Glyphosate not a health risk: Health Canada

Health Canada says glyphosate is not a risk to human health when used according to label directions.

The Pest Management Regulatory Agency issued a proposed re-evaluation decision yesterday on glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and the most popular herbicide in the world.

The agency said it considered data from product registrants, published scientific reports and data from other regulatory bodies.

“Short- and long-term (lifetime) animal toxicity tests, as well as numerous peer-reviewed studies from the published scientific literature, were assessed for the potential of glyphosate to cause neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, chronic toxicity, cancer, reproductive and developmental toxicity and various other effects,” PMRA scientists said in a statement, published on Health Canada’s website.

“Toxicology studies in laboratory animals describe potential health effects from varying levels of exposure to a chemical and identify the dose at which no effects are observed. The health effects noted in animals occur at doses more than 100 times higher (and often much higher) than levels to which humans are normally exposed when glyphosate products are used according to label directions.”

The PMRA concluded that glyphosate doesn’t pose a health risk to farmers and other occupations that handle the product.

As well, agency scientists said acute and chronic dietary risks for residues of glyphosate in food and water “are not of concern.”

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The report contradicts a recent World Health Organization decision to classify glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

The PMRA mentioned the WHO decision in its report, making a distinction between a hazard assessment and a risk assessment.

“It is important to note that a hazard classification is not a health risk assessment. The level of human exposure, which determines the actual risk, was not taken into account by WHO (IARC),” the PMRA said. “Pesticides are registered for use in Canada only if the level of exposure to Canadians does not cause any harmful effects, including cancer.”

Interested parties have 60 days to comment on the PMRA’s proposed re-evaluation for glyphosate before a final decision is made.

Contact robert.arnason@producer.com

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  • Dayton

    The report contradicts a recent World Health Organization decision to classify glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Until “Science” sorts itself out we should err on the side of caution.

    • neil

      Did you read the entire article? The science is sorted out. The WHO was a hazard classification while Health Canada is a health risk assessment. The use, rate and exposure is what differs the two assessments. A good comparison would be prescription drugs. Use as directed by a doctor they are safe but overused they could be hazard to your health.

      • Dayton

        Or to be 100% without risk don’t go near the stuff. Or better yet don’t dump it on my food.

        • neil

          There is no such thing as 100% without risk in life. Some organic foods are more dangerous than conventionally grown food due to natural toxins and carcinogens in them. Nothing is dumped on your food, many things are used to produce your food but all have been tested to show no harmful affects to humans also known as health risk assessment.

          • Dayton

            It’s dumped on the food and don’t try to say it isn’t. Why the high clearance sprayers? 5 passes of different chemical applications and rates by the recent Canola competition. Have they tested every possible combination of chemicals marketed today and residual effects? No! Some organic farms? Name 1.

          • neil

            Well say what you mean. It is sprayed on the growing crops but nothing I do is dumped on your final food product.. Yes they have been all tested and that’s our point in Agriculture. I didn’t say “farms” I said “food” such as raspberries, apples, peanut butter all have natural carcinogens but not at a level that would hurt anyone at normal consumption levels, the same as the man made synthetic pesticides we use.

          • Dayton

            Yes they may have been all tested, but not in combination with all tank mixes. Do you dessicate? If you do then you are dumping chemical on the final product. Unless you have some kind of wonder sprayer you are also dropping extra chemical as you overlap and spray around headlands. None of which are at the (normal) recommended rates. You seem to think people can’t see the evidence but it’s there. Along with the denial…

          • neil

            Yes I desiccate but I respectfully disagree that is on the final food product. As for oats that is not news. I haven’t desiccated oats, malt barley or grain meant for seed since the registration for preharvest glyphosate because of the possible affects on germination. And the registration of pesticides includes two times the recommended rate for the overlap reason. Tank mixes are also tested for registration at double rates.

          • Dayton

            Read carefully Neil. The Oats in question is not meant for seed. It’s designated for milling, oatmeal porridge, baking, etc. HRSW will be scrutinized as well as all other grains that are pre- harvest dessicated.

          • Dayton

            News Flash: This is just the beginning Neil.

            Grain Millers, Inc. Glyphosate on Oats Policy

            This communication is to serve as official notification that as of harvest 2015 Grain Millers, Inc. will no longer accept any oats and/or oat products which have been treated with glyphosate. This change is driven by functional performance attributes of finished products manufactured from oats known to have been treated with glyphosate and by customer demand. This policy does not suggest any health or food safety concerns as reviewed and regulated by both the US FDA and/or CFIA/Health Canada.

      • Sue

        And many of those studies were done by Monsanto themselves….slightly skewed I would imagine!

  • Dr

    Soooo, now Health Canada knows more than the World Health Organization.? No affect on people using the herbicide according to the label? What about overuse? Oh yes but it probably causes cancer. Wake up ivory tower dwellers. Certain people don t want to risk or take chances with their health or the environment. This is an issue of representation of the issue and government and corporate big business have lied to the public enough that the public have now decided to decide for themselves . Not really that far out given the fact that mainstream marketing, research and education are all trying to ram their profitable company line down regular people’s throats. You don t have to look very far on university campuses to see corporate sponsorship and influence.
    If the government and big business continue to think that their regular consumers are stupid this Mexican standoff will continue to grow .

    • neil

      Health Canada was doing a different assessment than WHO, a health risk assessment vs. a hazard classification. Probably most modern pesticides and human medicines could be classified as a hazard risk if used improperly. That’s the whole idea of the registration process so that there isn’t a risk to your health or the environment.

      • Connie Kuramoto

        Conventional farming poses a risk to both…

      • Esmae

        Yes there is.

      • Sue

        Now you are trying to tell us there is no risk to the environment or our health? What about the bees and monarchs? How do you explain the rise in Celiacs, IBS, certain cancers? What proof do we have that every farmer is using these chemicals “properly”? You have been brainwashed by Monsanto and $$$. What ever happened to ethics and overall concern by farmers and the food they produce. Farmers use to be proud to produce our food, now they are afraid of being sued over their crops being cross contaminated by Gmo fields.

  • commonsense

    Health Canada, (along with pesticide producers), should take all liability for any and all health concerns stemming from these poisons.

  • Don

    Soooo have you ever produced any food? I’m guessing no. Did you know that the world health organization has drinking coffee at pretty much the same health classification as glyphosate ? Drink coffee? I’m guessing yes. What a crock. Leave the food production to the experts farmers. You city folk are so doggone knowledgable. Do you have any idea how farm technology is helping to feed the hungry people of this planet? You people embrace cell phones, cosmetics, airconditioning and all the rest but would prefer your food be produced with a team of mules. By the use of modern technology gps, herbicides, pesticides minimum tillage etc. we can feed our country with healthy, safe and affordable food. Get your head out of the sand

    • commonsense

      Hey Don, I would love to see your incredible credentials! Have you drank any Glyphosate lately, (if its a safe as you presume)? Myself, am a commodity buyer and work with Farmers and producers everyday. I choose to deal with Organic producers, who are indeed everyday farmers feeding masses daily. As far as feeding a hungry planet you are just spewing the Pesticide cartel party line. Try thinking for yourself.

      • neil

        We conventional farmers are everyday farmers too. Organic farming will never feed as many masses as conventional farming. I’m not spewing any corporate line when I say I wish we could feed the 800 million that go hungry everyday. There are many non agriculture reasons for that but I know I have a better chance helping them with modern conventional agriculture than with organic farming.

        • Dayton

          You don’t say? Perhaps you should feed those 800 million all the ethanol, bio fuels, pet food and feed grain before you start talking shortages. Not to mention 30% f food produced is wasted. By continuous cropping under your methods you have sucked every ounce of life from the land growing Canola continuously. What will be left of the land when our grandchildren are farming? Hardpan? Or just chemical residue on land and in water…..

          • neil

            I actually agree with you on the ethanol, biofuels and pet food but that’s politicians and consumers that directed those policies not conventional farmers. Feed grain is needed for livestock efficient growth especially in a cold climate. Again not our fault about food wastage, mostly consumers. I would never grow canola continuously, you make huge assumptions, you have no idea what I do to improve my soil with legumes, forages, zero till, etc. I’m just as committed to soil improvement as an organic producer which I will mention they do a good job by incorporating perennial forages in their rotation.

          • April Reeves

            I agree Neil; consumers direct the food choices, not farmers. And consumers are changing fast. As a farmer, I always ask why that is. I also capitalize on that by growing high value, chemical free food, spend 0 on equipment and chemicals, work 6 months a year and between 2 of us pull in almost the same as my neighbor that grows canola. I also connect consumers to clean beef producers, and have moved several of the 5 cattle ranches that surround me into this style of production. They have doubled their income, and I can’t keep up with demand from Calgary. To me, that’s feeding people. Local people. Food moves from country to country because export is a big business, not because it’s the only way.

        • April Reeves

          Okay Neil, you just blew it. I know no farmer that would cite corporate babble. Organic and non-chemical farming does have the ability to feed the population.

        • Intheknow

          Please cite this for us. Oh right, there isn’t any actual science to show us it doesn’t work unless it’s made and paid for by corporations.

      • Don

        And again I ask produced any food lately? If we all turned to organic farming half of the world would instantly be in a hunger crisis immediately and you know that. …

        • Connie Kuramoto

          … This hungry world public relations gig. We waste 40% of the food we grow. The powers that be just want food production to be centralized, and the pesticide, fertilizer, and bio tech companies want to be in control of it. Even the UN has reported that agro ecology is the answer to feed the world, not gmos and conventional farming. Our topsoil loss with conventional non organic farming is reaching alarming rates. What happens then Don? The ONLY answer to feed a hungry world is organic.

        • April Reeves

          Where’s your farm?

    • Ken

      Don well said!

    • Stephanie Smith

      Have you watched the documentaries The Silent Forest? What about Seeds of Death? Have you exposed yourself to the other side of the story? Have you wondered about why labeling of GMO’s is so unwanted by the makers? Step aside from the fact that farming is your living; can you see others concerns? Are you healthy? Have you had Cancer? Don’t take concerns as a personal attach; we’re concerned about our health and lives!

    • April Reeves

      You won’t feed a country on soy, corn and canola. When oil prices go up, and they will, cheap food will no longer exist. Healthy? Corn = high fructose syrup. Soy = useless to humans without fermentation. Cheap filler. Canola: far better health choices. And yes, I do farm, Central Alberta, vegetables. No chemicals.

    • Intheknow

      I’m a farmer. Not only do I not use any man-made chemicals I do not use any machinery/fossil fuels. I’m only one person running an 8 acre farm, but if more and more of us do this, then really, why would there be ANY food production problem let alone man-made destruction forced upon our planet?

  • Denise

    Health Canada and PMRA :
    I suppose you expect our “public” health care system to pay for the management of all the health problems associated with glyphosate intolerance, such as allergies in children, gastro- intestional diseases, diabetes and cancer (non-HD).
    With the increase of superweeds (38 known species in 2013) do you really think pesticide use is going to used “according to label directions”?
    Reseachers,outside North America, are finding serious problems with glyphosate and seeds engineered to withstand high doses of Roundup.
    Corporate interests should not be protected at the expense of a healthy society.
    Tell me you are not doing that?

    • neil

      There is no scientific record of glyphosate causing children allergies, gastro intestinal diseases, diabetes or cancer otherwise it wouldn’t be allowed to be used by farmers. I know I wouldn’t use it if I thought any of that was true.

      • Denise

        For starters google: Pesticide Action Network.
        And yes, they do allow it to be used despite growing evident,for decades now, of the terrible harm it has been doing to farm families, consumers, waterways ,soil ,air quality, beneficial insects, and birds.
        As long as they can get away with it ,they will keep selling it. They don’t see it as their problem. It’s yours.
        So user beware.

        • neil

          I don’t think all those problems can be blamed on agriculture. We have things we should improve but so do cities and consumers. As farmers we have been told not to argue science with anti pesticide consumers because you don’t believe the science. So all I can say is if you knew more about what we do, why we do it, how we do it and our love for the soil and the environment you may believe us a little.

          • Sue

            So Neil, you are telling us that it is safe practice to douse wheat fields in Roundup before harvest to kill the plant quickly and put it into seed to increase the yield?

          • Sue

            Interestingly enough, here we are eight months later and I come across this same article. As stated above, glyphosate is considered safe as long as the label is followed. Well guess what folks? The recommended use of glyphosate is not being followed! After much research on glyphosate, roundup and practices used by farmers, we are getting more glyphosate than we can handle! Visit some blogs and see how farmers are TAUGHT to use this chemical by the rep that sell it. Desiccation is dousing the plant prior to harvest to dry it out, kill it prematurely and bring a better yield. Here’s the kicker…when I commented eight months ago, I thought it was just wheat, thus my intolerance to wheat…NOT! Farmers are being taught to desiccate crops such as chick peas, wheat, corn, soy, sugar beets, well let’s just say almost any vegetable. Nothing is sacred where Monsanto is concerned!

          • Sheryl McCumsey

            What is anti-science are folks who blindly accept the “science” from industry and ignore the World Health Organization….it isn’t just anti-science it goes beyond that to denial. Health Canada uses industry science and has funding from them as well. It is good to hear that you just do as you are told from those who profit from the harm they are doing globally. What is the acceptable dietary limit for glyphosate? See if you can answer that!

      • Connie Kuramoto

        Of course there is no scientific record of this. Of course you realize how difficult it is to test for this sort of thing right? There does seem to be building ancedotal evidence however.

        • It’s really not difficult to test for glyphosate here is a kit you can buy:

          http://www.abraxiskits.com/products/pesticides/

          Tests by Abraxis found glyphosate residues in 41 of 69 honey samples and in 10 of 28 soy sauces; Microbe tests detected glyphosate in three of 18 breast milk samples and in six of 40 infant formula samples.

      • Blair Laing

        Did my research and know I won’t use it. I no longer suffer from “Blind Trust “.

  • Dominic

    On March 20, 2015, World Health Organization classified the herbicide glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

    “The IARC Working Group that conducted the evaluation considered the significant findings from the US EPA report and several more recent positive results in concluding that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Glyphosate also caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells, although it gave negative results in tests using bacteria. One study in community residents reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) after glyphosate formulations were sprayed nearby”

    Source: http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/MonographVolume112.pdf

  • neil

    Thank you for your respectful reply. It is appreciated. I actually agree with many of your points above. It is a complicated commercial food system and we do need to protect our environment for future generations.

  • Paleo Rick Niagara
  • Bev Hesse-Hearn

    Health Canada is obviously a joke. They really do not do their due diligence! and we now have to fight for our health.

  • Lyndsie

    Anyone else read over these comments and notice something fishy? This “Neil” person has a corporate line for everything. Probably paid by the same people that paid Health Canada to say glyphosate is safe. What a joke.

    • Lyndsie,

      Looking back over Neil’s comments I see someone who seems honest, open-minded and respectful of others views.

      He’s clearly a farmer who has more than just a passing interest in the subjects being discussed here – this is how he feeds his family.

      Most importantly I see him putting forth a genuine effort to patiently discuss these issues with others who clearly disagree with him.

      To characterize him or his views (or those of anyone, for that matter…) as a joke is unproductive at the least.

      Cheers,
      Paul – WP web ed

      • Lyndsie

        I wasn’t calling him or his views a joke. I was simply demonstrating my opinion of how life in Canada has been progressing lately. I completely disagree with Heath Canada and Neil’s comments just add fuel to my fire. I am allowed to have my own opinion, yes?

        I am also wondering why you choose to call me out… No one is saying YOU paid him to be on here. I was simply pointing out his corporate responses.

        Cheers
        Lyndsie

      • Lyndsie

        So now you are filtering comments?

      • Dayton

        Open minded? “As farmers we have been “told” not to argue science with anti pesticide consumers because you don’t believe the science.” I’m curious who is telling Neil what to say?

        • Lyndsie

          My thoughts, as well.

    • Lyndsie

      This runs deeper than I thought.

  • Sue

    Couple questions I have for PMRA and Health Canada….who preformed these studies? How long were the trials on the rats tested, and who wrote the peer reviewed studies? I guess another question would be…how much did Monsanto pay you to agree to this articl.
    Canadians are tired of these lies, discrepancies and Monsanto fighting to have peer reviewed studies done by other scientists retracted because it shows the truth and how glyphosate is causing problems with our health. I think you are being dangerously lax with our health! So in other words, what I am saying is…if you are taking Monsanot’s word that glyphosate is harmless, you are just as much to blame as Monsanto for Canadians deteriorating health, chronic problems, cancer, and many others. I say this because, in a matter of speaking, if you sleep with the enemy or corrupt companies you are just as guilty as they are! Very disappointing to say the least!

  • Esmae

    Yes sure, what ever you say Canada.

  • Elcid888

    Canada should stop all uses of GMO planting in crops immediately!

  • Elcid888

    (NaturalNews) Besides vaccines, there appears to be another major
    culprit in the escalating autism epidemic: Roundup herbicide. Data
    compiled from multiple government sources reveals that the steadily
    rising epidemic of autism in the U.S. is directly correlated with the
    rising use of glyphosate, the primary active ingredient in Roundup, on
    American crops.

    A research student from the Massachusetts
    Institute of Technology (MIT) put together several reports that reveal a
    corresponding increase between glyphosate use and autism incidence. The
    more glyphosate has become a standard chemical used on food crops, the
    more autism has become a problem, increasing in prevalence from about
    one in 5,000 people back in 1975 to one in 68 today.

    One of the
    plotted graphs included in a report entitled “Is Roundup the Toxic
    Chemical That’s Making Us All Sick?” which reveals a correlation
    coefficient of 0.9972 between autism and glyphosate use over the past
    several decades. This is about as close as it gets to a correlation
    coefficient of 1.0, indicating a near-perfect correlation between the
    rise in glyphosate use and the rise in autism.

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/047354_glyphosate_vaccine_injury_autism.html#ixzz3a9Nk8Cp3

    • Elcid,

      Correlation does not equal causation, no matter how close to “near perfect” the correlation.

      Cheers,
      Paul – WP web ed

  • mariyana

    For everybody who still has doubt, watch this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiU3Ndi6itk

  • Jason Nelson

    Bacteria are susceptible to Glyphosate’s mode of action. I think more study is needed to determine its effect on the human gut biome. I suspect that it is detrimental to gut bacteria diversity. Gut bacteria diversity is essential for proper digestion in humans. I think it is highly suspicious that the prevalance of digestive diseases such as celiac disease has risen alongside the use of glyphosate as s desiccant.

  • NecktopPC

    HEALTH CANADA?
    Don’t trust them anymore than I could pick them all up, and throw them into the landfill.

    The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) which is responsible for providing an evidence base for the
    cancer control policies of the World Health Organisation and its
    members, had completed a year long review of the scientific literature
    on the herbicide. It found “convincing evidence” that glyphosate causes
    cancer in laboratory animals, “limited evidence” that it does so in
    agricultural workers, and evidence that it causes DNA and chromosomal
    damage in human cells.

    Readers might be astonished, for example, to learn that much (just about all of it, and none of those studies were published either) of the
    German government’s recent evaluation of glyphosate, was not
    actually written by scientists working for the German Federal Institute
    for Risk Assessment (BfR), but rather by the European Glyphosate Task
    Force (manufacturers of pesticides containing glyphosate) a consortium (LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES) of agrochemical firms.

    We do not know if the BfR evaluation is unusual in having been drafted
    by the firms whose products were being evaluated, or unusual because
    German regulators were honest enough to make that practice explicit. But
    if one of the world’s wealthiest nations does not have sufficient
    resources to conduct its own independent evaluations of toxicological
    evidence we might well ask what are the practices in regulatory
    institutions elsewhere?
    SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2015/may/13/chemical-reactions-glyphosate-and-the-politics-of-chemical-safety

    (brackets mine)