When the legal documents of the trial against Monsanto regarding glyphosate (Roundup, herbicide) were published, we were asked to review the material. This consists of 54 documents, hundreds of pages + 31 related documents.

This is part of our continuing discussion on the dangers of Endocrine Disruptors. Glyphosate is part of it but is also accused of causing several kinds of cancers.

In short, the discussion focused on the difficulty of proving the link (tests only on animals and geographical considerations) and on balancing the precautionary principle with the management of risks of using of potentially pathogenic products.

The same discussion applies here. Here is a list of organizations and individuals who are for and against the use of glyphosate. We are concerned by the debate at the level of the European Union. Africa, for its part, does not even appear to be mentioned.


DSB (WTO Dispute Settlement Body), Monsanto, Bayer, BASF, toxicology professor Alfred Bernard of the Catholic University of Louvain, the European Commission, ECHA (European Chemicals Agency), EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), the German Institute for Risk Evaluation, Japanese, New Zealand, Canadian and Australian agencies, United States Environmental Protection Agency.


European Parliament (in part), journalists from La Libre Belgique and le Monde, Robert Debré Hospital research (plausible), André Cicolella, French toxicologist and researcher into environmental health, Ségolène Royal, “probably carcinogenic” – International Cancer Research Centre (IARC, WHO).

In addition to the scientific discussion, reciprocal accusations are being made by chemical company lobbies and organisations advocating natural products.[1]

Professor Alfred Bernard of the Catholic University of Louvain even speaks ‘trading in fear’ to favour political interests ….

According to him, we need to distinguish between the products spread by farm labourers – especially the older varieties as newer ones are far less toxic – and pesticide residues covering fruits and vegetables. Contamination by ingestion would be minimal. Fruits and vegetables protect us from cancers, even if they are contaminated.

If we imitate the risk management attitude of Canada, the rationale would be to protect farmers and to prohibit land application within a certain distance of housing – and, obviously, to turn to a healthy diet.

[1] Lobby to replace industrial products (a widely broadcast but not unanimous study). Partly, as it was financed to some degree by the Union of Plant Protection Industries, an organization comprising undertakings that sell plant protection products for agricultural use.