Australia’s peak cancer body calls for review of popular weedkiller due to safety concerns

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Photo: SafetyCulture Library

Cancer Council Australia is calling for an independent review into the use of a popular weedkiller, which is being linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

It’s active ingredient, glyphosate has been classified by the World Health Organisation’s specialised cancer agency, the International Agency for research on Cancer (IARC), as “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015.

According to an ABC report, there have been concerns over the lack of independent or formal review of the chemical in more than two decades.

“We are concerned that this issue’s not being taken seriously enough in Australia, particularly by the agricultural industry,” said Cancer Council Australia CEO Dr. Sanchia Aranda.

“The IARC report is independent and does not suggest that there is absolutely a reason for concern.”

In Australia, over 500 glyphosate products are being sold today.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) had a formal review of glyphosate in 1995.

“Glyphosate remains safe to use in the Australian environment,” said APVMA chief executive Dr. Chris Parker.

Some are questioning the regulator’s independence since it receives funds from the companies it regulates, but it insists that it acts independently.

“Our decisions are our decisions, they’re not able to be influenced by politicians or industry,” said Dr. Parker.

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