Glyphosate, the herbicide with the largest volume of sales, will have guaranteed supply in the Brazilian market until 2019. The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) gave the date as a deadline to complete the toxicological analysis of the product, which has been going on since 2008 and is worrying the agricultural sector.
Anvisa recently posted material on the site to clarify the delay in making decisions about glyphosate. According to the agency, there is divergence of opinion among technical authorities in the world (which requires careful attention in dealing with the issue) and cites the cases of Europe and the United States, which also maintains caution and constant analysis of the product.
The studies presented until now have not proved to be harmful to human health, but the indefiniteness has continued. Since 2008, Anvisa assigned several studies to investigate the toxicological aspects of glyphosate. In 2013, Osvaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) concluded that the application of the product is not capable of causing cancer in human beings.
In 2015, the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) stated the contrary, that the product would be harmful, but the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reviewed the analysis and maintained that there is insufficient evidence to classify glyphosate a carcinogen.
Anvisa also held a technical panel in 2015 and subsequently hired a specialist to study the subject again. The technical opinion was forwarded to Anvisa in July 2016, which also designated glyphosate as non-carcinogenic. Besides this, there are three other technical opinions of the agency about this ingredient; the most recent was in June this year. None of them suggested a prohibition.
“Even if it concludes that it is not carcinogenic and does not have any registration restriction, according to the Brazilian legislation, it is important to evaluate the necessity of the measures to restrict its use based on other toxicological actions besides carcinogenicity. It is important to register that not only in Brazil, but all over the world; the re-evaluation of the active ingredients is complex and, therefore, demand a lot of time,” the report of the president of the agency, Jarbas Barbosa, noted.