Glyphosate ‘should not be classified as substance causing cancer’, says agency

Crop Protection Association (CPA) chief executive Sarah Mukherjee.

Crop Protection Association (CPA) chief executive Sarah Mukherjee. - Credit: Archant

The agrochemical sector has welcomed a decision by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) that weed killer glyphosate should not be classified as a substance causing cancer.

“This conclusion was based both on the human evidence and the weight of the evidence of all the animal studies reviewed,” said Tim Bowmer, chairman of ECHA’s committee for risk assessment,

In July, the European Union granted an 18-month extension of its approval for it, pending more study. The European Commission will have a final say.

Crop Protection Association chief executive Sarah Mukherjee said: “Glyphosate is, and always has been safe. This ruling is another reminder this debate has never really been about safety, it has been hijacked and politicised to force a wider debate on modern agriculture. It’s right that we’re having that debate, but it’s wrong to use health scares to get there.”