Health Canada confirms glyphosate safety

Health Canada is sticking by its decision that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a cancer risk and isn’t a concern to human health.

In 2017, Health Canada released a re-evaluation decision on glyphosate, a weed killer commonly known by its trade name Roundup.

At the time federal scientists concluded that “products containing glyphosate do not present unacceptable risks to human health or the environment when used according to the revised product label directions.”

Health Canada received eight notices of objection regarding its 2017 decision. As well, there have been concerns that Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup, influenced the validity of the science when it comes to the safety of glyphosate.

After reviewing the evidence and the objections, Health Canada is not budging.

“We have concluded that the concerns raised by the objectors could not be scientifically supported when considering the entire body of relevant data,” it said in a statement.

“The objections raised did not create doubt or concern regarding the scientific basis for the 2017 re-evaluation decision for glyphosate. Therefore, the department’s final decision will stand.”

Glyphosate became highly controversial in 2015 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a division of the World Health Organization, classified the herbicide as probably carcinogenic to humans.

Numerous scientists and national regulatory bodies have condemned the IARC decision, saying it was flawed and biased. There have been media reports that IARC scientists disregarded key studies showing glyphosate is safe.

Health Canada took steps to ensure its review was not biased.

A group of 20 Health Canada scientists, who were not part of the re-evaluation decision, looked at the notices of objection and the related evidence.

“No pesticide regulatory authority in the world currently considers glyphosate to be a cancer risk to humans at the levels at which humans are currently exposed,” Health Canada said.

“We continue to monitor for new information related to glyphosate … and will take appropriate action if risks of concern to human health or the environment are identified.”

Contact robert.arnason@producer.com

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