Following the five-year re-approval of the active substance glyphosate by the European Union in 2017, the French health and safety agency ANSES is reviewing the market authorisations for glyphosate products sold in France and has launched a comparative assessment of the available alternatives.
Without waiting for the end of the current process, the Agency has notified the withdrawal of authorisations for 36 glyphosate products and the refusal to authorise 4 new products, as the data provided by manufacturers did not allow a decision to be taken on their possible genotoxicity. In 2018, these products accounted for nearly three-quarters of the tonnage of glyphosate-based products sold in France for agricultural and non-agricultural uses.
The assessment, at the level of each European Member State, of the applications for authorisation submitted by companies wishing to renew or obtain permission for marketing pesticide products, takes place within a framework defined by the European Union.
For glyphosate, this framework was specifically strengthened in 2017 following the re-evaluation of the active substance, with more requirements involving the provision of additional data on health and environmental risks, in particular on the genotoxicity of all components of glyphosate-based products. These new provisions require specific studies conducted according to standardised and robust methods.
Currently, 69 glyphosate-based products are available on the market in France and have been the subject of a request for renewal of their authorisation. As a result of ANSES’s decision, 36 of these products will be withdrawn from the market and can no longer be used from the end of 2020, due to the lack of scientific data to rule out any genotoxic risk.
In addition, and for the same reasons, the Agency notified a negative decision for 4 of the 11 new applications for authorisation submitted since January 2018 that are currently under examination.
ANSES is continuing to examine applications for authorisation and re-authorisation of glyphosate products and, as announced in November 2018, will also carry out a comparative assessment of the non-chemical alternatives available.
Only glyphosate-based products that meet the efficacy and safety criteria defined at European level for the claimed uses, and that cannot be satisfactorily substituted, will ultimately benefit from access to the French market. The entire evaluation process will be completed by 31 December 2020.