CPA confident on glyphosate renewal

Monsanto and the Crop Protection Association predict that the glyphosate ban by British retailers will be temporary.

The Crop Protection Association (CPA) and Monsanto are confident glyphosate will have its registration renewed, possibly before the end of 2015.

The CPA does not expect any more UK retailers to ban glyphosate sales despite north London garden centres NI and W6 having stopped selling Roundup this year.

Representative Adam Speed said: "One north London company has stopped selling it but we've heard nothing from the big boys."

He said he did not expect any changes, and after the process finishes CPA "does not expect regulation to change either."

The recent International Agency for Research on Cancer report to the World Health Organisation that said glyphosate was a possible carcinogen "did not bring out anything new" in it, said Monsanto UK business director Gary Philpotts, but does allow the German rapporteur Federal Institute for Risk Assessment and the European Food Safety Authority to move on with its review which they will submit to the EC committee looking at renewal of registration of glyphosate.

Philpotts said he hoped that this will happen before the end of 2015 and stated it will take a risk-based rather than potential hazard-based position on glyphosate and has said it does not believe the chemical is a carcinogen.

Philpotts added that he has asked to meet N1 and W6 owner Beryl Henderson but she turned him down.

Meanwhile, Dr Robin Mesnage of the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at Kings College in London has said: "We know Roundup contains many other chemicals which, when mixed together, are 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate on its own."

Philpotts responded: "The Roundup brand of glyphosate products for consumers are sufficiently safe that they do not require a Health & Safety Executive hazard label.

"Given very careful and comprehensive regulatory scrutiny, consumers can be reassured that using Roundup brand products according to label instructions is safe."

Timeline - EFSA evaluation

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is responsible for evaluating the active ingredient based on a detailed Review Assessment Report from the rapporteur member state.

- In February this year the German BfR (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) completed their draft Review Assessment Report.

- EFSA is carrying out a peer review of the BfR report and will send their conclusions to the European Commission (this process should be completed by November).

- The Commission then decides whether or not to include the substance on the EU's approved list, this decision is likely in 2016.

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