Glyphosate, a chelating agent – state of knowledge

The purpose of the scientific project “Glyphosate, a chelating agent – state of knowledge”, funded by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, was to review literature data linking effects of glyphosate to its chelating property. As the declared active ingredient glyphosate can bind macro- and micronutrients, treatment with glyphosate-based herbicides potentially impedes their uptake and availability and may lead to nutrient deficiency in various organisms (e.g. glyphosate-treated genetically modified crops, non-target plants, soil organisms, and potentially animals and humans). Moreover, it had to be clarified if glyphosate is able to enhance the bioavailability and toxicity of toxic soil elements by remobilizing them due to chelation. In addition, this review addressed the issue how the chelating property of glyphosate (with all its consequences) has been considered during the authorization procedures of glyphosate and genetically modified glyphosate-resistant crop plants.

IBN scientists in charge were Martha Mertens and Sebastian Höss. In course of the project external experts could be won as co-authors (Prof. Dr. Günter Neumann and Dr. Joshua Afzal, University of Hohenheim, Germany). The review „Glyphosate, a chelating agent – relevant for ecological risk assessment?“ has been published in January 2018 in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research.