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Organophosphates

Volume 712: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether commercial formulations for Roundup are safe for developing embryos in the light of recent research by Gilles-Eric Seralini et al of the University of Caen that polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), used as a surfactant, amplified the toxic effects on human cells at concentrations more diluted than those used on farms and lawns, supported by other research from Argentina that reported a high incidence of birth defects and cancer in people, and genetic malformations in amphibians, living near crop spraying areas. [HL4563]

The chairs of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP) and its Medical and Toxicological Panel have considered the paper by Benachour and Seralini, Chem.Res.Toxicol 2009, 22, 97-105. This paper reports on in vitro work examining the effects of glyphosate, the glyphosate metabolite AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid), a co-formulant POEA (polyethoxylated tallow amine) and some Roundup formulations. It was concluded that the study did not suggest that regulatory action was required.

The Chemicals Regulation Directorate of the Health and Safety Executive has considered some information on a study in Argentina that may be the work mentioned. The methodology used in this study means that the results are not relevant to mammals, including humans.