ECPA statement reacting to IARC Review of Pesticides

The Lancet Oncology today published conclusions from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that found five pesticides to be “possibly” or “probably” carcinogenic to humans.

The following is a statement from ECPA Director General Jean-Charles Bocquet:

“The IARC conclusions published in Lancet Oncology contradict the world’s most robust and stringent regulatory systems – namely the European Union and the United States – in which crop protection products have undergone extensive reviews based on multi-year testing and in which active ingredients such as glyphosate and malathion been found not to present a carcinogenic risk to humans.”

“From the summary conclusions it appears that IARC has made its conclusions as a result of an incomplete data review that has omitted key evidence.”

“The IARC rating is based on the intrinsic properties of active substances and limited epidemiological evidence. Where the full evidence is taken into account – and the evaluation covers actual use – there is no proof that pesticides cause cancer in humans. This is clearly shown by several studies on farmers’ health. Farmers (who are the most exposed to pesticides) live longer and in better health than the rest of the population. Cancer incidence and mortality is lower in farming populations than in the rest of the population for all major types of cancer but skin cancers.”

“Europe’s crop protection industry will continue to work with regulators to ensure each and every product goes through the proper testing procedure and enters the market only when its safety has been assured.

Conclusions about a matter as important as human safety must be based on the highest quality science that adheres to internationally recognized standards. The IARC classification system is not aligned with current international regulations and the organization’s recent decisions create needless public concern.”

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