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The principle even applies to foods: Large amounts of nutmeg or licorice are notoriously toxic.The risk that a substance poses broadly depends on two factors: its inherent capacity to cause harm and one's exposure to it. It is a simple idea, but even some presumptive professionals seem unable to grasp it – as evidenced by the decision by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a component of the World Health Organization, to classify the commonly used herbicide 2,4-D as "possibly carcinogenic to humans". Similarly, not a single governmental agency has deemed 2,4-D a carcinogen.This would be a shame, because these are highly effective and widely used herbicides, and when the IARC makes its decisions, it does not consider whether the substance in question is actually likely to cause cancer in the real world.Classifying 2,4-D as a cancer risk to humans ignores extensive research and analysis conducted by health authorities worldwide, including the United Nations WHO/FAO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residue.Its decisions, which have wide exposure, pose the greatest risk to human and other animal life – at any dose.
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