Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues

ISSN 0259-2517



Pesticide residues in food 2015

(acamedia cache of this report)

Format edited by J. Gruber

Most of the summaries and evaluations contained in this report are based on unpublished proprietary data submitted for use by JMPR in making its assessments. A registration authority should not grant a registration on the basis of an evaluation unless it has first received authorization for such use from the owner of the data submitted for the JMPR review or has received the data on which the summaries are based, either from the owner of the data or from a second party that has obtained permission from the owner of the data for this purpose.

2. Glyphosate

IARC published a summary of the findings on glyphosate in The Lancet Oncology1 and the glyphosate monograph was published on 29 July 20152 and provided to the task force on that date. The summary and monograph included a classification of Group 2A, probably carcinogenic to humans, for glyphosate. This classification was based on:

JMPR most recently evaluated glyphosate in 2004 and 2011.


The original reference list that IARC submitted to the task force in May 2015 included 403 studies. In the published IARC monograph (July 2015), only 263 studies were reported. The original list shared with JMPR consisted of all references “included” in the HAWC Literature Search tool (a collaborative workspace for conducting risk assessments for human) plus all references cited in the preliminary drafts. Therefore, IARC characterized the list as the literature “considered” by the IARC Working Group. The difference between the number of references included in the original list and the number of references included in the final monograph can be mainly attributed to the fact that not all identified literature must be cited in Sections 1 (epidemiology) and 4 (mechanistic and other studies).

Glyphosate References on Epidemiological Studies

40 references for epidemiological studies were cross-checked between the relevant JMPR, IARC and EFSA publications:

Glyphosate References on Rodent Cancer Bioassays

15 references for carcinogenicity studies in rodents were cross-checked between the relevant JMPR, IARC and EFSA publications:

Glyphosate References on Genotoxicity Studies

Active Substance Glyphosate

There were 99 references on the genotoxicity of glyphosate, but these could not be fully cross- checked between the relevant JMPR, IARC and EFSA publications. The task force also conducted a literature search for genotoxicity references published after the IARC (2015) review:

Glyphosate-containing Formulations and AMPA

There were many references relating to genotoxicity studies on glyphosate-containing formulations or aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), but these could not be cross-checked between the relevant JMPR, IARC and EFSA publications within the available time frame.

Glyphosate References on Oxidative Stress and Other Mechanistic Studies

The IARC monograph includes mechanistic studies and other relevant data that might be of importance for a re-evaluation of toxicity end-points other than carcinogenicity.


In light of the studies identified in the publications by IARC (2015) and EFSA (2014) that were not considered by JMPR (2004), as well as the additional genotoxicity studies identified by the task force, it is recommended that JMPR discuss and consider the re-evaluation of the active substance glyphosate. In particular:


  1. Guyton KZ et al., on behalf of the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group, IARC, Lyon, France (2015). Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate. Lancet Oncol. 16(5):490–1.
  2. IARC (2015). Glyphosate (in acamedia chache). In: Some organophosphate insecticides and herbicides: diazinon, glyphosate, malathion, parathion, and tetrachlorvinphos. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Volume 112; accessed 28 September 2015).
  3. The studies cited in this report, which have not yet been published, should be submitted by the European Glyphosate Task Force (a consortium of companies joining resources and efforts in order to renew the European glyphosate registration with a joint submission) for the proposed re-evaluation of glyphosate by JMPR.
  4. Summary available here (in acamedia cache).
  5. 1 Greim H, Saltmiras D, Mostert V, Strupp C (2015). Evaluation of carcinogenic potential of the herbicide glyphosate, drawing on tumor incidence data from fourteen chronic/carcinogenicity rodent studies. Crit Rev Toxicol. 45(3):185–208.

Version: 4 February 2016

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Joachim Gruber