Health Canada is standing by its own decision that
glyphosate is not a cancer risk.
In a statement released Friday, the federal agency dismissed
eight notices of objection and assertions made in the Monsanto Papers.
“Health Canada scientists reviewed the information provided
in these notices and assessed the validity of any studies in question, to
determine whether any of the issued raised would influence the results of the
assessment and the associated regulatory decision,” the statement said.
‘”After a thorough scientific review, we have concluded that
the concerns raised by the objectors could not be scientifically supported when
considering the entire body of relevant data. The objections raised did not
create doubt or concern regarding the scientific basis for the 2017
re-evaluation decision for glyphosate.”
That 2017 re-evaluation determined that glyphosate is not
genotoxic and is unlikely to pose a human cancer risk. It also determined that
dietary exposure associated with the use of glyphosate is not expected to pose
a risk of concern to human health and when used according to revised label
directions, glyphosate products are not expected to pose risks of concern to
Health Canada selected a group of 20 of its own scientists
who were not involved in the 2017 decision to evaluate the eight objections and
of the concerns raised publicly about the validity of some of the science
“Our scientists left no stone unturned in conducting this
review,” Health Canada said.
“They had access to all relevant data and information from
federal and provincial governments, international regulatory agencies,
published scientific reports and multiple pesticide manufacturers. This
includes the reviews referred to in the Monsanto Papers.”
The agency also had access to “numerous” individual studies
and raw data during its assessment, including cancer and genotoxicity studies.
regulatory authority in the world currently considers glyphosate to be a cancer
risk to humans at the levels at which humans are currently exposed,” Health
“We continue to monitor for new information related to
glyphosate, including regulatory actions from other governments, and will take
appropriate action if risks of concern to human health or the environment are
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in the pesticide Roundup
and is used in other agricultural, forestry and residential herbicides.
Last year a California man won a lawsuit against Monsanto
when a jury ruled that the company’s pesticide caused his terminal cancer.
Johnson alleged the company spent decades hiding cancer
risks of its herbicide.
In 2017, the UK’s Guardian newspaper said a European food
safety authority recommendation that glyphosate was safe relied on a report
that copied and pasted analyses from a Monsanto study. A World Health
Organization agency classified glyphosate as a carcinogen in 2015.
Monsanto was purchased by Bayer in in June of 2018.
In December 2018, Byer published more than 300 glyphosate
safety summaries online.
The Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association praised
Health Canada’s decision.
is a crucial input for our crops,” said chair Jim Wickett.
correctly, it reduces weeds, increases yield, assists soil health, reduces erosion
and ultimately lowers our fuel costs through fewer passes over the field,
making our farms more environmentally friendly.”
defense of many modern agriculture practices, like the use of crop protection
products, has been exhausting these past few years and its refreshing to see
science win this battle,” added director Cherilyn Nagel.
farmers should celebrate this unequivocal support for glyphosate. The strong
language used in the Health Canada statement is clear and it has certainly renewed
my faith in our regulatory system.”