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EPA regulatory review finds no human health risks to glyphosate

That’s the case if the chemical is applied according to label directions, say EPA officials.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  has concluded its regulatory review of glyphosate — the most widely used herbicide in the United States. After a review of what EPA officials term as best available science, as required under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, it 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, said EPA officials in an EPA news release.


EPA uses such interim decisions to finalize enforceable mitigation measures while conducting other longer-term assessments, such as an endangered species assessment, said EPA officials in an EPA news release. EPA will next complete a draft biological evaluation for glyphosate, which is anticipated for public comment in fall 2020.


These findings on human health risk are consistent with the conclusions of science reviews by many other countries and other federal agencies, including USDA , the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicines Authority, the European Food Safety Authority, and the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, according to EPA officials in an EPA news release. The agency is requiring additional mitigation measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays to the intended pest and reduce the problem of increasing glyphosate resistance in weeds, said EPA officials in a news release.


The news comes as Bayer is in settlement talks that caused a Round-cancer trial to be postponed that was to start in the 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis last Friday.


Last October, Bayer officials said they were open to a settlement in these cases if the cost falls below the cost of going through a lengthy legal battle. 


“EPA’s latest decision on glyphosate-based herbicides adds to the overwhelming consensus among leading expert health regulators worldwide for more than 40 years that these products can be used safely, and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic,” said Liam Condon, president of Bayer Crop Science, in a Bayer press release. “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 not only for effective weed control, but also to minimize tillage farming practices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve more land for native habitats, and provide enough food to meet the needs of a growing population worldwide. EPA’s science-based, in-depth assessment by its expert team reflects a gold standard for scientific rigor that is respected by regulators and scientists across the globe.”
 
The EPA’s favorable conclusion about the safety of glyphosate in its Interim Registration Review Decision, based on the agency’s expert review over a 10-year period, reaffirms that the extensive body of science continues to support the safety of herbicides containing glyphosate and that this active ingredient is not carcinogenic, said Bayer officials in a Bayer press release. 


 

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