Common Sense Gardening Group - Putting IARC classifications in perspective

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There has been a great deal in the news lately about the work of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Following their classification of glyphosate as being “probably carcinogenic to humans” they have now classified processed meats such as bacon, sausages and burgers as being in the higher classification, “carcinogenic to humans”.

The Common Sense Gardening Group is aiming to give some perspective to these classifications for those concerned about the health effects of their weed killer, or their cooked breakfast.

It is important to understand the difference between IARC’s work, i.e. the identification of a potential hazard of a product, and the work of the world’s regulatory bodies. Regulators conduct risk assessments, taking into account hazard and exposure, to ensure that garden care chemicals are only approved for use when shown to be safe for humans and the environment.

Processed meats and many other products classified by IARC such as coffee, mobile phones or aloe vera are all products we are capable of using or consuming in our day to day lives whilst managing any risk. Glyphosate is no different.

Glyphosate is amongst the most thoroughly tested weed killers on the market. Numerous health assessments conducted by public authorities over the last 40 years have consistently concluded that glyphosate does not pose an unacceptable risk to public health.

Gardeners should also be confident that sausages and bacon, in moderation, do not pose an unacceptable risk either.

Gary Philpotts, Chair of the Common Sense Gardening Group said:

“Garden care chemicals such as glyphosate play an important role in creating and maintaining a garden as part of an integrated approach that considers alternative methods of pest, weed, and disease control when appropriate.

“Human health and responsible use of garden care chemicals is and must always be our highest priority. As an industry we take pride in the detailed submissions we provide to regulators and the extreme rigor with which our products are assessed. Gardeners and the general public should rest assured that these products are safe and effective when used according to the instructions on the label. ”

Doff Portland Limited SBM Life Science The Scotts Company (UK) Ltd Vitax Ltd Westland Horticulture Ltd