Use of glyphosate in New Zealand

01 October 2019

As a regulator of hazardous substances in New Zealand, the EPA gathers information from multiple credible sources when deciding whether substances are safe to use. Products containing glyphosate are considered safe, provided that all of the rules around their use are followed.

The rules around use include people wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, goggles and boots; applying sprays during calm and dry conditions, at designated use rates; and storing appropriately.

We are aware that some reports linking glyphosate to health impacts are causing concern. We are in alignment with the vast majority of regulatory bodies around the world – including in the European Union, United States, Australia and Canada - which agree that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer.

In 2015 an International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) report classified glyphosate as “2A probably carcinogenic”. Other things that fall under that same classification include hot drinks (over 65degC) and acrylamide – which are the crispy burned proteins from the barbecue or chips.

IARC’s role is to identify potential hazards. Our role as regulator is to ensure those hazards are adequately managed by appropriate controls (rules for use).

We continue to monitor research into health effects from glyphosate. Since 2016 there have not been any further significant studies to support the IARC finding, despite further research that continues to be conducted internationally.

Find out about staying safe with gardening products, including glyphosate