Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
Sept. 30 — The European Food Safety Authority's release of previously confidential scientific data about the safety of the herbicide glyphosate could help resolve disagreements among scientific bodies about whether or not the substance should be considered a carcinogen, an advocacy group said.
The data would “enable scrutiny” of an evaluation of the hazard classification of glyphosate being carried out by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Martin Pigeon, a researcher with the Corporate Europe Observatory, which monitors lobbying of European Union legislation, told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 30.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released the data in response to a Corporate Europe Observatory access to documents request, it said Sept. 29, adding that the data would be “sufficient to enable a third-party scientist to scrutinize the evaluation of glyphosate.”
In its November 2015 study, EFSA found that glyphosate was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans,” contradicting an earlier finding from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, which said glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic” to humans.
EFSA's study was done as part of the reauthorization of glyphosate at the EU level in line with the bloc's regulation on plant protection products on the market (Regulation (EC) No. 1107/2009). The EU authorization of glyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide, was due to expire June 30.
The IARC finding that glyphosate was probably carcinogenic led environmental groups, some members of the European Parliament and some EU countries to oppose the reauthorization of glyphosate. The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, ultimately opted for an 18-month authorization extension, rather than a full reauthorization, while ECHA assesses if the substance is correctly classified in the EU.
Pigeon said EFSA would release the study data to Corporate Europe Observatory during the next two months and “we will share the data with competent toxicologists,” who would be able to provide an independent input into the ECHA classification check on glyphosate.
Pigeon said the release of data was welcome and EFSA “really went as far as they could to provide transparency and crucially to enable scientific scrutiny.”
ECHA's Risk Assessment Committee would have “access to the complete reports from those studies which they need for their decision-making on the proposed update of the harmonized classification for glyphosate,” ECHA told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 30.
Glyphosate is used in more than 750 products, including Monsanto's Roundup brand of herbicide. Although the substance is authorized at EU level, member countries have the right to refuse individual authorizations for products containing glyphosate.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gardner in Brussels at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org
A Corporate Europe Observatory summary detailing the pending EFSA release of data on glyphosate is available at http://src.bna.com/i3C .
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)