Leading Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta products could be withdrawn from shops by July after committee fails to agree on whether glyphosate poses a health risk to humans
There’s one caveat about the following statement in this otherwise great article: “One WHO agency found it [glyphosate] to be ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ while another ruled that glyphosate was unlikely to pose any health risk to humans, in an assessment shaded by conflict of interests allegations earlier this week.”
In fact the JMPR committee (the second agency mentioned in the above quote) found glyphosate was unlikely to pose a cancer risk through diet, a much more restricted claim than suggesting it doesn’t pose a health risk at all.
However, an article for Sustainable Pulse points out that there is no scientific evidence to justify even this conclusion, since the low levels of glyphosate and its toxic metabolite AMPA that are found in food have never been directly tested to find out if they cause cancer, endocrine disruption, or other diseases.
Monsanto weedkiller faces recall from Europe's shops after EU fail to agree deal
The Guardian, 20 May 2016
* Leading Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta products could be withdrawn from shops by July after committee fails to agree on whether glyphosate poses a health risk to humans
Bestselling weedkillers by Monsanto, Dow and Syngenta could be removed from shops across Europe by July, after an EU committee failed for a second time to agree on a new license for its core ingredient, glyphosate.
The issue has divided EU nations, academics and the World Health Organisation (WHO) itself. One WHO agency found it to be “probably carcinogenic to humans” while another ruled that glyphosate was unlikely to pose any health risk to humans, in an assessment shaded by conflict of interests allegations earlier this week.
EU officials say that while there could be a voluntary grace period of six-12 months, unless a compromise can be found, the product’s license will be allowed to expire on 30 June.
One told the Guardian that after its proposal to cutting the authorisation to nine years was rejected, the bloc was now in “uncharted territory” with no clear path to a deal that could reach consensus.
“Our position is clear,” he said. “If we can reach a qualified majority on a text we will go ahead. Otherwise, we have to leave the authorisation to expire and on 30 June member states will need to start withdrawing products containing glyphosate from the market.”
Glyphosate is Europe’s most widely used weedkiller, and its parent RoundUp herbicide accounts for a third of Monsanto’s total earnings.
The compound is routinely – but not exclusively – used on crops that have been genetically engineered to resist it. Several studies have linked blanket spraying with damage to surrounding flora, fauna and the entire food chain.
But the commission moved to relicense it last November, after a crucial European food safety authority (Efsa) report declared it unlikely to cause cancer, although that paper sparked controversy.
Philip Miller, Monsanto’s vice president of global regulatory affairs, condemned the EU’s failure to reapprove glyphosate as “scientifically unwarranted” and “an unprecedented deviation from the EU’s legislative framework”.