The EPA’s Registration Review of Glyphosate

Welcome. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently conducting a routine review of glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup® branded weed killers and other popular weed killers. This webpage is meant to provide information and resources related to the review. To keep you informed, we will update this webpage regularly as the EPA moves forward with their process.  

First, here is a short video introduction:

So, what is glyphosate?

Why is the EPA reviewing glyphosate?

In the U.S., the EPA regulates pesticides to ensure they can be used safely. Since 2009, the EPA has been conducting a routine “registration review” of glyphosate. Registration reviews occur routinely all previously approved pesticides. The purpose of a registration review is to ensure any new, relevant information is considered. The EPA’s review process is comprehensive and, by law, based on the best available science.

How does the review process work?

  • First, the EPA reviews all available scientific information on a pesticide.
  • If additional information is needed, the EPA requests data from the registrants.
  • Then the EPA issues a draft decision and invites public comment.
  • Lastly, the EPA considers the comments and makes a final decision.

Where is glyphosate in the process?

The EPA’s registration review for glyphosate has been ongoing since 2009. The EPA is currently evaluating the data on glyphosate to develop their draft decision, called a “preliminary risk assessment.” 

Why is the EPA consulting a Scientific Advisory Panel?

The EPA decided to convene a Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) to evaluate the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate as an additional step in the routine review of glyphosate. It is increasingly common for the EPA to seek input on various topics by consulting an SAP. In this instance, the EPA will ask the SAP for advice on how to interpret data collected so far to inform the classification of glyphosate.

 Given the overwhelming opinion of scientists and regulators around the world – including EPA’s own Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC) and Glyphosate Issue Paper – that glyphosate is not a carcinogen, we feel an SAP for glyphosate is an unnecessary use of resources. Nonetheless, we are fully confident that if the SAP follows sound scientific principles and reviews the overwhelming weight of evidence, it will reaffirm the consistent conclusions of the EPA and regulators around the world.

  • The EPA will be posting materials related to this SAP here.
  • View Monsanto’s comment on the SAP here.   
  • View Monsanto’s comments on the charge questions here.

What has the EPA previously said about glyphosate?

For over four decades, the EPA has consistently supported the safe use of glyphosate. In September 2016, the EPA published a “Glyphosate Issue Paper,” which once again concluded that glyphosate should be classified as “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” In an October 2015 report, the Cancer Assessment Review Committee (CARC)’s 13 experts classified glyphosate as “Not Likely to be Carcinogenic to Humans” after a thorough review – this is the EPA’s most favorable classification. In 2013, the EPA concluded that “glyphosate does not pose a cancer risk to humans.”

Furthermore, the overwhelming conclusion of experts worldwide has been that glyphosate, when used according to label directions, does not present an unreasonable risk of adverse effects to humans, wildlife or the environment. For example, in May 2016, the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) concluded that “glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet.”

How do farmers use glyphosate?

Glyphosate-based products, such as Roundup® branded weed killers, are one tool some farmers use to protect their crops from troublesome weeds, which compete with crops for sunlight, water and nutrients. Watch this short video to learn more:

If you still have questions, click here!