EU Shocks Pesticide Industry by Suggesting Glyphosate Herbicide Formulations are Genotoxic

Posted on Nov 12 2015 - 3:01pm by Sustainable Pulse

Despite the tragic and ‘corrupt’ nature of the EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and their report Thursday stating the ‘unlikely’ carcinogenicity of the most widely used active substance in herbicides – glyphosate – there is a very important admission in the report: “It is likely, therefore, that the genotoxic effects observed in some glyphosate-based formulations are related to the other constituents or “co-formulants”.

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This single EFSA admission may change the face of how pesticides are regulated worldwide, as up until now only studies on the ‘active’ substances, such as glyphosate in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide formulation, have been taken into account by regulators.

Background: Toxic Glyphosate Herbicides Fly Under the EU’s Regulatory Radar

EFSA proposes that the toxicity of each pesticide formulation and in particular its genotoxic potential should be further considered and addressed by Member State authorities while they re-assess uses of glyphosate-based formulations in their own territories.

Sustainable Pulse comment: Glyphosate-based herbicides would not work well to kill weeds for farmers or gardeners without the addition of these extra additional chemicals known as adjuvants.

Independent scientists have long warned that pesticides are authorized for use based on medium- or long-term tests on laboratory animals carried out with a single chemical ingredient, which is known as the active ingredient because it is assumed to be responsible for giving the pesticide its pest- or weedkilling action.

However, the complete pesticide formulations as sold and used also contain additives (adjuvants), which increase the pest- or weedkilling activity of the pesticide. These complete formulations do not have to be tested in medium- and long-term tests – even though they are the substances to which farmers and citizens are exposed.

This is a serious defect of the regulatory process, according to a published study by the team of Professor Séralini (Mesnage et al. 2014, Biomedical Research International). The study found that for eight major pesticides (out of a total of nine analyzed), the commercial formulation is up to 1000 times more toxic than the active ingredient assessed for safety by regulators.

Sustainable Pulse Comment: IARC’s (WHO) review was based on both independent and industry funded science on both glyphosate alone and glyphosate-based herbicides. IARC listed glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. EFSA on the other hand relied very heavily on the Biotech industry’s Glyphosate Task Force to provide studies for them on glyphosate alone.

EFSA stated today;

“The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) said earlier this year that glyphosate was genotoxic and would “probably” cause cancer in humans.

However, the IARC report looked at both glyphosate – an active substance – and glyphosate-based formulations, grouping all formulations regardless of their composition. The EU assessment, on the other hand, considered only glyphosate. Member States are responsible for evaluating each plant protection product that is marketed in their territories.

This is because the EU and IARC take different approaches to the classification of chemicals. The EU scheme –assesses each individual chemical, and each marketed mixture separately. IARC assesses generic agents, including groups of related chemicals, as well as occupational or environmental exposure, and cultural or behavioural practices.

This is important because although some studies suggest that certain glyphosate-based formulations may be genotoxic (i.e. damaging to DNA), others that look solely at the active substance glyphosate do not show this effect. It is likely, therefore, that the genotoxic effects observed in some glyphosate-based formulations are related to the other constituents or “co-formulants”. Similarly, certain glyphosate-based formulations display higher toxicity than that of the active ingredient, presumably because of the presence of co-formulants. In its assessment, EFSA proposes that the toxicity of each pesticide formulation and in particular its genotoxic potential should be further considered and addressed by Member State authorities while they re-assess uses of glyphosate-based formulations in their own territories.

This distinction between active substance and pesticide formulation mainly explains the differences in how EFSA and IARC weighed the available data. For the EU assessment, studies conducted with glyphosate were more relevant than studies conducted with formulated products containing other constituents, particularly when the other constituents could not be clearly identified.”

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  1. Melody Boatner July 28, 2016 at 08:34 - Reply

    I am a victim of terrorist acts using chemical weapons with intent to cause serious injury, The toxic chemicals were unlawfully applied to my property without my permission, In spite of a civil court order the chemicals were continuously applied to my property, I was denied equal protection of the law by my CIty police officers and the Lee County Attorney, My right to enjoy my own property was cited in the civil court ruling. I reported the violation to the County attorney. His response was that he would decided who gets prosecuted in Lee County, I was at deaths door when an officer stopped to tell me that the neighbor had no intention of ceasing using the chemicals as a weapon to force me from my property, 5 years and sever physical and mental distress I knew that my life was soon ending. I was forced from my property by my local government officials on behalf of one of their own who’s illegal nonconforming property redevelopment he could not get recorded on the County plat map, he had to have my property so they conspired to get it by using chemical weapons (glyphosate) to violate my Constitutional Rights. I want justice for the criminal offenses committed against me by my local government officials. These offenses warrant a Federal investigation.

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