No worrying information in new studies on glyphosate
The studies were performed on rats by a cooperative, non-profit organization, the Ramazzini Institute.
The first study by Panzacchi et al. (2018) shows that glyphosate has no effect on the toxicity parameters of survival, weight, food and water consumption and clinical signs. Furthermore, glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA are recovered in the urine as expected. This is positive because it means that the body eliminates the substances. In contrast to already available studies, the new publication does not contain information about the quantities of these substances that are absorbed by the body.
In the second study (Qixing Mao et al., 2018) no effects were observed on the toxicity parameters (survival, weight, food and water consumption and clinical signs) either. Further, there was some influence of glyphosate observed on the composition of the intestinal flora, but the reporting of the results was not very transparent, and the results are not clearly pronounced. The authors concluded that it should be further investigated whether their findings could have a health impact. DNA damage (mutagenicity) by glyphosate has not even been investigated in this study.
Finally, an opinion (Landrigan and Belpoggi, 2018) has been published in order to point out the need of independent research regarding the effects of plant protection products. All relevant literature studies are already systematically included in the assessment by the government.
The current Ramazzini publications add very little to what we already know: glyphosate can be used safely.
This article was originally published in Dutch and French.