US EPA Reaffirms Herbicide Glyphosate As Posing No Risk to Public Health, Not a Carcinogen

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May 7, 2019 - Verisk 3E Regulatory Research Team

Summary           

According to a pre-publication notice dated 24 April 2019 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to find that there are no risks to public health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label and that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.

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Glyphosate is used on more than 100 food crops, including glyphosate-resistant corn, soybeans, cotton, canola and sugar beets as well as being used for non-agricultural purposes in yards and public areas.

In 2017 the EPA published comprehensive ecological and human health risk assessments for glyphosate. No human health risks were identified. The agency determined that glyphosate is not carcinogenic to humans. Potential ecological risks were identified for terrestrial and aquatic plants, birds and mammals, primarily from exposure to spray drift.

To address ecological risks the EPA is proposing management measures to help farmers target pesticide sprays, protect pollinators and reduce the problem of weeds becoming resistant to glyphosate.

Published 23 April 2019 the EPA’s Proposed Interim Registration Review Decision (PID) for glyphosate and its various salt forms provides the details of the scientific assessments, rationale, currently proposed implementation measures and an implementation timeline.

A final decision on the glyphosate registration review case will occur after:

1. An Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) Section 408(p) determination

2. An endangered species determination under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and any needed Section 7 consultation with the services

3. A more in-depth assessment of non-target exposure to pollinators

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Interested parties may comment on the EPA’s proposed decision at www.regulations.gov by referencing docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0361. Public comments will be due 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. Once the Interim Registration Review Decision is issued any glyphosate registrants must submit amended labels according to the label changes described by the decision within 60 days.

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