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Press release |

Ramazzini Institute pilot study shows adverse health effects from doses considered safe


The Ramazzini Institute has today presented the first results of a pilot study on glyphosate, which indicate that the substance has serious adverse health effects, including on sexual and reproductive health. The pilot forms part of a wide study, aimed for completion by 2022, corresponding to the start of the glyphosate authorisation renewal process in the EU. The findings of the study were presented this morning at a press conference in Brussels, alongside Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts and Greens/EFA MEP Marco Affronte.

Dr. Fiorella Belpoggi, Director of the Istituto Ramazzini’s Research Area, comments:

“Today we can state that even at thresholds considered safe and under a relatively brief exposure period (in terms of equivalent age in man, from embryonic life to 18 years of age), glyphosate and its formulations are capable of altering certain significant biological parameters. In light of these results, it is absolutely necessary to deepen the investigation on reproduction and development, and to acquire independent data on carcinogenesis. Only thus will the European Parliament be able, in 2022, to take decisions based on the solid basis on independent science. We very much hope that, in addition to helping us with economic support, EU Institutions will want to take part in the Technical Scientific Board that will manage the course of the study at the premises of our labs."

Greens/EFA co-president Philippe Lamberts comments:

"With the European Parliament currently assessing the authorisation procedure for pesticides, this is a timely contribution to the debate around the potential dangers of glyphosate. The early results suggest that glyphosate can have serious impacts on human health. It is important that these worrying findings are followed up on, and any further warning signs taken into account when the EU license for glyphosate comes up for renewal."

Greens/EFA MEP Marco Affronte adds:

“It is essential that greater weight is placed on independent scientific studies than those commissioned by industry. Potential conflict of interest cast doubt on EU authorisation procedures. This is not only an issue of the health of our citizens and their environment, but also one of institutional credibility. If we want to ensure the public has faith in decision-making in Brussels, it needs to be made much more robust and transparent.”

About the study:

  • Three peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts from the pilot phase of the Global Glyphosate Study are available online today. The papers will be published in Environmental Health later in May.
  • The pilot study was a single-dose study on glyphosate based herbicides in rats, using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acceptable daily dietary exposure level of glyphosate. It focused on the newborn, infancy and adolescence phases of life. The results reveal that glyphosate based herbicides were able to alter certain important biological parameters, mainly relating to sexual development, genotoxicity and the alteration of the intestinal microbiome.
  • The pilot study involved the participation of multiple Institutions and Universities in Europe and the U.S and was funded by 30,000 members of the public in Italy, who are associates of the Ramazzini Institute cooperative. A crowd-funding campaign has been launched to help support a long-term comprehensive Global Glyphosate Study, which following these results is now urgently required.

View the study here.

Recording of the press conference.


Press release

Photo by Jorge Fernández Salas on Unsplash
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Press release

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Responsible MEPs

Marco Affronte
Marco Affronte
Philippe Lamberts
Philippe Lamberts

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