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French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

ANSES launches a call for applications to conduct complementary studies on the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate

Glyphosate is an active substance used in many herbicides, and in December 2017 the European Union re-approved its use for a further five years.  Following controversy over the carcinogenic classification of glyphosate, ANSES is launching a call for applications to conduct several toxicological studies to improve knowledge of the substance’s carcinogenic potential. The results of these studies will be taken into account in the next EU re-evaluation of glyphosate.

In order to better understand the possible carcinogenic mechanisms of action of glyphosate and to assess their relevance for humans, ANSES is launching a call for applications for the following studies to be done:

  • In vitro tests to study the effects on human and animal cells that could be related to cellular stress following exposure to glyphosate. These tests could identify the molecular pathways involved in the cellular response. Their results will help interpret the other recommended tests and explain the conflicting results observed in the literature.
  • An in vivo comet assay in rats and mice (stomach, intestine, liver, kidney and pancreas), coupled with a micronucleus assay; these tests should clarify the genotoxic potential of glyphosate. The results will complement other studies already available, including those conducted by the US National Toxicology Program.
  • A cell transformation assay coupled with the "Transformics" method; these tests could identify in vitro glyphosate’s possible carcinogenic modes and mechanisms of action.

The requested studies will have to be conducted by independent research teams under strict conditions of experimentation and traceability. At the end of the selection process, an agreement will be signed between ANSES and the selected candidate or candidates.

The results of the studies must be available within 18 months, at end 2021 at the latest, for submission in the context of glyphosate’s re-evaluation of by the European Union.

Consortia and research teams that would like to consult the specifications of the call can do so on the French public procurement platform.

Applications may be submitted through 15 October 2019 at 17:00.