Commentary: Differences in the carcinogenic evaluation of glyphosate between the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
Portier CJ et al.
Physicians call for Glyphosate ban in Europe until its health effects to humans are clearly excluded in analyzes in independent studies considering various exposure Scenarios (German Physicians Union(Deutscher Ärztetag) Statement)
Although glyphosate was classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (WHO's Cancer Agency Publishes Clear Q&A on Glyphosate) by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in March 2015, it is still increasingly used to control grass and weeds in fields, backyards and gardens. In March last year, the IARC issued a report which classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” However, in November the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) – on the basis of reports prepared by the industry – officially rejected the IARC’s conclusions and declared that glyphosate poses “no carcinogenic hazard to humans” or any other health risk. Early this year, 96 scientists have co-signed an open letter to EFSA affirming and supporting the position of the WHO Organisation’s IRAC (Portier et al., J. Epidemiol. Community Health, 2016).
Dr. Peter Van Den Hazel, The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is calling on Europe’s most influential cancer societies to urge governments to put an immediate ban on glyphosate, a chemical used as an herbicide (Press release).
European Trade Unions: The European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) demands alternatives to glyphosate (Tell the European Commission to ban glyphosate and step off the pesticide treadmill!). EFFAT, which represents almost seven million agricultural workers in Europe, urged the European Commission “to ban glyphosate in the EU and to provide comprehensive support for a safer, healthier food system which safeguards frontline agricultural workers from the consequences of injecting massive quantities of toxic chemicals into the environment (European Trade Unions Join Fight against Glyphosate Herbicides).
A study from March 2015 (Hauser, R., J. Clin Endocrinol Metab., 2015) stated that the health costs to the European Union of just some endocrine disrupting chemical, in connection with a subset of illnesses known to be linked to hormone interference, is over 150 Billion € per year! The study stated that lower IQ, adult obesity and 5% or more of autism cases are all linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors. Glyphosate is likely to be one of the endocrine disrupting chemicals at real-life exposure levels down to 0.1 ppb or below according to independent science. This is a huge hole in the risk assessment process for glyphosate, as low levels of the herbicide may disrupt hormone signal pathways even more than high levels and hormone disrupting chemicals are often carcinogens (Soto et al., Nat Rev Endocrinol., 2010). Industry funded science from the dark ages suggested that the higher the dose of a chemical the more dangerous it was. However, modern independent science has discovered that many toxic chemicals have as much or even more of an influence on our health at low doses (Vandenberg et al., Endocr. rev., 2012)– these chemicals are known as endocrine disruptors (UN Glyphosate Report: Irrelevant for Europe and Modern Science).
Studies are emerging since 2009: read more by Christal Gammon, Environmental Health News (Weed-Whacking Herbicide Proves Deadly to Human Cells)
German consumer state ministry calls for ban on Glyphosate
German states are calling for an EU-wide ban on glyphosate on precautionary basis follwing IARC categorisation as a "probable carcinogen". A demonstration took place in Germany last Thursday and a petition with 200 0000 consumer signatures calls for an immediate ban on commercial and private use(German states call for ban on household pesticide).