Agriculture: Pesticides

House of Lords written question – answered on 23rd July 2013.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the paper Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors by Thongprakaisang S et al, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 59, pages 129-36, and its findings about the estrogenic effects of low and environmentally relevant concentrations of glyphosate; and whether they intend to fund further research in that field.

Photo of Lord de Mauley Lord de Mauley The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The paper referred to reports responses in cells derived from cancerous human breast tissue. It is difficult to extrapolate with any reliability from such in vitro systems to actual human exposures to glyphosate. The study authors suggest that the findings should be investigated further in animal studies. We will review the findings of any such further work and then consider appropriate action. Furthermore glyphosate is currently being reviewed by Germany on behalf of the EU. This assessment will include relevant studies published since it was last approved in 2002 and will be peer reviewed under the auspices of the European Food Safety Authority. Further research requirements for industry may result from that review.

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