All news articles

All our news articles

Delivering news

What's being said

Delivery of policy

New Zealand authorities ignoring the experts on health risk - report

New Zealanders’ health is being put at risk by a chemical in commonly used weed killers deemed unsafe by international agencies, but not our own Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Green Party said today.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer has been determined to be a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the world’s leading authority. A paper released today demonstrates how the EPA used science and opinion supplied by industry and unpublished data to reach conclusions counter to the views of 17 world experts.

“New Zealanders should be able to count on agencies like the EPA to ensure public health,” says Green Party pesticides spokesperson Steffan Browning and co-author of the report.

The paper ‘Why did the NZ EPA ignore the world authority on cancer?’ has supporting statements from academics and researchers, and includes information released under the OIA showing that the Ministry of Health did not agree with the EPA’s approach to challenging the IARC.

The research paper recommends that the EPA immediately withdraw its report, ‘Review of the Evidence Relating to Glyphosate and Carcinogenicity,’ and adopt the IARC’s determination that it is a probable human carcinogen.

“Removing glyphosate based herbicides such as Roundup from streets and parks is the least the EPA can do before undergoing a deep review of its processes,”

“The EPA review appears outdated and the agency has failed to take account of significant factors,”

“The failure of New Zealand authorities to draw on the IARC finding and protect New Zealanders from chemicals with probable carcinogenic properties means we need to investigate how the EPA and other agencies makes these decisions,” said Mr Browning.

The Green Party has also today sent the EPA a petition with more than 3000 signatures calling for a reassessment of the safety of Glyphosate.

Link to Report: NZ EPA Glyphosate and Cancer