Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the Crop Protection Association said:
“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 which take into account its actual risk. Regulators conduct risk assessments, taking into account not just hazard, but crucially also exposure, to ensure that crop protection products are only approved for use when shown to be safe for humans and the environment.
“IARC recently clarified this distinction and the Agency published a Question and Answer document on its website in which it states:
“The IARC Monographs Programme evaluates cancer hazards but not the risks associated with exposure.”
“IARC uses limited data to identify a potential hazard, not risk, associated with an active ingredient. Contrastingly, in the European Union crop protection products undergo extensive reviews based on multi-year testing to assess risk and risk management in real world conditions, which means we can be confident that using these important products is safe.
“For this reason, calls for regulatory action based on IARC’s hazard-only identification are unfounded – risk assessments carried out by the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) and by major regulatory agencies around the world remain valid in the absence of any significant new information.
“Human health and responsible use of crop protection products 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, which gives a high degree of confidence to crop protection product users and the public at large. We do not want to see this progress undermined.”