We just watched the latest episode of Dr. Oz, and sadly, we weren’t surprised by what we saw. Just like he did back in April, Dr. Oz used the IARC classification of glyphosate in Category 2A to raise confusion and concern with his viewers.
As a company, we’re eager for folks to know more about how our products help farmers produce food in a more environmentally sustainable way. We want folks to know that we take safety extremely seriously, and glyphosate has undergone rigorous safety evaluations by regulatory agencies around the world. Unfortunately, experience has shown us that with its current approach, the Dr. Oz program isn’t the right place for these kinds of detailed and science-based discussions.
In fact, the Dr. Oz program didn’t even reach out to us prior to filming this segment. When we heard Dr. Oz was having another discussion about glyphosate, we reached out to offer background information and our perspective so that viewers could decide for themselves. We’d like to share our point of view here as well.
Dr. Oz attempted to argue that the use of pesticides like glyphosate on herbicide-tolerant crops is a reason foods derived from GM crops should carry special labels. We strongly disagree with this argument as well. The use of chemical crop protection products is not limited to GM crops. However, regardless of whether crop protection products will be used on GM or conventional crops, the products undergo detailed regulatory reviews for safety.
Glyphosate-based herbicides have a 40-year history of safe use. This is backed up by more than 800 studies on glyphosate safety, many conducted by independent researchers. Regulatory agencies and scientific organizations, like the U.S. EPA, Health Canada and others, have reviewed all the key studies considered by IARC – and more – and arrived at the conclusion that glyphosate can be used safely when label instructions are followed. Numerous long-term studies of glyphosate have concluded that glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk in humans.
In contrast, IARC took a very different approach and selectively included and interpreted data to classify glyphosate in Category 2A. The IARC classification conflicts with the overwhelming consensus of regulatory agencies around the world and the findings of thee other WHO programs that have reviewed glyphosate safety.
We welcome your questions about glyphosate, GM crops or any topic related to our business. Feel free to share what’s on your mind at discover.monsanto.com. You can also learn more about glyphosate at Monsanto.com/glyphosate or GMOAnswers.com.
External sources on Glyphosate safety
Peer-reviewed scientific publications
- Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology. 31: 117-165. Gary M. Williams, Robert Kroes and Ian C. Munro (2000). Click here for a summary of the Williams’ review.
- Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 167: 35-120. John P. Giesy, Stuart Dobson and Keith R. Solomon (2000).Click here for a summary of the Giesy review.
- An extensive collection of glyphosate-related publications is available here.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review documents
Worldwide governmental review documents
Commission working document– Review report for the active substance glyphosate / Finalized in the Standing Committee on Plant Health (June 2001)
Current, preliminary assessment of glyphosate by the BfR (July 2011)
Frequently Asked Questions on the Health Risk Assessment of Glyphosate (November 2011)
AFSSA-Statementon the substance glyphosate (add date)
Statement about a study on toxicological effects of glyphosateBenachour N. and Seralini G.-E. (2009)
Review of the National Registration Authority(add date)
Report of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) of the Earth Open Source study “Roundup and birth defects: Is the public being kept in the dark?”
Regulatory update: APVMA sees no need to revise the current Australian Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI).
World Health Organization (WHO) review documents
- WHO environmental health criteria of glyphosate (1994)
- Joint FAO/WHO evaluation (2004 Part II—Toxicology) with information on the acceptable daily intake of glyphosate (ADI)
- WHO Drinking Water Guidelines for glyphosate and AMPA
Other review documents
- A glyphosate summary is available online at EXTOXNET, a cooperative effort of University of California-Davis, Oregon State University, Michigan State University, Cornell University and the University of Idaho.http://ace.ace.orst.edu/info/extoxnet/pips/ghindex.html