“The European Chemicals Agency’s Risk Assessment Committee has independently established its scientific opinion: the current classification for glyphosate remains unchanged,” ECHA’s Mark Rasenberg said.
Glyphosate, one of the most widely used herbicides in the world, can cause eye pests or harm marine environments. “After a thorough review of the scientific evidence, the committee has re-established that the ‘carcinogenic’ classification of glyphosate is not justified,” ECHA asserts in a press release.
This assessment is indispensable for the European Commission, which will soon have to decide on the renewal of the license for this herbicide in the European Union. The current decision expires on December 15, 2022, but will be automatically extended until the end of the evaluation process, provided that no risks to individuals are identified.
Replacement product is missing
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and ECHA have postponed the EFSA’s conclusions on “all potential risks from exposure to glyphosate to animals, humans and the environment” until July 2023, a report tentatively expected in the “second half of 2022”. Able to “take into account” hundreds of contributions.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) classified glyphosate as a “probably carcinogenic” to humans in March 2015.
The Glyphosate Review Committee, made up of four reference member states (France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden), will provide the EFSA with an updated opinion by the end of September, prior to a series of consultations and final conclusions from the regulator.
France has set itself the goal of phasing out most uses of herbicides classified as “probably carcinogenic” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) by 2021, before being completely banned by 2023. Agricultural organizations oppose and point out that there is no product alternative.