Germany's Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has completed its draft review report for glyphosate, which is expected to lead to the herbicide's re-approval in Europe.
The report is not yet public.
Needless to say and completely in line with our predictions, BfR claims there is no problem with glyphosate and blames any toxicity problems that might occur on an adjuvant (added ingredient) present in some formulations, the surfactant (wetting agent) POEA, which Germany has already restricted.
BfR claims glyphosate is not carcinogenic or mutagenic, and that the substance is not toxic to fertility, reproduction, or embryonic/foetal development.
In order to reach its conclusion, BfR glosses over damning evidence of toxicity in the industry studies and dismisses countless studies by independent scientists.
BfR also neglects to mention in its advance publicity the fact that our exposure is to the complete herbicide formulations, rather than the isolated ingredient glyphosate which is tested for regulatory purposes. The formulations have been found in many studies to be more toxic than glyphosate alone.
Germany will suggest to the EU that the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for glyphosate is raised from 0.3 mg/kg bw/d to 0.5 mg/kg.
Controversial glyphosate poison can be sprayed
By Christopher Schrader
Sueddeutsche.de, 22 January 2014
Translation from the German: Google/GMWatch
* Authorities certify glyphosate does not harm health, farmers can spray the herbicide. Environmental groups are up in arms against the vote.
The controversial weedkiller glyphosate can probably be used for another ten years in the EU. Scientists at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and other authorities were able to certify in Berlin on Monday that it presents no major health concern. Germany has taken the European procedure for renewal of the authorization to examine the data on glyphosate.
Environmental groups disagree with the verdict of the German authorities. "There are a large number of studies that point to health risks in humans," says Heike Moldenhauer by BUND. "We do not understand why BfR sees these as disproved." Researchers such as Monika Krueger from the University of Leipzig have also made many observations of possible relationships between glyphosate and diseases in animals. For a long time the substance has been demonstrated to be present in urine samples of city dwellers, in water, and in foods such as flour or peanuts. The amounts are not dangerous, according to the BfR; they are far below the [regulatory 'safe'] limits.
Particularly controversial: poison spray to accelerate the ripening of the grain
Glyphosate is the best-selling herbicide worldwide. It has been marketed since the 1970s by the agricultural company Monsanto under the name Roundup… Its use is increasing.
The toxin acts on enzymes that are unique to plants and some bacteria, but they are not present in animals or humans. The agent is therefore used by farmers to destroy all plants in a field after harvest and before sowing. With the [death of the plants], insects and birds lose their food source, so that biodiversity suffers from glyphosate, as BVL [Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety] notes.
In addition, many farmers spray the poison shortly before harvest to accelerate the ripening of the grain. Not only has the Federal Environment Agency criticized this practice, but the Federal Council demanded last November to ban it.