Statement of the GTF on the recent IARC decision concerning glyphosate
Evaluations carried out by regulatory authorities across the world for over forty years have all confirmed that glyphosate poses no unacceptable risk to humans, animals or the environment.
The Glyphosate Task Force (GTF) therefore does not accept the recent classification of glyphosate by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a Group 2A carcinogen. The evaluation which has produced this outcome demonstrates serious deficiencies in terms of methodological approach and the overall conclusion is inconsistent with the results of all regulatory reviews concerning glyphosate’s safety profile.
© Glyphosate Task Force It is important to note that the recent Review Assessment Report generated in the context of the on-going EU review for the renewal of approval of glyphosate found that “no evidence of carcinogenity was obtained” in the studies reviewed. All studies reviewed by IARC were taken into account in the assessment conducted by the German Authorities on behalf of the European Commission.
The decision reached by IARC only took into account a selection of publicly available information and was therefore made without the benefit of analysing the extensive data base on glyphosate already evaluated by the regulatory authorities of OECD countries. Most peer reviewed literature and other publicly available information such as the evaluations, opinions and conclusions of regulatory competent authorities were also dismissed by IARC.
The studies not included in the IARC evaluation were generated using validated test methods in laboratories subjected to regular audit procedures, as prescribed by regulatory authorities and are of the highest quality. They provide clear evidence that glyphosate does not have genotoxic or carcinogenic properties.On reviewing all of this available data, both published and unpublished, regulatory authorities have consistently concluded that glyphosate does not cause cancer in either animals or humans.
EFSA's Conclusions on the dossier submitted by the Glyphosate Task Force (in the context of the EU review of approval for active substances) along with the Updated Assessment Report, and EFSA peer review documentation is expected to be published by EFSA on its website later this year and therefore will be available for review by IARC.
The Glyphosate Task Force believes that IARC should withdraw the decision and take this information into account before finalising its monograph on glyphosate.
You can download a Dutch version of the statement here: Statement van de GTF over de recente beslissing van het IARC betreffende glyfosaat
• Statement by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) on the IARC evaluation: Does glyphosate cause cancer?
• Remarks by Maria Flachsbarth, German Parliamentary State Secretary for the German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture to the German Bundestag on March 25, 2015: "…I’d like to call your attention to the fact that regarding potential carcinogenic properties, the opinion of the BfR is confirmed by the evaluations of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the European Chemical Evaluations Agency (ECHA), the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations as well as the national regulatory authorities in, for example, Australia, the U.S. and Brazil. It is not yet clear why an organization of the WHO, the above-mentioned IARC, came to a conclusion that is completely contrary to that of the JMPR. […] At the moment there is no acute need for a ban." You can read the full response (in German) by Dr. Flachsbarth here.
More information on the conclusions of the draft re-evaluation report on glyphosate: “In epidemiological studies in humans, there was no evidence of carcinogenicity and there were no effects on fertility, reproduction and development of neurotoxicity that might be attributed to glyphosate.” Glyphosate Renewal Assessment Report, Germany, Rapporteur Member State for the European Renewal of Approval for Glyphosate (2014).
Last update: 26 May 2015