HL Deb 27 July 1998 vol 592 cc159-60WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Shitaki pathway, upon which glyphosate acts in parasites, is known to exist in mammals or in man. [HL2846]

Lord Donoughue

The noble Countess may be referring to the Shikimate pathway. The Shikimate pathway is an important biosynthetic route in plants that leads to the formation of the aromatic amino-acids tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine. Glyphosate inhibits one of the enzymes in the pathway, leading to the death of the plant by preventing it from synthesising these essential amino-acids.

The advice available to me is that the Shikimate pathway does not exist in humans and other mammals.