No, glyphosate is not a carcinogen.
Why have I read that it does?
In March 2015 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) convened a meeting to evaluate the potential carcinogenic risks to humans from several pesticides, including glyphosate, an active ingredient in many popular herbicides, including Roundup® brand herbicides. IARC concluded that glyphosate belongs in a 2A category as probably carcinogenic to humans, a category that includes common professions such as barbers and fry cooks—a conclusion that conflicts with the overwhelming consensus by regulatory bodies and science organizations around the world, like the U.S. EPA, which have found no evidence of carcinogenicity. Further, the 2A classification does not establish a link between glyphosate and an increase in cancer. “Probable” does not mean that glyphosate causes cancer; even at 100 times the exposure that occurs during normal labeled use glyphosate is not a human health risk.
Should I still use Glyphosate? Is it still safe?
Yes, glyphosate-based herbicides are one of the most thoroughly tested in the world. Their history of safe use is supported by one of the most extensive worldwide human health, crop residue and environmental databases ever compiled on a pesticide product.
What have other regulatory authorities said about the safety of glyphosate?
Below are statements with links to full reports of several regulatory authorities' reviews of glyphosate.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
“EPA has concluded that glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk to humans.” 2013 Federal Register Notice (FR 25396, Vol. 78, No. 84, May 1, 2013).
- Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture DE | FR
“Based on the available data today and the numerous evaluations by pertinent scientific organizations, nationally and internationally, the OFAG and OSAV consider that glyphosate residues … are not harmful for the population."
- Belgian Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety, Environment
“Considering this situation, the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety, Environment is of the opinion that there are not enough reasons to implement restrictive measures for glyphosate at this time, let alone to ban the substance."
- South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries
“glyphosate-based products that are registered for use in South Africa have been through a robust chemical risk assessment process. Based on current risk assessments, glyphosate poses a minimal risk to users and the general public, provided it is used according to label instructions and safety statements."
- German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment
“In epidemiological studies in humans, there was no evidence of carcinogenicity and there were no effects on fertility, reproduction and development of neurotoxicity that might be attributed to glyphosate.” Glyphosate Renewal Assessment Report, Germany as Rapporteur Member State for the European Renewal of Approval for Glyphosate (2015)
- Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
“The APVMA currently has no data before it suggesting that glyphosate products registered in Australia and used according to label instructions present any unacceptable risks to human health, the environment and trade. … The weight and strength of evidence shows that glyphosate is not genotoxic, carcinogenic or neurotoxic.” Australian Government, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (2013)
- Argentine Interdisciplinary Scientific Council
“…The epidemiological studies reviewed, showed no correlation between exposure to glyphosate and cancer incidence, nor adverse effects on reproduction, or Hyperactive-Attention Deficit Disorder in children. It is estimated that no significant risks would exist for human health regarding adverse effects on the genetic material. Under responsible use conditions for this herbicide, the intake of food and water would not imply risks for human health.“Evaluación De La Informacion Cientifica Vinculada Al Glifosato En Su Incidencia Sobre La Alud Humana Y El Ambiente,” (“Assessment of scientific information related to glyphosate and its incidence on human health and the environment”) (2009)
- Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency
“Health and Welfare Canada has reviewed the glyphosate toxicology database, which is considered to be complete. The acute toxicity of glyphosate is very low..” Doliner LH. (1991) Pre-Harvest use of glyphosate herbicide [Preharvest application of glyphosate (Roundup) herbicide]. Discussion Document D91-01. 98 pp. Pesticide Information Division, Plant Industry Directorate, Agriculture Canada.