The International Agency for Research on Cancer this week issued a report classifying the herbicide 2,4-D as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” the second time this year the United Nations World Health Organization agency has made such a classification of a widely used crop protection chemical. In March, IARC applied the same designation to glyphosate.
“Farmers use these proven tools to protect crops from weeds,” said Daren Coppock, President and CEO of the Agricultural Retailers Association. “They have passed through intense regulatory analysis and have been in use, in the case of 2,4-D, for more than 70 years.”
ARA notes that glyphosate, 2,4-D and others under review have been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies and regulatory reviews and that government regulatory agencies in over 100 countries have evaluated the science and concluded that 2,4-D and glyphosate do not increase health risks when used as directed.
“Ag retailers understand consumers have questions about how their food is produced; unfortunately, IARC’s report only serves to cause confusion,” Coppock said. “IARC analysis does not actually identify whether a compound is a carcinogen. It should not be the basis to ban useful crop protection tools.”