IARC is an agency under the World Health Organization (WHO) but is not responsible for regulating pesticides. The body responsible for conducting risk assessments of pesticides for regulatory purposes is the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR).
IARC working groups are made up of scientists from a wide variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Over the course of 1 week, IARC working group members consider a selection of literature and provide a score.
IARC’s process for review differs significantly from that of the European Commission, the U.S. EPA, the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), and other regulators around the world.
These groups conduct a risk assessment, while IARC conducts a hazard identification. The two are very different.
Hazard identification is an important part of the scientific process and is also used by pesticide regulators as the first step in their risk assessment. In addition, pesticide regulators around the globe also consider exposure, from all potential sources, when determining safe levels of use.
To help the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data provided an extensive data review that concluded [Download Submission]:
- There is evidence demonstrating lack of carcinogenicity in experimental animals;
- There is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans; and,
- There are no mechanistic data that would support evidence of 2,4-D carcinogenic modes-of action.
All agencies – including the WHO agency responsible for pesticides – are of one voice: 2,4-D may be used safely according to label directions.