Feb. 28, 2019
By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages
The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) has concluded that there is no scientific evidence to require the prohibition of glyphosate
herbicide in Brazil. The decision is part of the process of revaluation of the active ingredient, which began in 2008 with the publication of RDC Anvisa n° 10, on February 22 of that year, and the contracting of Fiocruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) to prepare a technical note on the toxicological aspects of the herbicide.
Fiocruz concluded, in 2013, that the available evidence on the carcinogenicity of the product was insufficient and did not indicate the need for its prohibition. Anvisa then sought further studies to substantiate this conclusion, and after a series of studies, concluded that there is no evidence to indicate that the herbicide glyphosate is carcinogenic.
With this, Anvisa proposed to maintain the endorsement of the product, but with some restrictions. In all, the evaluation process had 16 opinions from Anvisa, itself, and three external reviews. The conclusion is similar to those obtained in other countries that have recently reviewed the use of glyphosate in the field, such as the United States and Canada, in addition to the European Union.
According to the reassessment coordinator, Daniel Coradi, the team that conducted the investigation came to the conclusion that there is insufficient evidence that glyphosate possesses any properties capable of causing cancer or other serious damage, such as malformations of fetuses in pregnancy. "With that, there would be no way to prohibit it. We did not find enough evidence to say that it can not be marketed," said the coordinator.
Given these circumstances, data from the Notification of Injury Information System (Sinan) were also analyzed, which revealed the profile of glyphosate intoxications in Brazil. The result was that, in 22,704 water samples analyzed, only 0.03% of the cases had glyphosate present above the permitted limit. Thus, Anvisa guarantees that the risk is greater for rural workers, but there is no concern for consumers about food produced with the pesticide.
"Therefore, the main measures proposed are focused on measures related to the handling of the product during its application and its dispersion. Another conclusion about the work is that the product does not meet the prohibitive criteria provided by the legislation. This is because the product has not been classified as mutagenic, carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction, teratogenic (causing fetal malformation), among others," said the agency's press office.
Among the restrictions, Anvisa now proposes a definition of tolerance limits for exposure of workers and consumers to glyphosate, ranging from 0.1 mg / kg per day to 0.5 mg / kg. In addition, the Agency recommends that oil-in-water emulsion products should be banned which could increase the risk of exposure.
Anvisa also decided on Wednesday (February 27) to open a "public consultation" with the result of the re-evaluation of glyphosate. With this decision, all entities and companies related to the agribusiness, as well as researchers, institutions and any interested persons, can send their considerations and suggestions on the use of the herbicide - the most consumed in Brazil.
Below are measures being proposed:
- For rural workers and populations around plantations
• Prohibition of EW (oil-in-water emulsion) formulations to reduce the possibility of inhalation and absorption through the skin.
• Caster of workers in tractor application activities (mixing, supply and application), such as the same worker can not do all the stages of preparation for application.
• Personal protective equipment (PPE) and interval of re-entry of workers in treated areas.
• Adoption of technology to reduce dispersion (drift).
• 10-meter safety belt in the field when there are villages within 500 meters.
• Definition of the exposure limit and tolerance for rural workers.
- For urban use and food consumers
• Adjusting tolerance limits for chronic exposure.
• Limit setting for acute exposure.
• Prohibition of the concentrated product for amateur gardening.
• Prohibition of POEA (polyoxyethylene amine) in concentrations above 20% in products formulated with glyphosate.
- What are the current authorized uses for glyphosate in Brazil?
• Cotton, plum, rice, banana, cocoa, coffee, sugar cane, citrus, coconut, eucalyptus, tobacco, apple, papaya, corn, nectarine, grass, pear, peach, pine, soy, wheat, grape
• Mature sugar cane.
• Elimination of remains in rice and sugar cane.
• Eucalyptus regrowth.
• Desiccant: black oats, rye grass and soy.