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Why is the EPA Reviewing Roundup and Glyphosate?

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2.25.15Listello_Jennifer cpd Feb 2013By Jennifer Listello
Monsanto Global Chemistry Regulatory Affairs

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) takes a comprehensive look at all safety and toxicology data available for a registered pesticide at least every 15 years to protect public health and the environment. This routine regulatory review is required of all pesticides and is currently underway for glyphosate. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used broad spectrum herbicides in the world and is the primary active ingredient in Roundup® brand herbicides.

When evaluating a pesticide, the EPA maintains a transparent process for assessing potential risks. Each review is unique, yet the review process works similar to this:

  • First, public health experts and government regulators look at all of the evidence from all the scientific information available, some of which is posted on the EPA’s web pages. For glyphosate, this process started in 2009 and includes a literature review of all new studies.
  • The EPA will determine whether the pesticide and its formulations continue to satisfy regulatory requirements. If additional data is needed to conduct the review, the EPA requests this data from the registrant. In the case of glyphosate, Monsanto is the lead registrant for the Joint Glyphosate Task Force, which includes companies holding a registration for glyphosate.
  • Then, the EPA issues a draft decision and allows the public to submit comments. When the comment period opens for glyphosate, an online tool will be available on Monsanto.com to submit comments.
  • Finally, regulators consider the comments, and then the EPA makes a final determination. From the issuance of a draft to the official final decision, the process typically takes about one year.

The registration of glyphosate-based herbicides remains in effect during the current review period. Glyphosate has a long history of 40 years of safe use and is supported by one of the most extensive worldwide human health, safety and environmental databases ever compiled for a pesticide product. In fact, the overwhelming evidence in the safety of glyphosate led the EPA to conclude in 2013 that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to the general population or to infants and children from aggregate exposure to glyphosate residues.”

At Monsanto, we recognize the importance of regulatory reviews and respect the process. We want you to know that the safety of our products is critically important to us. We stand behind all of our registered products – that includes glyphosate and Roundup brand herbicides. We’re confident that time-tested glyphosate will remain a trusted ingredient approved for use in 160-plus countries.

Learn more about the proven safety of glyphosate.

3 Responses to "Why is the EPA Reviewing Roundup and Glyphosate?"

  1. Unfortunately you are fighting an uphill battle. Fact based information continually loses in the media to sensational. As your commentary shows IARC is an outlier to the vast majority of studies over the past 40 years. Moreover its conclusion was nor based on the large data base.
    Keep trying to supply the media with the facts and all the agencies which contradict IARC including many in Europe. It will be interesting to see how much exposure the judgment of the independent panel gets.
    Countering the media selecting what makes headlines ,even if wrong ,has to be frustrating.

    • I’m surrounded by corn fields and this year I have been experiencing health issues that we can’t figure out the source. I have had MRI’S, CAT scans, blood work, and X-rays. everything appears to be normal. But when I go outside I’m experiencing chest pain/ heaviness, nostril stinging, eyes watering and stinging, sinus and all over face pain, fainting spells, and sometimes when I get up I stumble around and have no control over my body motions. I have started wearing a mask outside which has helped but does not protect my eyes. the closer I get to the corn the more my symptoms worsen. Now because we have had so much rain here I have water in the basement and the last two days in one spot it has this red-brown color. I have taken a sample and am taking in to the Ag. department along with a water sample from the ground water we drink. so we will see about the results. Some of the doctors have already mentioned roundup as a POSSIBLE cause.

      • Hi Peggy,
        Sorry to hear about your health issues. Safety is a top priority for us at Monsanto. All of our herbicides including glyphosate are rigorously tested and then reviewed by third-party scientists at government agencies. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used and thoroughly evaluated herbicides in the world. Many scientists have conducted studies and field research with glyphosate herbicides and published their results in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The overwhelming consensus is that glyphosate, when used properly, poses no adverse effects to people, wildlife or the environment. To take just one example, three internationally recognized toxicologists published a peer-reviewed safety evaluation of glyphosate in 2000. The authors reviewed over 188 documents, and concluded that glyphosate “is placed in U.S. EPA’s least toxic category (IV) for acute oral, dermal and inhalation toxicity. Thus, [glyphosate] is considered to be practically nontoxic by all these routes of exposure.” Safety Evaluation and Risk Assessment of the Herbicide Roundup and Its Active Ingredient, Glyphosate, for Humans, by Gary M. Williams, Robert Kroes, and Ian C. Munro, Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Volume 31, Pages 117-165 (2000).


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