Glyphosate:Written question - HL4760

Asked on: 18 January 2017
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the publication of the paper Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide by Robin Mesnage et al, published in Scientific Reports on 9 January, whether they will order an independent review of glyphosate-based herbicides.
Answered on: 26 January 2017

The paper by Mesnage et al reports some further analysis on samples collected in a study reported in an earlier paper. Regulatory studies (which are carried out both for active substances such as glyphosate and for products such as Roundup) investigate effects on the liver and any such effects are taken into account when acceptable human exposure levels are determined. There are a number of these regulatory studies which have tested larger number of animals at much higher doses than the Mesnage et al paper and have found no adverse effects.

The Government does not therefore consider that the paper requires any regulatory action in respect of Roundup products. The European Food Safety Authority has reviewed the scientific data as part of the ongoing EU review of the approval of glyphosate and concluded that glyphosate meets all of the relevant safety standards. UK regulatory experts agree. The EU is due to decide on the approval of glyphosate later this year. If approval is given, Member States will review glyphosate products to ensure that they meet modern standards.

The Commission revised the conditions of approval of glyphosate last year. All Member States are required as a result, to ensure that glyphosate products do not contain POE-tallowamine.

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