Glyphosate is safe

Your opinion piece entitled ‘Food safety compromised by lack of glyphosate tests’ (17 August, pg 6) refers.

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In this article, written by Mariam Mayet of the African Centre for Biosafety, she mentions the safety of the herbicide glyphosate. It is clear that the report referred to was based on old recycled news and allegations about glyphosate and its safety. I would like to reiterate that Monsanto, the original patent holder of glyphosate under the brand name Roundup, takes the safety and stewardship of our products seriously. Our scientists carefully review every new publication related to the safety of our products.

Furthermore, glyphosate has a long history of safe use. Glyphosate is registered in more than 100 countries, has been on the market for more than 35 years and is backed by one of the most extensive worldwide human health, safety and environmental databases ever compiled for a pesticide product. Information establishing the safety of glyphosate includes extensive, acute and chronic studies in animals, epidemiological studies of farmers exposed to glyphosate, clinical experience with intentional ingestions of glyphosate, and nearly 40 years of experience with glyphosate use.

All agricultural remedies in South Africa need to be registered under Act 36 of 1947. When applying for registration, a registrant needs to supply detailed information on, among others, the active ingredients, the formulation, toxicology, physical chemistry properties, eco-toxicology, environmental behavior and the labels containing all the usage directions, warnings and precautions.
All this was supplied when Roundup was submitted for registration in the 1970s. A product would not be registered if there is any doubt or insufficient information.

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Thus, all the necessary information about glyphosate has been available for more than 35 years and Roundup and many generic formulations of glyphosate have been used safely during this period. For more information on the health and environmental safety profile of glyphosate and Monsanto’s Roundup branded products, visit