HELSINKI, March 15 (Reuters) - Glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto Co's Roundup herbicide, should not be classified as a substance causing cancer, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) concluded on Wednesday.
Contradictory findings on carcinogenic risks have thrust the chemical into the centre of a dispute between EU and U.S. politicians, regulators and researchers.
"This conclusion was based both on the human evidence and the weight of the evidence of all the animal studies reviewed," Tim Bowmer, chairman of ECHA's Committee for Risk Assessment, said in an online briefing.
The European Union last July granted an 18-month extension of its approval for the weed killer, pending further scientific study.
The ECHA's opinion will be forwarded to the European Commission for final decision making. (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl and Tuomas Forsell in Helsinki, additional reporting by Kate Kelland in London; Editing by Dominic Evans)