Groups Call on EPA to Reassess Safety of GMO Herbicide Linked to Cancer
For Immediate Release: March 26, 2015
Washington, D.C. – Several leading public interest organizations today urged the Obama administration to “weigh heavily” the World Health Organization’s recent conclusion that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Last week, the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC), a research arm of the WHO, declared that glyphosate – a key ingredient in the main weed killers used on genetically engineered crops – is a probable human carcinogen.
In a letter to Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Just Label It, Consumers Union, the Center for Food Safety, Environmental Working Group and the Natural Resources Defense Council, among others, called the WHO announcement “extremely timely, as EPA is preparing to issue its preliminary risk assessment of the widely used herbicide under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.”
“Consumers deserve to know which foods are made with GMOs considering it’s their dollars that are largely driving the use of this dangerous herbicide,” said Gary Hirshberg, the chairman of the board for the Just Label It campaign.
Glyphosate is the most used pesticide in the U.S., with the bulk of it sprayed on fields of genetically engineered corn and soybean. It is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and is also used in the new weed-killing product, Enlist Duo, manufactured by Dow AgroSciences. EPA last year approved the use of Enlist Duo, which combines glyphosate and 2,4-D, in six states.
“As a result of WHO’s rigorous and independent review, the link between glyphosate and cancer has now been greatly strengthened,” the groups wrote.
Earlier this week, legislation was introduced in Congress to prevent states from giving their citizens the right to know whether the food they buy and eat was made with GMOs.
The Deny Americans the Right-to-Know or DARK Act, as it is called by opponents, would preempt current state laws and block future state action to require GMO labeling. The bill would also make it more difficult for the Food and Drug Administration to ever impose a national mandatory labeling system – something roughly 90 percent of Americans support, according to public opinion polling.
“This new evidence that the main pesticide used on GMO crops is a “probable human carcinogen” is even more reason consumers should have the right to know what’s in their food,” Scott Faber, executive director of Just Label It and senior vice president of government affairs for Environmental Working Group. Scott Faber, executive director of Just Label It and senior vice president of government affairs for Environmental Working Group.