Amid review of glypohsate, EPA official said he favors biopesticides

The Environmental Protection Agency has wrapped up its review of the world’s most widely used herbicide and plans to release a much-anticipated preliminary risk assessment no later than July, the regulator’s chief pesticide regulator told Reuters.

The EPA review of the health and environmental impacts of glyphosate comes at a time of intense debate over the safety of the chemical, and after the World Health Organization’s cancer research unit declared in March that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Glyphosate is popular with farmers, and is used broadly on genetically altered corn, soybeans and other crops.

Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, told Reuters in an interview that the EPA’s review of the health and environmental impacts of glyphosate was concluded months ago, but its report was delayed to allow the agency to learn more about the WHO findings.

Related article:  Glyphosate herbicide harms human gut microbiome? 'Not biologically plausible'

The EPA’s upcoming draft risk assessment on glyphosate comes at a time when Monsanto and other agrichemical companies are developing biopesticides, which are based on natural organisms like plant and soil microbes rather than synthetic chemicals, and seen by some as alternatives to traditional pesticides.

Jones said the EPA is encouraging development of biopesticides because they “have very favorable human health and environmental profiles.” He said they are likely to overtake synthetic chemicals in agriculture at some point if their use continues what he called “dramatic” growth.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: EPA regulator says set to release key herbicide report, lauds biopesticides

 

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