EPA Rules on Agricultural Herbicide

Source: Kostic Dusan - 123RF

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ruled that a widely-used herbicide which has long been the center of debate among farmers, consumer groups, and international regulatory agencies, does not pose any risk to human health, discounting claims that glyphosate causes cancer.

Glyphosate is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. The sodium salt form of glyphosate is used to regulate plant growth and ripen specific crops.

Glyphosate was first registered for use in the U.S. in 1974. The herbicide is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. It is applied in agriculture and forestry, on lawns and gardens, and for weeds in industrial areas. Some products containing glyphosate control aquatic plants.

EHS reports that environmental groups and regulatory agencies across the globe have long debated on the potential health impact of the broad-spectrum herbicide.

Multinational agrichemical and biotech company Monsanto discovered the weed killer in 1970. Bayer acquired Monsanto in a $63 billion purchase in 2018.

Multiple class-action lawsuits have been filed throughout the years on behalf of farmers and consumers who claim that the use of glyphosate allegedly leads to health issues.

U.S. juries have awarded two California farmers millions of dollars after the men claimed they had cancer as a result of using the weed killer on their crops.

The first man reportedly will receive $78 million if Bayer’s appeals are denied. In March 2019, a jury ruled the second man should receive $80 million.

EPA Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, said, ” New management measures will help farmers use glyphosate in the most effective and efficient way possible, including pollinator protections. “