Quantcast

EPA Says Glyphosate Does Not Cause Cancer. Other Public Health Groups Disagree

Health + Wellness
A man shops for Roundup in a California store. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller, does not cause cancer, reaffirming its 2017 finding and contradicting juries who ruled the opposite in two high profile trials, Reuters reported.


In August 2018, a California jury awarded $289 million to a Bay Area groundskeeper who said that repeated Roundup use caused his non-Hodgkin lymphoma, though that amount was later reduced to $78 million. A U.S. jury awarded a second California man more than $80 million in March over a similar claim. But the EPA has not changed its position.

"EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate," EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.

Environmental groups have cast doubt on the agency's findings, saying they dismiss the conclusions of other public health experts. Just a few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a toxicology report for glyphosate that acknowledged its health risks, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) pointed out.

"The EPA's pesticide office is out on a limb here — with Monsanto and Bayer and virtually nobody else," NRDC senior scientist Jennifer Sass said.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) agreed, pointing to the 2015 conclusion of the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer, which ruled it was "probably carcinogenic to humans." EWG also cited a January report published in Environmental Sciences Europe that found the EPA had disregarded independent, peer-reviewed research that showed a link between glyphosate and cancer in favor of Monsanto-funded studies saying it was safe.

"Today's decision by Administrator Wheeler, like virtually every one he and the Trump administration make, completely ignores science in favor of polluters like Bayer," EWG President Ken Cook said. "This move by EPA should not come as a surprise. Under the control of Trump and Wheeler, the agency is virtually incapable of taking steps to protect people from dangerous chemicals like glyphosate."

The EPA's announcement comes at a difficult time for Bayer, which acquired Monsanto last year. The company has lost $39 billion in market value since the takeover, mostly due to the Roundup trials. At a meeting Friday, more than 55 percent of shareholders voted not to absolve CEO Werner Baumann and other top officials of their responsibility for the handling of the merger, The Star reported.

There are currently 13,400 Roundup lawsuits pending in U.S. courts. Glyphosate was developed by Monsanto for Roundup, but the patent has since expired and other weedkillers can now use the chemical, according to Reuters. Glyphosate is currently the most-used herbicide in the U.S. and is routinely used on more than 100 crops, the EPA said.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Gretchen Goldman

The Independent Particulate Matter Review Panel has released their consensus recommendations to the EPA administrator on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. The group of 20 independent experts, that were disbanded by Administrator Wheeler last October and reconvened last week, hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, has now made clear that the current particulate pollution standards don't protect public health and welfare.

Read More Show Less
An African elephant is pictured on November 19, 2012, in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. MARTIN BUREAU / AFP / Getty Images

The unprecedented drought that has caused a water crisis in Zimbabwe has now claimed the life of at least 55 elephants since September, according to a wildlife spokesman, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Maria Dornelas.

By John C. Cannon

Life is reshuffling itself at an unsettling clip across Earth's surface and in its oceans, a new study has found.

Read More Show Less
An Exxon station in Florida remains open despite losing its roof during Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 29, 2005. Florida Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Shaun Withers

The country's largest fossil fuel company goes on trial today to face charges that it lied to investors about the safety of its assets in the face of the climate crisis and potential legislation to fight it, as the AP reported.

Read More Show Less
El Niño's effect on Antarctica is seen in a tabular iceberg off of Thwaites ice shelf. Jeremy Harbeck / NASA

El Niños are getting stronger due to climate change, according to a new study in Monday's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Julia Ries

  • Antibiotic resistance has doubled in the last 20 years.
  • Additionally a new study found one patient developed resistance to a last resort antibiotic in a matter of weeks.
  • Health experts say antibiotic prescriptions should only be given when absolutely necessary in order to avoid growing resistance.

Over the past decade, antibiotic resistance has emerged as one of the greatest public health threats.

Read More Show Less
Pexels


There are hundreds of millions of acres of public land in the U.S., but not everyone has had the chance to hike in a national forest or picnic in a state park.

Read More Show Less
Workers attend to a rooftop solar panel project on May 14, 2017 in Wuhan, China. Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

By Simon Evans

Renewable sources of electricity are set for rapid growth over the next five years, which could see them match the output of the world's coal-fired power stations for the first time ever.

Read More Show Less