EFSA head: Debate over banning glyphosate not about science, herbicide’s safety

| | January 18, 2017
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This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Editor’s Note: This article discusses comments made by Bernard Url, the head of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) surrounding the possibility of a glyphosate ban.

Glyphosate, the active substance in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup, is a case in point where the initial debate on the substance’s carcinogenic properties and risk for humans has moved beyond the scientific realm to become a societal discussion with wider ramifications, Url said.

“With glyphosate we have seen so many different aspects of the discussion come together,”

“That is legitimate, but it is nothing to do with safety. It is about the way we produce agricultural goods,” Url added. “It is a highly political decision that can only be taken by risk managers.”

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“This was the big argument: people saw that it was a possible or probable carcinogen and immediately thought that such a substance should not be authorised. But the thing is that the carcinogenicity, if it exists at all, is seen at such levels that you would have to eat the food of 20,000 people every day in order to reach it. And this is unlikely to happen,” Url said.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: EFSA: Glyphosate ban debate ‘legitimate’ but not about science

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