Wednesday, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published the Monograph on glyphosate. As the global body representing the plant science industry, CropLife International has issued the following statement in response.

CropLife International President and CEO Howard Minigh said: 

We reiterate our comments made when IARC published its classifications of several crop protection products in March and June this year.

IARC's remit is to identify the potential hazard of a product. However, it is the job of regulators to conduct risk assessments, taking into account hazard and exposure, to ensure that crop protection products are only approved for use when shown to be safe for humans and the environment. IARC clarifies this distinction in a Question and Answer document recently published on its website which states:

"The IARC Monographs Programme evaluates cancer hazards but not the risks associated with exposure."

The world's most robust regulatory bodies - such as the European Union and the United States - conduct extensive reviews of crop protection products, based on multi-year testing to assess risk and risk management in real world conditions.

Calls for regulatory action on crop protection products such as glyphosate, based on IARC's hazard identification, are therefore unfounded - risk assessments carried out by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) and by major regulatory agencies around the world remain valid in the absence of any significant new information.

CropLife International has requested to meet with WHO Director General Dr. Margaret Chan and IARC Director Dr. Chris Wild to further discuss these issues and to better understand the process for selecting the products and the literature on which they base their classifications.

Human health and responsible use of crop protection products is and must always be our highest priority. As an industry we take pride in the extreme rigor by which we assess our products, our detailed submissions to regulators and the subsequent confidence this gives to crop protection product users and the public at large - we do not want to see this process undermined.