The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) says that glyphosate is neither carcinogenic or genotoxic. The September 2016 report also affirmed that glyphosate would not cause unintentional harm to animals or the environment. This result is in line with the findings of government agencies in other countries but contradicts that of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). This agency, part of the World Health Agency (WHO), concluded that glyphosate studies since 2001 showed “Limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. . .” caused by the amount of exposure that an agricultural worker might have. This finding was supported by studies showing that glyphosate exposure is associated with cancer in laboratory animals.
The U.S. EPA, as well as agencies in Canada and Germany, found that glyphosate used as directed did not pose a threat to humans. The IARC focused on the hazard posed by glyphosate at exposure levels that would occur if workers or domestic users did not follow label directions, had accidental exposure, or were compelled to work in conditions that led to greater exposure. The distinction between a possible hazard and the risk of using a chemical as directed is at the root of the disagreement between various agencies.
Some activists have used the IARC finding to protest the use of glyphosate. There were some methodological issues with the finding. It is also notable that the hazard level assigned ranked with that of grapefruit and working the night shift, while processed meat and sunlight were considered more hazardous.
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