The ‘hazard’ classification of glyphosate will be discussed at a meeting of the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) committee for risk assessment today (Monday, May 30) and tomorrow (Tuesday, May 31).

The plenary meeting is set to take place over two days to consider its carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity as well as its environmental classification.

The committee’s opinions on the herbicide and details of the meeting will be made available to the public at the end of July.

The meeting comes as European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently announced that the timeline for a decision on the re-registration of glyphosate has been revised from this December to July of next year.

Following an application from the Glyphosate Renewal Group (GRG) for renewal of approval in December 2019, it was expected that a decision would be announced in December of 2022.

However, this timeline was revised by the EFSA due to the need to process large volumes of information, which were received during the public consultation process.

The EFSA has said that receiving such amounts of information “underlines the importance of transparency in the evaluation of active substances in the EU”.

More than 350 responses were received from the public during the consultation, while experts from EU members states submitted about 2,400 comments. This information was compiled in a file to be reviewed by the Assessment Group on Glyphosate.

The group, which includes France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden, will also analyse the opinions put forward at the meetings today and tomorrow, before drawing up a draft renewal assessment report.

It is hoped that this report will be submitted by the end of September 2022 so that the EFSA can host the Pesticides Peer Review meetings with member states before the end of the year.

These meetings will assess all possible risks that the chemical may pose to humans, animals and the environment, the conclusions from which will be used to finalise a decision on the renewal of approval by July 2023.