The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Tuesday that a chemical commonly found in weed killers does not cause cancer, contradicting several juries in the U.S.
“EPA has found no risks to public health from the current registered uses of glyphosate,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement.
“Today’s proposed action includes new management measures that will help farmers use glyphosate in the most effective and efficient way possible, including pollinator protections," he added. "We look forward to input from farmers and other stakeholders to ensure that the draft management measures are workable, realistic, and effective.”
Glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide among farmers and is the key ingredient in Bayer’s Roundup weed killer.
In its decision, the EPA reaffirmed earlier pronouncements about the chemical’s safety, even as Bayer faces thousands of lawsuits from plaintiffs who attribute their cancer to Roundup.
As recently as late March, a federal jury in San Francisco awarded a man $80 million after determining Roundup, which he had used for more than two decades, contributed to his developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. More than 50 U.S. cities and counties have banned the chemical, and the World Health Organization classified it as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015.
"Bayer firmly believes that the science supports the safety of glyphosate-based herbicides, which are some of the most thoroughly studied products of their kind, and is pleased that the regulators tasked with assessing this extensive body of science continue to reach favorable conclusions,” Bayer said in a statement after the EPA's ruling.