At the beginning of July, the Loulé Administrative and Tax Court gave reason to the Costa Vicentina Defense Association (Arriba), which had filed a complaint, ordering the stoppage of the herbicide application in works on the Aljezur stream.

“The safety of glyphosate, when used according to the indications for use that appear on the labels of products, is validated by numerous regulatory authorities around the world, including in the European Union”, maintained the executive director of Anipla, João Cardoso, in a statement sent to Lusa agency.

João Cardoso insisted that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had analysed the case and agreed with the conclusions of other agencies responsible for chemical safety, such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Germany or Japan, which concluded that the herbicide “has no cancer risk”.

According to that official, an identical position was taken after a joint meeting between the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on pesticide residues.

Disparity of opinion

Although the Loulé Administrative and Tax Court did not consider the existence of a link between that pesticide and the risk of cancer in its decision of 5 July, it cites “information” from the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests (ICNF) which underlines the disparity of opinion on this matter.

According to this information, “despite its widespread use, the use of glyphosate is involved in controversy at national, European and international levels, with very different opinions, whether against or in favour, with no irrefutable evidence that advises or discourages its use and its use in public spaces in Portugal is prohibited”.

The ICNF adds that “in the European Union, its use has been authorised by the European Commission until further reassessment, to be carried out in 2022, and the European Parliament defends the ban on the use of glyphosate from December 2022”.

According to Anipla, so far, only one non-regulatory agency – the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – has pointed out that glyphosate may be “probably carcinogenic to humans”, but João Cardoso insists that “no assessment authority of phytopharmaceuticals reached a similar conclusion after exhaustive analyses”.

“Based on the best available scientific evidence, there is no evidence that glyphosate is toxic to humans and animals when used according to the instructions on legally authorised labels”, concludes the executive director of Anipla.