In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) published in a monograph that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A)” (IARC, 2015). During the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) peer-review process for the renewal of approval of the pesticide active substance glyphosate, the IARC evaluation regarding the potential carcinogenicity and genotoxicity of glyphosate or glyphosate – containing plant protection products was taken into consideration but EFSA and EU experts came to a different conclusion (EFSA conclusion, 2015).
ECHA’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) has recently assessed glyphosate’s hazardous properties against the criteria in the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation. The committee concluded that the scientific evidence available do not meet the criteria to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen, as a mutagen or as toxic for reproduction. The RAC agrees to maintain the current harmonised classification of glyphosate as a substance causing serious eye damage and being toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects.
The ECHA conclusion is consistent with that from reviews of the glyphosate database by independent expert panels (Williams et al, 2016: A review of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate by four independent expert panels and comparison to the IARC assessment. Crit Rev Toxicol Sep; 46(sup1):pp 3-20).
The ECHA document is available on the ECHA website at https://echa.europa.eu/-/glyphosate-not-classified-as-a-carcinogen-by-echa
For advice on risk assessment and further information on the registration of plant protection products, biocides or general chemicals, or any other regulatory issues, please contact JSC on +44 (0)1423 520245,firstname.lastname@example.org.
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