The concerns raised by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the health risks arising from using the substance called glyphosate, found in Roundup weedkiller, have been dismissed by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa).

The possible risks to human health from the use of glyphosate in farming has prompted an investigation by committees in US and EU over possible carcinogenic abilities. Monsanto – the producer of Roundup, encourages the use of the weedkiller in combination with its GM crops. The product is used so widely, that the residues of it are commonly found in British bread.

Doubts about the safe use of the core ingredient of the herbicide have been stirred by unsealed documents in an ongoing lawsuit against Monsanto by sufferers of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, claiming that they developed the illness from the exposure to Roundup.

Last year, the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer found, that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans, recalling a study from 2001 which found a causal link between exposure to glyphosate and increased tumour occurrence in mice, although Efsa decided, that it probably is not, proposing a new 10-year license.

The regulatory passage of the substance has been heavily questioned over the negotiations of former EPA's head of the cancer assessment review committee – Jess Rowlands, and Monsanto's official, and possible influencing of the Efsa decision through dismissal of the studies over the potential flaws related to viral infections and use of certain type of mice.

Greenpeace spokeswoman, Franziska Achterberg said, that Efsa – Rowlands connection made public inquiry vital and any “meddling by Monsanto in regulatory safety assessments would be wholly unacceptable. We urgently need a thorough investigation into the Efsa assessment before glyphosate can be considered for re-approval in Europe.”