Spraying glyphosate © Tim Scrivener© Tim Scrivener

Another scientific study has found that glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans.

The peer-reviewed study by four independent expert panels dismissed an earlier report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015, which concluded that the weedkiller was “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

The 16 experts concluded: “The data do not support IARC’s conclusion that glyphosate is a ‘probable human carcinogen’ and, consistent with previous regulatory assessments, further concluded that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans.”

See also: Soil Association accused of glyphosate scaremongering

Monsanto, which manufactures glyphosate, hired Intertek Scientific & Regulatory Consultancy to complete the study.

These findings come at an important time, after 18 months where so much confusion and concern has been caused by IARC’s classification of glyphosate.

The panel’s findings are consistent with the conclusions of regulatory authorities around the world.

Since IARC classified glyphosate, regulatory authorities in the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia have publicly reaffirmed that glyphosate does not cause cancer.

Most recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reiterated their conclusion that glyphosate should be classified as “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans”.

In May 2016, the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) again concluded that glyphosate “is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet”.

EU 18-month extension

In November 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa), Europe’s food safety watchdog, found that “glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans”.

In July, the European Commission decided to extend glyphosate’s licence for 18 months from 1 July 2016, after member states failed to agree a qualified majority on a longer licence extension.

The limited extension will allow time for the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to give an opinion on the substance, which is expected before December 2017.

This week, Efsa said it would release the raw data used in its EU safety evaluation of glyphosate, as part of its commitment to open risk assessment.