European Chemicals Agency glyphosate European risk assessment discussions continue

The Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has met in Helsinki, Finland, to discuss the hazard classification of glyphosate.

Sources said that "despite some media speculation, ECHA has yet to make a conclusion of their assessment".

RAC will continue its discussions at a regularly scheduled meeting on March 15. 

The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) said: "We would have been surprised if there had been a conclusion today given the amount of information the RAC is required to conside. It’s only right that ECHA takes the necessary time to arrive at a robust science-based conclusion."

Monsanto declined to comment on the meeting.

Some 20 environmental groups including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have written to Geert Dancet, executive director, of ECHA "to express our concerns in relation to the independence and transparency of this committee.

"We are concerned that several members as well as the chair of the Risk Assessment Committee appear
to have a conflict of interest, according to ECHA’s own criteria."

The Crop Protection Association responded: "This is about trying to smear science that you don’t like. The head of the ECHA’s sister agency, the European Food Safety Agency has been absolutely clear – this debate has nothing to do with safety, it’s about how we grow food. It’s right that we have that debate, but it’s wrong to use health scares to get there."

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