NFU Welcomes ECHA Decision Reinforcing Glyphosate's Safety

The NFU has welcomed the conclusions of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) which say the scientific evidence ‘did not meet the criteria to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen, as a mutagen or as toxic for reproduction’.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith said:
“We welcome the classification of glyphosate by the ECHA which reinforces its safety.


“The overwhelming weight of evidence shows that glyphosate poses no risk to human health when used correctly. This opinion is shared by regulatory bodies around the world, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and the European Food Safety Authority.

“Glyphosate plays a vital role in agriculture in the UK and around the world. It reduces the need to use other herbicides, it helps to protect soil and cut greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the need for ploughing, and it enables farmers in this country to grow crops that help produce safe, affordable, high quality British food.

“Now ECHA has released its classification there can be no reason why glyphosate should not be reauthorised for a further 15 years when the European Commission makes its decision later this year. We will continue to work with our members and with other European farming unions to ensure the facts about glyphosate’s safety and importance are heard in the run-up to that decision.”

The NFU’s work on glyphosate

There are times when plants need to be managed by farmers and growers, particularly to help produce crops with the least possible environmental impact.

Glyphosate is used in a number of ways in agriculture in the UK and globally. It is the active ingredient in the world’s most-used weed killer, Roundup. In the UK it is used in stubble fields for weed control before planting and before new crops start to appear. It is also used on cereals and oilseed rape before harvest to help make harvesting easier, control weeds, reduce disease and the potential for natural contaminants to develop, and to curb the number of weeds in the following season.

Glyphosate reduces the need for ploughing, which helps the environment through reducing CO2 emissions, minimising soil erosion, and improving soil quality. Regulatory bodies around the world have looked at the scientific evidence and concluded that glyphosate poses no risk to people when used correctly.


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