By Leonardo Gottems, reporter for AgroPages
The "public consultation" period proposed by Brazilian Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) regarding the new recommendations for use resulting from the re-evaluation of the active ingredient glyphosate
is continuing in Brazil. Initially, the government agency aligned itself with other regulatory agencies around the world that have refused to classify this active ingredient as causing cancer.
This position of Anvisa provisionally guarantees the continued use of more than 100 products formulated with glyphosate in the Brazilian market. The proposed public consultation will be ongoing until June 6, 2019, during which time any person, entity or company can contribute to the final decision.
"The new security measures proposed by Anvisa for the use of glyphosate need to be carefully analyzed, as they may make this tool unviable, especially by small and medium-sized rural producers. Glyphosate is the main herbicide used in genetically modified crops, including soybean, corn and cotton and other crops," according to C & T Agro, an initiative of professionals in the regulatory area of phytosanitary products, seeds and inputs.
According to these experts, one of the proposed regulations that might prevent the use of glyphosate by small farmers is the prohibition that the same person prepares the product, fill the spray tank and perform the tractor application of agrochemicals.
According to Paulo Campante, executive superintendent of ABRASEM (Brazilian Association of Seed Producers), "the impact of this prohibition will fall exactly on who else needs a safe tool to use, which are small and medium producers. These producers will fall into irregular use, subject to inspection or will need to use products of greater toxicity."
Anvisa classified the active ingredient glyphosate as Class I, that is, "extremely toxic", based on legislation considered to be "out of date", Portaria 3/92, which has been under review for 10 years without the publication of needed updates. The new international recommendations (GHS and OECD) note that the ocular toxicity indicator not be used to classify active ingredients, but only to indicate risk and care phrases.
Non-recommendation for classification by ocular toxicity occurs because it is a fully manageable risk, which can be eliminated with the use of glasses or visors. In addition, tests are subject to great variability in the results and interpretation of results.
These recommendations for use of glyphosate can still be challenged on Anvisa's website. "In addition to the demonstrations, it is important that a careful regulatory impact assessment assess the social, economic, environmental and agronomic impacts resulting from the restrictions and prohibitions proposed in the standard," added C & T Agro professionals.