Notice of EFSA public consultation on glyphosate

13 Mar

efsa headerchemchemReaders in this and other countries (last week, left) will be interested to hear the European Food Safety Authority’s announcement of a public consultation concerning the assessment reports submitted by rapporteur Member States (ie those who have undertaken the evaluation of an ‘active substance’).

The reports have been submitted for the EU peer review of active substances used in plant protection products.

When a rapporteur Member State assessment report becomes available, the public consultation will be started via this EFSA website.

Of the eight substances listed, glyphosate (assessment report published on 12/03/2014) is the active substance which has attracted the attention of readers and contributors to this site. The deadline for submissions is 11/05/2014; comments are to be limited to the risk assessment presented in the assessment report, and submitted using the available template for electronic provision of comments.

In 2013 we noted on this website that the German government’s draft report for the re-evaluation of glyphosate, claimed that no toxic effects on fertility, reproduction or foetal development in laboratory animals are revealed in the industry’s glyphosate studies and commented:

However, there is no verifiable evidence for these claims, since the industry studies have not been revealed. The German government holds the industry data on glyphosate.

science direct logoLater we recorded that Mutation Research/Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, a report published in the Science Direct journal, stated that genetic damage has been found in soybean workers exposed to pesticides, in the State of Rio Grande do Sul (RS, Brazil), especially in the city of Espumoso.

Richard Bruce, whose health has been profoundly damaged by pesticides, sent a link to information about rising autism rates in the USA linked to mitochondrial damage of the type caused by the chemicals used on GM crops.  A search informs the writer that the mitochondrion is ‘a specialized sub-unit’ found within most cells which make up animals, plants and many other life forms.

journal int cell biology logoA study in the peer reviewed, open access International Journal of Cell Biology suggests that mitochondrial damage may be a key factor in the development of Parkinson’s disease. Glyphosate was among the herbicides used by the exposed group.

Will EFSA eventually invoke the precautionary principle?

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