ANSES announces the withdrawal of 36 products containing glyphosate

Following the European Union's five-year re-approval of this active substance in 2017, ANSES is reviewing marketing authorisations for products containing glyphosate marketed in France, and has begun a comparative assessment with the available alternatives. Without waiting for the end of the current process, the Agency has announced its withdrawal of authorisations for 36 products containing glyphosate and its refusal to authorise four new products, as the data provided by manufacturers did not enable it to reach a decision on their possible genotoxicity. In 2018, these products accounted for nearly three-quarters of the tonnage of glyphosate-based products sold in France for agricultural and non-agricultural uses.

The assessment by European Member States of authorisation applications submitted by companies wishing to renew or obtain marketing authorisation for plant protection products takes place within a framework defined by the European Union.

For glyphosate, this framework was specifically strengthened in 2017 following a re-assessment of the active substance, with more stringent requirements involving the provision of additional data on the health and environmental risks, and in particular on the genotoxicity of all the components of products containing glyphosate. These new provisions require specific studies to be conducted according to robust, standardised methods.

Sixty-nine products containing glyphosate are currently available on the market in France and an application has been submitted for renewal of their authorisation. ANSES has now decided that 36 of these products will be withdrawn from the market and can no longer be used from the end of 2020, due to a lack or absence of scientific data ruling out any genotoxic risk.

In addition, and for the same reasons, the Agency announced a negative decision for four of the 11 new authorisation applications submitted since January 2018 and currently being examined.

ANSES is continuing to examine applications for the authorisation and re-authorisation of products containing glyphosate and, as announced in November 2018, will also carry out a comparative assessment with the non-chemical alternatives available.

Only glyphosate-based products that meet the efficacy and safety criteria defined at European level for the claimed uses, and that cannot be satisfactorily substituted, will ultimately be granted access to the French market. The entire assessment process will be completed by 31 December 2020.