Corn and soy leaders fear WHO statement will create unnecessary fear

American Soybean Association (ASA) Chairman Ray Gaesser and National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) President Chip Bowling issued a joint statement Wednesday, expressing concern that a pending announcement from the U.N. World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) about two widely used herbicides will lead to more confusion and concern.

The IARC is scheduled to release the findings of its review of Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and dicamba this month. The two substances play an especially important role in corn and soybean farming by allowing growers to manage weeds in a sustainable way.

The statement said that the IARC exists to review health and safety data to decide whether something could -- not will or is even likely to -- be carcinogenic.

“IARC creates confusion and unnecessary fear among the public by using narrowly-focused data removed from real-world situations to find almost everything that it reviews as potentially carcinogenic, including drinking coffee, using aloe vera or working the late shift,” the statement said.

It also said the two herbicides and others under review have been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies and regulatory reviews.

“Government regulatory agencies charged with protection of public health in more than 100 countries have evaluated the science and concluded that 2,4-D and glyphosate do not increase health risks when used as directed. In fact, no government in the world considers them carcinogens. That includes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the European Food Safety Authority, Health Canada and the World Health Organization, the same World Health Organization that oversees IARC.”

Organizations in this story

American Soybean Association 12125 Woodcrest Executive Dr St Louis, MO 63141

National Corn Growers Association 632 Cepi Dr Chesterfield, MO 63005

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20460

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