An Irish businessman on the board of a company that produces controversial pesticide Roundup said consumers and farmers should be in no doubt that the product is safe.
Liam Condon, who is originally from Dublin, made his comments five months after a Californian jury ordered Monsanto, the company that produces Roundup, to pay $289m (€252m) to a school groundskeeper who said the glyphosate in the product caused his terminal cancer.
The jury said Monsanto failed to warn consumers of cancer risks. Monsanto, which is owned by Bayer, is appealing the ruling. Mr Condon, who is the president of Bayer’s crop science division, told the Irish Independent he is confident the appeal will be successful.
“Roundup has been on the market for over 40 years and approved by over 160 authorities around the world. Every regulatory authority has looked at this again and again and they have all come to the conclusion that it is safe and effective,” he said.
Mr Condon said the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is one of four arms of the World Health Organisation that examine cancer risks and was the only one that stated that Roundup probably causes cancer.
“IARC basically put glyphosate in to the same category as hot drinks, red meat, aloe vera… so a lot of stuff that you would say is consumed or used on a daily basis by an average person without anybody screaming for the products to be banned,” he said.