Glyphosate: EFSA conclusion due in November

EFSA is assessing the findings of a report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which concludes that the herbicide glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans. 

The report, which was published in July, is being considered as part of EFSA’s on-going peer review of the re-evaluation of glyphosate. The re-evaluation was carried out by the BfR, the German risk assessment body.

To have sufficient time to take account of the IARC monograph, EFSA requested an extension of its original deadline. The Authority is confident of meeting the new deadline and expects the conclusion to be published in November.

IARC, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, says in its report that there is evidence of an association between exposure to glyphosate and development of cancers such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma and lung cancer.

Peer review in the EU

In the EU, active substances used in plant protection products are evaluated or re-evaluated using a phased approach.

First, an initial draft risk assessment report is produced by a designated rapporteur Member State (RMS). In the case of glyphosate the RMS is Germany. The report is peer-reviewed by EFSA, which sends its conclusion to the European Commission. The Commission then decides whether or not to include the substance in the EU’s list of approved active substances. Find out more here .