Glyphosate, is unlikely to cause cancer in people, according to a new safety review by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).
It’s a herbicide widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, and one of the most common brands using it is Roundup which has been targeted by people and organisations opposed to sprays.
The report commissioned by the EPA concludes that based on the weight of evidence, ‘the broad-spectrum herbicide is unlikely to be carcinogenic and should not be classified as a mutagen or carcinogen under the HSNO Act’. This is the latest in a long line of technical and scientific reports by expert bodies and regulators confirming the safety of glyphosate.
Agcarm chief executive, Mark Ross says, “I urge our councils and communities to take heed of this report and rest assured that the use of glyphosate in our parks, gardens and play areas poses no threat to the health of our people, pets or children.
“Glyphosate is an efficient and cost-effective means to keeping our country weed-free, our agricultural economy growing, and our environment protected.”
Agcarm commends the EPA for conducting this review and addressing the concerns that the public has raised about the herbicide. The results help to curtail the fear-mongering around the use of crop protection products – which are among the most highly-regulated substances in the world.
Experts from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) recently concluded that glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet.”
The European Food Safety Authority, an independent agency funded by the European Union, also concluded that glyphosate is “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans”.
“I anticipate that we can put this matter to bed and continue to use a very practical, economic and safe solution – so we can keep our parks and gardens weed-free,” says Ross.
Glyphosate has recorded over 40 years of safe use and has been the subject of over 800 studies, all of which confirmed its safety. It continues to be rigorously tested by regulators in New Zealand and throughout the world, with more than 160 countries approving its safe use.
Unlikely to be carcinogenic is unlikely to satisfy those most strongly opposed to glyphosate but there are few absolute certainties in these matters and it is virtually impossible to say anything is 100% safe. Even water, on which all life depends, can kill if ingested in sufficient quantities.
Agcarm is the industry association of companies which manufacture, distribute and sell products which include glyphosate and is not a disinterested party but the EPA is unbiased and bases its finding on research.
Its report is here and concludes that there is no convincing evidence of an association between glyphosate exposure and the development of cancer in humans. .