EPA Says Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer, Contradicting IARC
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released on Monday a human health and ecological draft risk assessment for glyphosate, concluding that the widely used—and highly controversial—pesticide is “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans."
According to the EPA's announcement, the assessment “found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used according to the pesticide label." However, the announcement noted, "the ecological risk assessment indicates that there is potential for effects on birds, mammals, and terrestrial and aquatic plants."
Last month, the ingredient won a new five-year lease in the Europe Union, following a bitter fight. Similarly, Monday's draft assessment is a foundational document in the EPA's potential extension of the product's registration for use in 2019, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The EPA's latest findings contradicts the March 2015 conclusion of the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which labeled glyphosate a “probable carcinogen." The France-based panel's ruling sparked debate around the world, prompted hundreds of lawsuits over allegations that glyphosate causes cancer, and resulted in the state of California adding glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing chemicals.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient many herbicides, most notably in Monsanto's star product, Roundup. The product is the world's best-selling weedkiller, applied to more than 150 food and non-food crops and used on lawns, gardens and parks. In fact, researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine found that human exposure to glyphosate has increased approximately 500 percent since 1994, the year Monsanto introduced its genetically modified Roundup Ready crops in the U.S. Today, the chemical can be detected in household foods such as cookies, crackers, ice cream and even our urine.
Monsanto strongly disagrees with IARC's classification and vehemently defends the safety of its products. The St. Louis-based company has sued California to stop it from requiring cancer warnings on glyphosate-based products.
But earlier this year, a batch of Monsanto's internal records released by attorneys who are suing Monsanto over glyphosate-cancer claims, suggested company ties to an official at the EPA, prompting an investigation into possible collusion between Monsanto and the EPA staffer.
Just Released Docs Show Monsanto 'Executives Colluding With Corrupted EPA Officials to Manipulate Scientific Data' https://t.co/aCYVEIWPSn— Mark Ruffalo (@Mark Ruffalo)1501631043.0
"This trove marks a turning point in Monsanto's corporate life," Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., an attorney involved with the class action suit, told journalist Carey Gillam, who is also the research director for U.S. Right to Know. "They show Monsanto executives colluding with corrupted EPA officials to manipulate and bury scientific data to kill studies when preliminary data threatened Monsanto's commercial ambitions, bribing scientists and ghostwriting their publications, and purchasing peer review to conceal information about Roundup's carcinogenicity, its toxicity, its rapid absorption by the human body, and its horrendous risks to public health and the environment."
"The only way the EPA could conclude that glyphosate poses no significant risks to human health was to analyze industry studies and ignore its own guidelines when estimating cancer risk," said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity. "The EPA's biased assessment falls short of the most basic standards of independent research and fails to give Americans an accurate picture of the risks posed by glyphosate use."
BREAKING. EPA finds #glyphosate not a carcinogen. In response to being chastised by an advisory panel for not follo… https://t.co/DBnIpd2SBi— Nathan Donley (@Nathan Donley)1513643177.0
The Center for Biological Diversity also pointed out that the EPA's assessment showed that glyphosate posed a risk to plants and wildlife exposed to the chemical, including the imperiled monarch butterfly.
Per the release:
Migratory monarch populations have declined by 80 percent in the past two decades, and their decline has been driven in large part by the surge in glyphosate use resulting from the widespread planting of corn and soybeans crops genetically engineered to tolerate glyphosate. Glyphosate is a potent killer of milkweed. The dramatic surge in the glyphosate use has virtually wiped out milkweed plants in the Midwest's corn and soybean fields.
The EPA has opened a 60-day public comment period for the draft risk assessments.
- Singapore Will Plant One Million Trees by 2030 - EcoWatch ›
- Australia to Build the World's Largest Solar Farm to Power Singapore ›
- Giant Water Battery Cuts University's Energy Costs by $100 Million ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tara Lohan
In 1999 a cheering crowd watched as a backhoe breached a hydroelectric dam on Maine's Kennebec River. The effort to help restore native fish populations and the river's health was hailed as a success and ignited a nationwide movement that spurred 1,200 dam removals in two decades.
Transmission lines from the Churchill Falls generating station in Labrador. Douglas Spott / CC BY-NC 2.0
Atlantic sturgeon were brought to the brink of extension in the 20th century and are now are listed as an endangered species. NOAA
Near Happy Valley-Goose Bay on the Churchill (Grand) River downstream from Muskrat Falls. Douglas Sprott / CC BY-NC 2.0
Construction of the Site C dam in British Columbia in 2017. Jason Woodhead / CC BY 2.0
The Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island is the first U.S. offshore wind farm. Dennis Schroeder / NREL / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
We pet owners know how much you love your pooch. It's your best friend. It gives you pure happiness and comfort when you're together. But there are times that dogs can be very challenging, especially if they are suffering from a certain ailment. As a dog owner, all you want to do is ease whatever pain or discomfort your best friend is feeling.
The excess carbon dioxide emitted by human activity since the start of the industrial revolution has already raised the Earth's temperature by more than one degree Celsius, increased the risk of extreme hurricanes and wildfires and killed off more than half of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef. But geologic history shows that the impacts of greenhouse gases could be much worse.
- Earth Is Hurtling Towards a Catastrophe Worse Than the Dinosaur ... ›
- Are We Doomed If We Don't Curb Carbon Emissions by 2030 ... ›
- Humans Release 40 to 100x More CO2 Than Volcanoes, Major ... ›
By Teri Schultz
Europe is in a panic over the second wave of COVID-19, with infection rates sky-rocketing and GDP plummeting. Belgium has just announced it will no longer test asymptomatic people, even if they've been in contact with someone who has the disease, because the backlog in processing is overwhelming. Other European countries are also struggling to keep up testing and tracing.
Meanwhile in a small cabin in Helsinki airport, for his preferred payment of a morsel of cat food, rescue dog Kossi needs just a few seconds to tell whether someone has coronavirus.