely in accordance with their current labels and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
Among the four WHO agencies that have evaluated the safety of glyphosate, IARC is the only WHO entity to find an association between glyphosate and carcinogenicity. In fact, the WHO’s International Programme on Chemical Safety and Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) found that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, while its Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality found that glyphosate does not present a hazard to human health. IARC classified glyphosate as “probable carcinogenic” and included in the same category everyday products like red meat and hot beverages. Only one of the many substances assessed by IARC was classified as non-carcinogenic (so in the so-called Group 4).
More than five years after reaching its opinion, IARC remains an outlier, as leading pesticide regulators around the world continue to conclude that glyphosate is not carcinogenic and that glyphosate-based herbicides are safe when used as directed.
Based on research and monitoring data, glyphosate does not pose a risk to human health through surface water or drinking water and there is no evidence of any persistent groundwater contamination by glyphosate.
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- EFSA Statement [Retrieved February 12, 2019]
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