The Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) said that the recent labeling of 2,4-D as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) causes confusion and should not be the basis for banning useful crop-protection tools, reports Crop Production News.

In its second report this year, the IARC labeled a safe and effective pesticide, dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), as a “possible carcinogen,” giving it the same designation it assigned to glyphosate in March.

IARC, an agency within the U.N.’s World Health Organization, conducts initial reviews of compounds to help prioritize cancer analysis. The agency evaluates the potential for carcinogenic hazard of compounds—not whether the compound is a carcinogen, but whether it has the potential to be—and should be studied further.

Glyphosate, 2,4-D and other compounds under review by the IARC have been the subject of hundreds of scientific studies and regulatory reviews. Government regulatory agencies charged with protecting public health in more than 100 countries have evaluated the science and concluded that glyphosate and 2,4-D do not increase health risks when used as directed. In fact, no government in the world considers them carcinogens. That includes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the European Food Safety Authority, Health Canada and the World Health Organization.

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