EU explains scientific basis of glyphosate health assessment after IARC row

Researchers have published a detailed explanation of why they disagreed with an International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in journal Archives of Toxicology.

The review presents the scientific basis of the glyphosate health assessment conducted within the European Union (EU) renewal process, and explains the differences in the carcinogenicity assessment with IARC, which focuses on hazard-based and risk-based assessments of the weedkiller and its potential as a carcinogen.

In March, industry bodies welcomed EU body the European Chemical Agency (ECHA's) decision that glyphosate was not carcinogenic.

The EC now has six months to facilitate reapproval.

"Since glyphosate was introduced in 1974, all regulatory assessments have established that glyphosate has low hazard potential to mammals, however, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded in March 2015 that it is probably carcinogenic.

"The IARC conclusion was not confirmed by the EU assessment or the recent joint WHO/FAO evaluation, both using additional evidence. Glyphosate is not the first topic of disagreement between IARC and regulatory evaluations, but has received greater attention.

"This review presents the scientific basis of the glyphosate health assessment conducted within the European Union (EU) renewal process, and explains the differences in the carcinogenicity assessment with IARC.

"Use of different data sets, particularly on long-term toxicity/carcinogenicity in rodents, could partially explain the divergent views; but methodological differences in the evaluation of the available evidence have been identified."


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