Anti-pesticides group release glyphosate report

In a "state of the science" review released today, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International presented a body of research documenting human health and environmental impacts of glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides which it argues "underscores the need for a global phase-out".

Adverse human impacts detailed in the review include acute poisoning, kidney and liver damage, imbalances in the intestinal microbiome and intestinal functioning, cancer, genotoxicity, endocrine disruption, reproductive and developmental reduction, neurological damage, and immune system dysfunction. 

PAN dispute Monsanto's assertion that the chemical is safe and question registration processes continuing to allow its use. Several countries' regulatory bodies including in the US, New Zealand, Australia and most recently Switzerland have reviewed evidence and backed the chemical.

Glyphosate is included in PAN International’s "List of Highly Hazardous Pesticides" it is targeting for global phaseout. The global network is calling for the herbicide to be replaced by agroecological approaches to weed management in diversified cropping systems and non-crop situations.

Glyphosate is used on crops, gardens and public places. PAN says it is concerns that the chemical has been found in human urine and breast milk.

PAN highlights the 2015 classification by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, something which Monsanto has said is an "outlier" finding that does not reflect most of the science.

This June, the European Union extended approval for glyphosate for only 18 months instead of the usual 15 years. 

PAN says environmental impacts detailed in the monograph show adverse effects on ecosystem functioning, pollination services, biological controls, soil fertility and crop health, and residues in the environment, including in rainwater, surface and ground waters, and the marine environment.

The pressure group adds that resistance to glyphosate is now recorded in 35 weed species and in 27 countries.

The monograph also contains a section on alternative weed management and provides information on a wide variety of non-chemical approaches to weed management in various situations.


Monsanto business manager Gary Philpotts said: Shock, PAN don’t like Glyphosate! It's really not very surprising is it, that an organisation whose aim is to achieve a global ban on glyphosate have produced a negative report on the active and specifically Roundup.

"This collection of opinions and old news articles which is self published and not peer reviewed or independently assessed should be treated as just that, the opinion of an anti pesticide NGO.

"Over 40 years of safe use and the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence clearly demonstrates that there are no health risks from the use of glyphosate.

"PAN continue to quote the IARC report from March 2015 in spite of the World Health Organisation and United Nations joint committee [JMPR] contradicting its conclusions by saying "that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans". This tactic of using selected isolated reports and is very misleading for professionals, gardeners and retailers.

"Government regulators, acting on behalf of the public and using objective scientific assessments of all available evidence, including the IARC report, consistently find that glyphosate is not carcinogenic and can be safely used, for instance US EPA, EFSA, FAO/WHO JMPR, Canada, AUS/NZ, Switzerland, Japan and others."

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