A former senior-level EPA toxicologist turned EPA critic considers Roundup a "very nontoxic chemical," according to an article published by the Wall Street Journal

Michael Dourson, who worked for the EPA as a toxicologist from 1980-95. His career went from developing EPA guidelines for evaluating risk to leaving the agency and speaking out against low EPA regulatory standards for various chemicals. 

“I wasn’t neutral as a government person,” Dourson told the Wall Street Journal. “I learned to honor industry’s knowledge.”

After leaving the EPA, Dourson founded Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment, a nonprofit that does risk assessment work for both U.S. government agencies and the chemical industry. Since then, some scientists and former colleagues believe Dourson began to favor the chemical companies now hiring him, with one former EPA director saying Dourson "produces biased science that cherry picks data."

The article shares Dourson's opinion on some of the most widely known toxins regulated by the EPA, including DDT insecticide, PFAS and Roundup.

Dourson considers Roundup "a great product, very nontoxic chemical," according to the article. Roundup and its active ingredient, glyphosate, played a key role in the adoption of no-till, but Roundup is currently at the center of tens of thousands of lawsuits arguing glyphosate causes cancer. Bayer reached settlement agreements in nearly 100,000 cases and payed out about $11 billion as of May 2022, according to Forbes

AgDaily reports Bayer’s lawyers have long argued that numerous studies have shown Roundup is safe, and the EPA has concluded that glyphosate is not a carcinogen.

"As for Roundup, a controversial 2020 review by the EPA found that, when used as instructed, it presents 'no risks of concern' to humans and has 'minimal' effects on mammals, fish and birds," writes the Wall Street Journal. "After that finding was challenged in court, the agency said it intends to conduct another review."

“We are exposed to tens of thousands of chemicals a day," Dourson says. "Every chemical has a toxic level, and every chemical has a safe level.”

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