Pesticide Action Network International details health and environmental damage from glyphosate herbicides

In a “state of the science” review released today, Pesticide Action Network International presents a large body of research documenting the adverse human health and environmental impacts of glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides and underscores the need for a global phase-out.

The review is published ahead of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s meetings on the safety of the chemical later this month.

The European Chemicals Agency is also expected to make a recommendation on glyphosate, which will inform the EU’s decision on whether to ban, restrict, or re-approve the chemical without restrictions.

PAN International says, "Adverse human impacts detailed in the review include acute poisoning, kidney and liver damage, imbalances in the intestinal microbiome and intestinal functioning, cancer, genotoxicity, endocrine disruption, reproductive and development reduction, neurological damage and immune system dysfunction.”

Glyphosate is sprayed on over 80% of GM crops and is used to “desiccate” other crops to make them easier to harvest.

The review focuses on the 2015 classification by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, which PAN International says has “resulted in widespread concern about its continued use, especially pre-harvest and in public places”.

The review continues: “Sri Lanka was the first country to ban it completely, although the ban has recently been relaxed to allow use in tea plantations; Italy has banned pre-harvest use, and all use in public places and those frequented by children and the elderly; France is phasing out the use of pesticides in towns and public areas; and the European Union has extended approval for glyphosate for only 18 months instead of the usual 15 years. The research and evidence detailed in the review released today provides valuable scientific evidence for all communities wanting to follow these leads.”

The new review can be accessed here: