Glyphosate is a step closer to getting approved for continued use in the European Union after a positive review by a group of regulators assigned to study the herbicide's safety.
In a draft report by the Assessment Group on Glyphosate, regulators from France, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Sweden said glyphosate “does meet the approval criteria” for a renewed registration in Europe.
The AGG specifically concluded that there was no justification for classifying glyphosate as carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction, toxic for specific organs, mutagenic or genotoxic or disruptive to endocrine functionality.
The group also assessed the potential harm to consumers from residues in food and feed and said, "No chronic or acute consumer risk is expected from treatment of crops with glyphosate according to the representative uses for the current renewal process."
The AGG did propose retaining the current classification that the product “causes serious eye damage” and also said more information is needed on “reliable field dissipation/degradation rates.”
A spokesperson for Bayer, the manufacturer of glyphosate sold under the brand name Roundup, said the AGG’s review was “based on one of the most extensive and comprehensive scientific dossiers ever compiled for a pesticide product.”
“The AGG’s conclusions are consistent with the conclusions of leading health authorities around the world,” the spokesperson said. “For more than 40 years, leading health authorities have repeatedly concluded that glyphosate-based products are safe for use according to label instructions and that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.”
The review is part of a lengthy re-registration process that began in 2019. Several steps remain in the process, including public input and peer review of the AGG’s findings. The process will be continued by the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency. According to the European Commission, the EFSA will adopt a conclusion based on the peer review of the pesticide risk assessment, a conclusion that will be combined with the AGG report and considered by the Commission and member states.
While EU regulators are continuing the re-registration process, some countries in the bloc are already banning or phasing out the pesticide. Austria first banned the product in 2019, and Germany has announced plans to phase out glyphosate by 2023.
No definitive timeline is available for the next steps in the registration process.
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