ECHA and EFSA Commence Renewal Assessment Reviews for Glyphosate
On June 15, 2021, the Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG) submitted a draft Renewal Assessment Report on glyphosate to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In this blog post, we consider the AGG’s report and take a closer look at glyphosate.
Glyphosate is an organophosphorus chemical compound that possesses strong herbicidal properties. Its ability to inhibit the shikimic acid metabolic pathway, by targeting the enzyme, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate synthases, is key to glyphosate’s herbicidal function and effectiveness. This prevents plants from synthesizing several key aromatic amino acids necessary for growth and survival.
|CAS Registry Number||1071-83-6|
With its discovery in 1950, and with the subsequent realization of its herbicidal properties, glyphosate has seen significant use over the past five decades. During this time, it has become the most widely used herbicidal chemical in the United States and the world. Over 1.6 billion kilograms of the chemical have been used in this country. This represents approximately 19% of glyphosate’s use worldwide (8.6 billion kilograms).
Debate on the health effects of glyphosate has existed for quite some time, but the controversy surrounding it has intensified in the last decade. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared glyphosate to be a probable carcinogen in 2015. This was followed, in 2017, by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment listing glyphosate in its Proposition 65 list as a chemical known to cause cancer.
AGG and its Draft Report
In 2019, the European Commission (EC) appointed several Member States to work together for the assessment of glyphosate. Representation in the Assessment Group on Glyphosate (AGG) included France, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
The findings of the AGG’s draft report are in the process of being reviewed by the ECHA and EFSA. Consultations on the report are being planned and will be made available to the public starting in early September. Ultimately the European Commission will develop a proposal regarding approval for renewal of glyphosate.
Accessing More Information
More information on the AGG’s draft report and its review may be found on the ECHA website. Additionally, you can visit the ToxPlanet website and blog regularly for relevant information on new developments.
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