Last week the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report reaffirming existing evidence that glyphosate, the world’s most popular herbicide, is not a cancer risk to humans.
This comes after a two Californian juries ruled in favour of men who claimed to have developed cancer after years of using RoundUp, a popular glyphosate-based herbicide.
For some time the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has been questioning the basis for those court rulings, given there are more than 600 studies that say glyphosate is safe to use.
“Glyphosate is used broadly because science has established that it is safe to use,” NFF President Fiona Simson said.
According to the EPA, their findings on glyphosate’s human health risk are consistent with the reviews by several other countries and federal agencies.
“There is no evidence that glyphosate causes cancer,” EPA assistant administrator for chemical safety and pollution prevention Alexandra Dunn said.
“There’s no risk to public health from the application of glyphosate.”
The product’s safety has been supported by Canada, New Zealand and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority – which have all concluded that the herbicide does not cause cancer.
“Through the use of glyphosate, farmers are able to practice minimum tillage – protecting soil structure and nutrients.
“Farmers, like all citizens, care about the safety and health of their families and farm workers and of their impact of their practices on the land they manage.”
Amongst concerns about traces of glyphosate being found in food, Ms Dunn said that the EPA found no risks or concerns at the maximum allowed residue levels on cereals.
“The EPA found no risk to pregnant women and children. We also found no risk to children playing on residential lawn treated with glyphosate.”
For further details about the safety credentials of glyphosate, visit our awareness campaign page.