estimates contested by future generations

The Future Generations Association was interested in the methods used by the authorities to assess the gnototoxicity of glyphosate. His new report, published on Tuesday, May 3, once again reveals a number of disturbing dysfunctions.

Do manufacturers and other distributors of glyphosate have concerns about the future of this controversial molecule? According to Future Generations, this is unlikely. As the product’s marketing authorization expires next December, the association is bringing the subject up again, this time focusing on its genotoxicity. In other words, on its ability to permanently or reversibly disrupt the physical integrity of the genome, thereby stimulating the appearance of cancer cells.

Already reviewed by four States in France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden, the Renewal Assessment Report (RAR) has been sent to the European Chemicals Agency (Echa) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for opinion. who are due to submit their findings in May or June and this autumn, respectively. But on what basis? That’s where the wounded beast is, emphasizes Future Generations, which regularly deplores the fact that 99% of the university literature published over the past ten years on this herbicide is thrown out of RAR in favor of research done by the manufacturers themselves.

A largely biased choice

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) already mentioned that Overall, the mechanistic evidence strongly suggests gnotoxicity and oxidative stress. resembles an association, and in 2021, Inserm noted that studies showing no gnototoxicity () seem less important () than those suggesting a positive effect . To support these arguments, toxicologist Pauline Servan, who is in charge of scientific and regulatory affairs at Future Generations, identified research in vitro on glyphosate listed in his RAR, in the Circ report and in the Inserm report: that is, about twenty experiments carried out on human cells, mammals or non-standard organisms such as fish.

Therefore, the authorities rely solely on manufacturers’ research.

Pauline Servan, Future Generations

The first bias found by the specialist: none of the studies showing the positive effects of gnototoxicity, much more numerous than others, were taken into account by the RAR, which found their reliability unacceptable due to non-compliance with OECD recommendations or good results. laboratory practice. Ms testing approach live : while RAR kept a study duplicated ten times by manufacturers, which could skew statistics, at the same time it rejected tests done on non-standard organisms such as fish or plants, which are nevertheless considered strong ANSES potential. By omitting this type of test from evaluation, many of the studies available in the literature showing genotoxic effects are effectively dismissed out of the blue, says Future Generations.


Therefore, the authorities rely solely on manufacturers’ research. , concludes Pauline Servan. However, these documents are not free from violations. Against, most of them also do not comply with OECD recommendations. The number of analyzed cells is too small. research live do not provide evidence of an effect on target cells located in the bone marrow. But these flaws are ignored says the toxicologist.

Another problem: data live available for only one type of test and cells, from bone marrow. In vitro, for example, the so-called counting test showed the effect of glyphosate on blood, liver or epithelial cells. But these gnototoxicity tests in vitro have almost no weight in the classification rules. None of the same tests performed this time livenever supplied by the manufacturers. However, even ANSES in 2016 expressed interest in conducting these experiments, in particular, on the kidneys and liver. Recommendation never followed by effects.

Pauline Servan also notes that the classification criteria set out in the CLP rules are too strict and have been questioned by ANSES. To declare a substance genotoxic, this regulation recognizes only the mutagenic nature of germ cells, in other words, associated with reproduction, which excludes all other cells. Here we see a reflection gap between academic science and normative sciencenotes Pauline Servan. Glyphosate is a kind of symbolic example of this system, but these deficiencies in evaluation are found in almost all substances and in all files!

Article published May 03, 2022


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