WASHINGTON, Sept. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Sixteen organizations representing health, environmental, farmer, and farmworker communities joined together today to call on EPA to remove glyphosate from the marketplace. The groups cite a combination of high-profile lawsuits, environmental impacts, increasing reports of weed resistance, and growing public concern over the health effects of glyphosate in their comments on EPA's interim reregistration review decision for the chemical.
The comments warn that EPA is at risk of damaging the public's trust in the agency's review process for toxic pesticides. "EPA's myopic review and response to the dangers posed by glyphosate does a disservice to American farmers, farmworkers, and commercial landscapers wishing to use least-toxic products that do not put them at risk of health impacts, and consumers aiming to make the safest choice in regards to what to feed their family and how to manage their yards," the comments read.
The document likewise replies to EPA's attacks against the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which determined glyphosate to be a probable carcinogen. EPA has indicated that its process for evaluating glyphosate, "…is more transparent than IARC's process" and that IARC's "…conclusions are not well described." The comments cite IARC's response to these criticisms, which discuss the need to avoid "…interference from vested interests" and the ability to "…scrutinize the basis of its decisions rather than relying on appeals to authority or trust."
The comments take aim at EPA's attempt to sow doubt in IARC's process, writing, "It is also unacceptable for the agency to attack highly esteemed scientific institutions like the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which has been at the forefront of scientific determinations on carcinogenicity since its founding prior to EPA in 1965."
EPA has refused to test end-use glyphosate products sold on store shelves, saying "…though the Agency evaluates the product components, long term testing of individual products is not required." Under federal pesticide law, EPA is only required to test the active ingredient in pesticide formulations. Ingredients listed as "inert" on a pesticide label can be just as toxic as the active ingredient, but are not tested alongside the active ingredient and are considered confidential business information by pesticide companies. The groups "…urge the agency to employ due diligence and complete a full evaluation of all glyphosate-containing pesticide products registered by EPA."
Groups say that in order to regain public trust EPA must conduct full-formulation testing on glyphosate's carcinogenicity and other health effects, consider impacts to soil organisms, the human microbiome, and growing weed resistance to the chemical. "In the absence of this additional and necessary data, we urge the agency to revoke the registration of glyphosate and promote the wide range of non-toxic and least-toxic products and practices currently available, which can readily replace the use of this hazardous pesticide," the comments read.
Contact: Jay Feldman, Drew Toher
202-543-5450 (office), 202-255-4296 (mobile)
SOURCE Beyond Pesticides