Glyphosate, the chemical used in Monsanto’s Roundup, is unlikely to pose carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet, a UN committee has found.
A joint meeting of representatives from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) was held at WHO Headquarters, Geneva (Switzerland), from May 9 to 13, 2016.
The meeting was held as MEPs from EU Member States vote today on the continued use of glyphosate in weed killers.
The report comes following an European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) report in November which also found that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.
This was in contrast to an International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in March last year, which found that glyphosate probably has the potential to cause cancer in humans.
According to the report on the meeting, several epidemiological studies on cancer outcomes following occupational exposure to glyphosate were available.
The evaluation of these studies focused on the occurrence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Overall, there is some evidence of a positive association between glyphosate exposure and risk of NHL from the case–control studies and the overall metaanalysis, the committee found.
However, it said that it is notable that the only large cohort study of high quality found no evidence of an association at any exposure level.
Glyphosate has been extensively tested for genotoxic effects using a variety of tests in a wide range of organisms.
The overall weight of evidence indicates that administration of glyphosate and its formulation products at doses as high as 2000 mg/kg body weight by the oral route, the route most relevant to human dietary exposure, was not associated with genotoxic effects in an overwhelming majority of studies conducted in mammals, a model considered to be appropriate for assessing genotoxic risks to humans, the UN report found.