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Environmental groups demanding Europe terminate glyphosate say regulatory agencies falsified data on health risks


(NaturalNews) Some 31 European organizations have sent a letter to the European Union in a bid to stop the spread of glyphosate – the primary ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide – across the continent.

The open letter, sent by trade unions, consumer protection groups and others including health, environmental and medical organizations, are pressing EU Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and ambassadors of member states to limit the herbicide ingredient's use due to concerns they have about its safety.

Calling carcinogenic assessments of glyphosate "grossly flawed," the groups said that "the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have ignored relevant OECD guidelines, falsely interpreted animal carcinogenicity studies, and systematically rejected relevant epidemiological studies by wrongly claiming them to be 'unreliable,' as detailed in the expert statements accompanying this letter."

Signatories of the open letter include Pesticide Action Network Europe, Breast Cancer UK, Corporate Europe Observatory, the International Union of Food Workers, and GMWatch.

"In writing this we join voices with the 96 leading international scientists who, in an open letter published at the end of 2015, expressed their serious reservations about the EFSA and BfR's assessments of carcinogenicity, describing them as 'scientifically unacceptable,' 'fundamentally flawed' and 'misleading.' We therefore call on you to not rely on the erroneous conclusions drawn by BfR and EFSA," the letter states.

More Europeans will be put at risk

Also, as GMWatch reports on its Web site:

The letter also notes that both EFSA and BfR are in contempt of the European pesticides regulation in that they argue their case on a "risk assessment" basis, which takes exposure into account. European pesticides regulation specifies hazard-based cut-off criteria for carcinogenic substances. This means that the law only takes account of whether the chemical can cause cancer by virtue of its inherent properties, regardless of the extent of the carcinogenic risk to humans.

"We note that the EFSA and BfR evaluations are also unsuitable as a basis for decision-making because they mask the fact that since 2009 the European pesticides regulation specifies 'hazard-based' cut-off criteria for carcinogenic substances," the letter said.

"In total disregard for this legal basis, the EFSA and BfR continue to argue on a 'risk basis' and on the basis of exposure, when they come to the conclusion that 'when used properly, according to the current data a carcinogenic risk to humans is unlikely.'"

The 31-member group also said that authorizing wider use of glyphosate on the continent would put more Europeans' health at risk.

Findings affirm what independent studies have said all along

"Epidemiological studies from Europe, the USA and Canada assessed by the IARC lead us to expect an increased incidence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for professional and private users of Glyphosate-based pesticides. This is a malignant cancer of the lymph glands for which the outcome is fatal in half of all cases," the letter said.

"Glyphosate residues in foods could also result in an increased risk of cancer incidence for the European population as a whole, as the IARC classifies Glyphosate as 'genotoxic' (damaging to DNA) and for such substances no safe limits can be suggested," it continued. "Consequently, the fact that a majority of Europeans excrete Glyphosate in their urine and exposure has grown strongly in the past decade gives cause for great concern."

As NaturalNews reported in March 2015, the World Health Organization has concluded that glyphosate "probably" is carcinogenic, after finding that the chemical was present in 75 percent of rain and air samples.

Those findings "affirm what many independent scientists and researchers have been discovering in recent years about the world's most popular herbicide," we reported. "But the findings also contradict the official position of the U.S. government, which claims that glyphosate herbicide is 'safe' -- so much so that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2013 actually upped the tolerance level for glyphosate on food crops."





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