The agency says it's unlikely that Roundup's active ingredient causes cancer in humans.

By Gillie Houston
Updated May 24, 2017
Credit: © The Creative Drone / Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that the common herbicide glyphosate—known commercially as the main ingredient in Roundup—doesn't cause cancer... but will that convince the chemical nay-sayers?

At NPR, Dan Charles writes that glyphosate has long considered one of the mildest and safest chemicals used to control weed growth,so it was a surprise when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released a statement suggesting the common chemical had the potential to cause cancer. That announcement caused a stir among farmers and consumers who feared for the future of the widely used chemical and their crops.

However, since the IARC's initial reports last year, multiple international organizations have discredited the idea that glyphosate could be carcinogenic. The European Food Safety Agency and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization have both recently announced that their experts have concluded that Roundup is not likely to cause cancer. Now, the EPA has also issued an in-depth report on the pesticide, titled "Glyphosate Issue Paper: Evaluation of Carcinogenic Potential," which determines that it is unlikely that the chemical causes cancer in humans.

Despite these numerous investigations, many chemical-averse consumers may still be turned off by the usage of the Mansanto product. And, in Europe, a political battle is ongoing over whether authorities will continue to allow glyphosate to be used in growing operations. That is, if the weeds of the future don't become immune to glyphosate altogether, which many anticipate will soon be the case.