Numerous health assessments conducted by public authorities over the past 40 years have so far concluded that glyphosate does not pose any unacceptable risk to human health. Despite this a controversial debate concerning the assessment of glyphosate health risks has emerged.
In recent years, newspaper headlines such as "Popular herbicide kills tadpoles" have fuelled a public debate about the potential risks of glyphosate for ecosystems. The media attention was generated by a study on frogs which claimed to link the application of glyphosate to a widespread decline in amphibians.
Glyphosate and its main degradation product AMPA can only occasionally be found in groundwater, usually under exceptional circumstances. Their presence in surface water is more widespread, but doesn’t usually exceed the threshold of ecotoxicological concern.
All risk assessments conducted to-date by national and international regulatory authorities have concluded that glyphosate has limited toxicity for humans, animals and the environment. Although residual traces of glyphosate may sometimes occur in animal feed and in foodstuffs, the levels permitted do not pose a threat to animal or human health.
Many different classes of surfactants are used to improve the efficiency of plant protection products, including glyphosate products.Over the last couple of years there have been concerns regarding alleged side effects of polyethoxylated tallow amine surfactants to fish and frogs. Although these allegations have not been substantiated with hard, relevant scientific facts, these issues persist at the political level in certain EU member states.
Honeybees and other insects play a pivotal role in agriculture because many crops are not wind-pollinated but depend on pollinating insects. In addition, spiders and insects such as beetles and wasps feed on small herbivorous insects, which make them important biological pest control agents.