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Siding with Monsanto/Bayer, Trump EPA Once Again Greenlights Roundup

Ignoring science, EPA repeatedly fails to assess glyphosate's impact on human health, endangered species

January 30, 2020
Center for Food Safety

Washington, D.C.—The Trump Administration's Environmental Protection Agency today announced an interim decision on its regulatory review of glyphosate, best known as the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup line of herbicides. The decision included a few minor measures purported to address glyphosate spray drift and glyphosate resistance in weeds.

EPA issued this interim decision despite its failure—after a registration review process spanning over a decade—to assess glyphosate's hormone-disrupting potential or its effects on threatened and endangered species, which the Agency says will take at least an additional year. Registration review is EPA's program for reviewing pesticides every 15 years; the glyphosate registration review began in 2009.

"EPA's announcement that it has concluded its regulatory review of glyphosate is false," said Ryan Talbott, Staff Attorney at Center for Food Safety. "The truth is that after a decade of review, the EPA still has not conducted the necessary research on glyphosate's impacts on human health and threatened and endangered species. EPA's foot-dragging puts Monsanto's interests ahead of farm workers, food safety, and endangered species."

"Contrary to the Trump EPA's claims, both regulatory studies and independent science demonstrate that glyphosate herbicides are carcinogenic and have adverse effects on other organs," said Bill Freese, Science Policy Analyst at Center for Food Safety.

"The world's foremost cancer authorities with the World Health Organization declared glyphosate to be 'probably carcinogenic to humans' in 2015," he added. "Besides causing tumors in animal trials, glyphosate exposure has been linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, in no less than three epidemiology studies of farmers and other pesticide applicators."

Over 40,000 lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto (recently acquired by Bayer) by cancer victims alleging that exposure to Roundup caused them or their loved ones to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Plaintiffs have prevailed in the three cases decided thus far, with victims awarded roughly $80 million in each case.

"Far from consulting the 'best available science,' as EPA claims, the Agency has relied almost entirely on Monsanto studies, cherry-picking the data that suits its purpose and dismissing the rest," added Freese. "The EPA's glyphosate decision shows the same hostility to science that we've come to expect from this Administration, whether the issue is climate change or environmental health."

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