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expert reaction to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Committee for Risk Assessment not classifying glyphosate as a carcinogen

Glyphosate has not been classified as a carcinogen by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).


Prof. Jan Hengstler, Head of the Department of Toxicology / Systems Toxicology, Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADO), TU Dortmund, Dortmund, said:

“The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Committee on Risk Assessment (RAC) has concluded that the substance glyphosate does not meet the criteria to be classified as a carcinogen, as a mutagen or as toxic for reproduction. This conclusion is scientifically justified. Both the available long-term studies in rats and mice as well as epidemiological data do not justify the conclusion that glyphosate is carcinogenic or mutagenic. Under current conditions of use of glyphosate there is no increased cancer risk for humans. Compared to other herbicides, a relatively large number of studies is available on the substance glyphosate, so that a comparatively good assessment with regard to the carcinogenic risk is possible. The conclusion of the ECHA is not surprising, since no new studies were available compared to earlier evaluations.”


Prof. Alan Boobis, Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology, Imperial College London, said:

“ECHA are to be congratulated on their critical evaluation of a large and complex dataset on glyphosate. They have concluded that the totality of the evidence is that glyphosate should not be considered a human carcinogen. It is important that such objective, independent and comprehensive assessments are available to help policy makers in reaching evidence-based decisions”


*Press release from ECHA:


Declared interests

Prof. Jan Hengstler: None received.

Prof. Alan Boobis: “I am chair or member of a number of ILSI, ILSI branch boards of trustees. These are non-remunerated positions. I chaired the JMPR meeting that reviewed glyphosate. I chair the UK Committee on Toxicity and my Unit at Imperial College London receives funds from the UK government to undertake critical reviews on chemical safety.”

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