WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency said today the active ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s carcinogenic weedkiller Roundup is safe, ignoring a growing body of independent research showing a strong connection between glyphosate and cancer in humans.
“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,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “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.”
A report published in January in the Environmental Sciences Europe documented how the EPA ignored a large number of independent, peer-reviewed studies that link glyphosate to cancer in humans. Instead, the report found, the EPA used research paid for by Monsanto to support the agency’s position that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
In 2015, after reviewing extensive U.S., Canadian and Swedish epidemiological studies on glyphosate’s human health effects, as well as research on laboratory animals, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, classified the chemical as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Genotoxicity is the damaging effect a chemical can have on DNA, triggering mutations that can lead to cancer. IARC scientists reviewed 118 different assays and found strong evidence that glyphosate may cause genotoxicity. But the EPA’s assessment included fewer than half of these studies.
In the past year, two separate juries found glyphosate caused cancer in two California men who were exposed to the herbicide while handling Roundup. There are now more than 13,400 similar cases against Bayer.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released an analysis that gave weight to studies connecting glyphosate and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and recommended monitoring children’s exposure to this toxic weedkiller.
Last year, two separate rounds of laboratory tests commissioned by EWG found glyphosate in nearly every sample of popular oat-based cereals and other oat-based foods marketed to children. The EPA’s decision to allow continued glyphosate uses fails to protect children’s health from glyphosate, and puts polluters’ profits first.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.