Booker Urges EPA to Follow Guidelines for Glyphosate Final Registration Review Decision

Government and Politics

September 23, 2022

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory A. Booker (D-N.J.) today urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to properly follow its Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment, which provides EPA with guidance for evaluating risk of substances like pesticides, when finalizing the agency’s registration review decision for glyphosate.

Glyphosate, the most widely used pesticide in the United States, is applied to an average of 298 million acres annually. People are exposed to glyphosate during its chemical application, when entering areas where it was recently sprayed, and when they eat foods that were treated with the pesticide.

However, along with ecological concerns, independent research has linked glyphosate to a range of human health issues, from kidney disease to shortened pregnancies and lowered birth weight. This has prompted eleven countries to ban and thirteen countries to restrict the use of the chemical. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer found that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Despite this, the EPA has continuously affirmed the safety of glyphosate. The EPA’s most recent human health assessment was vacated by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“In 2016, EPA issued the “Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential” and consulted the agency’s Scientific Advisory Panel,”  wrote Senator Booker in a letter to Administrator of EPA Michael Regan. “This panel then issued its own concerns, similar to those of the Office of Research and Development, that EPA failed to follow its cancer assessment guidelines. Once again, the agency disregarded these concerns and, in 2017, released a draft risk assessment finding that glyphosate poses no serious human health risks. EPA’s most recent assessment, the January 2020 Interim Registration Review Decision for glyphosate which was subsequently struck down by United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, reaffirmed this stance.”

“EPA must ensure the most rigorous final assessment possible,” urged Senator Booker. “It is unacceptable for the agency to continue to reassert conclusions built on inconsistent findings. I urge the EPA to closely follow its Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment in its current review of glyphosate in order to protect our nation’s public health from this dangerous chemical.”

Full text of the letter can be found here.