In the last few weeks it’s received lots of media coverage following a legal case in California, USA where the jury found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company’s Glyphosate products caused his cancer. The media coverage of this case has raised lots of questions, so we hope that the following information and brief video helps you to understand glyphosate and the issues around it.
There have been lots of headlines about Glyphosate causing cancer and calls to ban glyphosate, does this mean it is not safe to use?
Let’s look at the facts; There isn’t a single regulatory authority around the world that has banned glyphosate for agricultural use. Glyphosate has been around for more than 40 years, and it has been widely studied and approved as safe to use by many regulatory authorities around the world who have strict safety approval standards. The regulators also review registrations on a regular basis. In short, if it doesn’t meet these stringent standards it will not be approved for sale and use.
So why do people think it might cause cancer?
In 2015 one of the World Health Organization’s agencies, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a monograph which stated that Glyphosate was ‘probably’ carcinogenic to humans. For context, other compounds and activities that fall into this category include drinking very hot beverages, frying, hairdressing and red meat.
IARC is not saying that Glyphosate causes cancer, it is saying that it is probably carcinogenic. The conclusions of more than 800 scientific studies, regulatory agencies around the world and the World Health Organization (WHO) Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) none of whom have found that Glyphosate is carcinogenic when used in accordance with the manufacturers safety instructions.
Will there be any more court cases like the one in California?
We believe that there will be more court cases, and some are already scheduled to start, however we don’t necessarily think that the outcomes of the other cases will be the same as the recent case in California. The recent case in California is not finalized and we expect there to be further legal processes and reviews related to this case.
Will Glyphosate still be sold?
Yes, Glyphosate will still be sold. It is registered for use by regulatory authorities and there are a variety of manufacturers that have EPA registrations allowing them to actively sell it. The industry will continue to work with regulatory authorities around the world to maintain the scientific database for Glyphosate at the level required by the regulators. The manufacturers of Glyphosate are confident that the weight of existing scientific evidence will continue to be recognized by regulators around the world to keep the registrations for Glyphosate products.
Where can I find more information?
As one of Glyphosate’s major manufacturers, Nufarm has put together a Glyphosate factsheet which is available here along with links to more information about Glyphosate.
More Information on Glyphosate
You can find more information about the World Health Organization (WHO), regulatory authorities positions on glyphosate and other information and reports below.
Investigation showing that IARC participant was paid £120,000 by cancer lawyers: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/weedkiller-scientist-was-paid-120-000-by-cancer-lawyers-v0qggbrk6
Reuters investigation on non-carcinogenic findings “edited out” by IARC: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/who-iarc-glyphosate/
Investigation into concealment of draft 2013 Agricultural Health Study findings by IARC chair:https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/glyphosate-cancer-data/
Links to reviews by regulators around the world since IARC: https://monsanto.com/company/media/statements/glyphosate-report-response/
Agricultural Health Study Background — largest epidemiological study ever on pesticides and cancer: https://aghealth.nih.gov/about/
2018 Agricultural Health Study In Journal of the National Cancer Institute showing no link between glyphosate and cancer :https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29136183/