Glyphosate - State of Play

01 June 2022

Crops Horticulture Science and Innovation Farm Business

The European Chemicals Agency has concluded again that Glyphosate is not carcinogenic - 31 May 2022

ECHA's Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) has concluded that the existing classifications for glyphosate as a substance that causes serious eye damage and is toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects should be retained. The committee found that the available scientific evidence did not meet the criteria to classify glyphosate for specific target organ toxicity, or as a carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic substance.

The committee assessed glyphosate’s hazardous properties against criteria in the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation. They considered an extensive volume of scientific data and many hundreds of comments received during consultations when forming their opinion.

The new RAC opinion is consistent with the proposal of the four Member States currently assessing glyphosate: Sweden, France, Hungary and The Netherlands as well as with RAC’s 2017 opinion.

The adopted opinion will be published on ECHA’s website and sent to the European Commission and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) by mid-August. EFSA will carry out its risk assessment of glyphosate, with this expected to be ready in July 2023.

The European Commission will analyse EFSA’s conclusions and the renewal assessment report that was prepared by Sweden, France, Hungary and The Netherlands. The Commission will then put forward a renewal report and a draft regulation to Member States on whether the approval of glyphosate can be renewed or not.


EU agencies push back glyphosate assessment to mid-2023 - 15 May 2022

The EU’s current authorisation for glyphosate as an active substance in plant protection is set to expire on 16 December 2022, however EFSA and ECHA announced on Tuesday (10 May) that they had revised the timeline for the assessment and would not finalise the process before July 2023. The Commission is now expected to propose a temporary extension of the approval to bridge the gap. 


State of Play - 14 March 2022

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have received a draft assessment of glyphosate carried out by four EU Member States (France, Hungary, Sweden and the Netherlands) which concludes that glyphosate “meets the approval criteria for human health” and re-approval “as an active substance to be used in plant protection products”.

The assessment does recommend more conservative reference values for use in risk assessments for human health, and says the eco-toxicological information available indicates it should continue to be considered toxic to aquatic life with long-lasting effects.

EFSA will carry out a peer review and ECHA’s Risk Assessment Committee will review glyphosate’s safety classification by the summer of 2022. The European Commission will then prepare a proposal on whether or not to renew the authorisation which will be subject to approval by member states.


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