Contradicting California Regulators, EPA Says Herbicide in Roundup Weed Killer Doesn’t Cause Cancer

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The federal Environmental Protection Agency on Monday said glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the weed killer Roundup and one of the most widely used herbicides in agriculture, likely does not cause cancer.

Activists pull down a giant bottle of weedkiller as they demonstrate in favor of a Glyphosate ban by the European Union in front of the European Union Commission headquarter in Brussels on July 19, 2017. More than one million people signed a petition in June 2017 demanding the EU ban the Monsanto weedkiller glyphosate over fears it causes cancer. Glyphosate is used in the best-selling herbicide Roundup. (Credit: THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Activists pull down a giant bottle of weedkiller as they demonstrate in favor of a Glyphosate ban by the European Union in front of the European Union Commission headquarter in Brussels on July 19, 2017. More than one million people signed a petition in June 2017 demanding the EU ban the Monsanto weedkiller glyphosate over fears it causes cancer. Glyphosate is used in the best-selling herbicide Roundup. (Credit: THIERRY CHARLIER/AFP/Getty Images)

The assessment contradicts the conclusion of a European scientific panel as well as California regulators, who have included the chemical on the Proposition 65 list of probable carcinogens.

Environmentalists worldwide have fought to encourage governments to ban the pesticide.

The European Union in November voted to extend the license of the chemical for five years. EPA will be considering a similar extension of the product’s registration for use in 2019, and Monday’s draft assessment is a foundational document in that process.

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