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NTP Glyphosate and Glyphosate Formulations Research

farming tractor spreading pesticides

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the United States and worldwide. It is applied as a formulation (or mixture) with other substances that help the plant absorb the glyphosate. Glyphosate acts as an herbicide by preventing susceptible plants from making proteins that are needed for growth. Over the past 25 years, use of glyphosate has risen dramatically due to development of glyphosate-resistant genetically modified crops. Most people are exposed to glyphosate by ingestion of food or water containing glyphosate residues. Individuals who regularly handle glyphosate products as part of their occupation may experience higher exposures.

There is considerable public interest in the potential health risks to humans from exposure to glyphosate. In 1992, NTP reported that rodents exposed to glyphosate in feed showed little evidence of toxicity, and there was no evidence of glyphosate causing genotoxicity, or damage to DNA.

Recently, several public health agencies have evaluated the scientific literature to identify whether exposure to glyphosate is a cancer hazard for humans.

Due to the different interpretations of the scientific evidence regarding potential health risk for humans, public concern for glyphosate use and exposure, and reported differences in toxicity of glyphosate products, NTP is undertaking additional research to investigate the potential genetic and mechanistic toxicity of glyphosate and glyphosate formulations. NTP will also examine the published scientific literature for information about effects of glyphosate on non-cancer outcomes.