Report sits at odds with WHO viewpoint and may lead to introduction of dosage limits

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced that the widely used pesticide glyphosate does not, on the balance of probabilities, pose a cancer risk to humans. The peer reviewed report has also proposed legal dosage limits for glyphosate if accidentally consumed.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that glyphosate present in the Monsanto weedkiller, Roundup, ‘probably’ causes cancer, with the US government arguing that the herbicide was safe. Since the IARC report, California’s Environment Protection Agency has expressed its intention to label glyphosate carcinogenic.

The EFSA has said it has taken the IARC’s findings into account, but its recent conclusion appears to sit at odds with the IARC report. Although the EFSA has stated it is ‘unlikely that this substance is carcinogenic’, they have proposed a exposure threshold of 0.5mg/kg of body weight per day for accidental consumption.

The European commission will now use the EFSA’s recommendations to decide whether glyphosate should remain on the EU list of approved active substances.