Glyphosate yes or no: AGG proposal does not contemplate changing the existing classification

Glyphosate yes or no: AGG proposal does not contemplate changing the existing classification

The use of the most widely used herbicide in the world is in question after a WHO report warning of its "possible carcinogenic effects".. In Europe its use is guaranteed until 2022, but EFSA and ECHA have received a draft assessment of glyphosate carried out by four EU Member States and will now begin to consider the findings.

The Assessment Group on Glyphosate- AGG scientific proposal about glyphosate´s harmonised classification, addressed to the ECHA last month, is not to change the existing classification from 2017.

In 2019, a group of companies (the Glyphosate Renewal Group GRG) applied under the Plant Protection Products (PPP) Regulation to renew the approval of glyphosate for use after the current approval expires at the end of 2022. The application is first assessed by a group of four EU Member States (France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden – called the Assessment Group on Glyphosate, AGG) and will then be peer reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority EFSA.

In parallel with the EFSA peer review risk assessment , ECHA’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) will adopt an opinion on the proposal for harmonised classification of glyphosate.

ECHA’s opinion will feed into EFSA’s risk assessment, which is expected later in 2022 and then sent to the European Commission, that will decide whether or not to renew glyphosate..

Assessment Group on Glyphosate: its scientific proposal

The Assessment Group on Glyphosate has already prepared a harmonised classification and labelling proposal under the CLP Regulation and submitted it to ECHA in June 2021. ECHA will start a consultation on the proposal in early September 2021, and the final opinion is expected in March 2022, but it could be postponed to June 2022.

Its scientific proposal does not contemplate changing the existing classification: according to the harmonised classification and labelling (CLP00) approved by the European Union, this substance is toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects and causes serious eye damage.

The CLH report includes summaries of relevant studies, a comparison of the data with the criteria for classification which are described in the CLP Regulation, and an assessment of the evidence and arguments leading to the conclusion on classification. It will be available on ECHA’s website for a consultation, starting in early September 2021, and interested parties are invited to provide comments and scientific data to ECHA.

RAC has access to relevant full study reports, but for people interested, the Glyphosate Renewal Group has listed the studies on their website, indicating that it is possible to “request a copy of all the reports of the additional glyphosate 3 (3) studies that were commissioned by the Glyphosate Renewal Group or its member companies for the 2020 Scientific Dossier”.