Glyphosate non-carcinogenic, but unsafe

After evaluating scientific data, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has found that glyphosate is non-carcinogenic, but can cause eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life.

Glyphosate non-carcinogenic, but unsafe
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Mikko Väänänen, press officer at the ECHA, told Farmer’s Weekly that according to the standard animal tests to establish this hazard, glyphosate met the criteria for classification as a substance that caused serious eye damage.

The mechanism by which it does this was not considered in the assessment, Väänänen said after the findings were released.

“The assessment of the committee for risk assessment (RAC) only considers the hazardous properties of a substance, not the risks associated with different levels of exposure to the substance. Glyphosate is classified as Aquatic Chronic 2. This means that the long-term aquatic toxicity based on the lowest available toxicity values is between 0,1 mg/ℓ and 1 mg/ℓ,” he said.

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After evaluations of available data, the RAC determined that data available did not meet the criteria to classify glyphosate as carcinogenic.

ECHA is a regulatory authority that implements EU chemical legislation, classification, labelling and packaging.

The adopted opinion on the harmonised classification for glyphosate would be taken into account when the commission and member states consider whether to renew the approval to use glyphosate as an active substance in pesticides later this year, according to the ECHA.

RAC provides an independent scientific opinion on the hazard classification of the substance.

This classification is based solely on the hazardous properties of the substance.

It does not take into account the likelihood of exposure to the substance and therefore does not address the risks of exposure, the ECHA stated.

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Gerhard Uys grew up as a real city lad, but spends his free time hiking and visiting family farms. He learnt the journalism trade as a freelance writer and photographer in the lifestyle industry, but having decided that he will be a cattle farmer by the age of 45 he now indulges his passion for farming by writing about agriculture. He feels Farmer’s Weekly is a platform for both developed and emerging farmers to learn additional farming skills and therefore takes the job of relaying practical information seriously.