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Transparency on safety aspects and use of glyphosate-containing herbicides in Europe

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EFSA confirms earlier regulatory assessments regarding glyphosate’s safety profile

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has confirmed the outcome of previous risk evaluations, concluding that the herbicide glyphosate does not demonstrate carcinogenic or mutagenic properties and has no toxic effect on fertility, reproduction or embryonal development. EFSA concluded that “glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans and the evidence does not support classification with regard to its carcinogenic potential according to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008.”

EFSA arrived at these conclusions after having reviewed a comprehensive set of studies and data related to glyphosate. EFSA’s conclusions emphasise the overwhelming weight of evidence, stating that there is “an exceptionally large” database on glyphosate and that “the toxicological evaluation adopted by the rapporteur member state and agreed during peer review rely on a magnitude of valid studies rather than on one key study for each endpoint.”

Richard Garnett, chair of the GTF stated that “The EFSA conclusion completes another key milestone in the process for the re-evaluation of glyphosate by the European regulatory authorities. It  confirms the previous evaluations of glyphosate by regulatory authorities around the world, which have consistently concluded that the application of glyphosate poses no unacceptable risk to human health, animals or the environment”

Taking account of EFSA’s conclusions, the European Commission will prepare a Review Report, followed by a Regulation with a proposal that will be put to a vote by the representatives from the 28 member states at the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed during the coming months.

Last update: 12 November 2015