“So long as serious concerns remain about the carcinogenicity and endocrine disruptive properties of the herbicide glyphosate… the EU Commission should not renew its authorisation”
The Environment (ENVI) Committee of the European Parliament has issued a strong statement warning of “serious concerns” about the health risks posed by glyphosate herbicides.
The Committee said:
“So long as serious concerns remain about the carcinogenicity and endocrine disruptive properties of the herbicide glyphosate, which is used in hundreds of farm, forestry, urban and garden applications, the EU Commission should not renew its authorisation. Instead, it should commission an independent review and disclose all the scientific evidence that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) used to assess glyphosate.”
In a resolution passed today by 38 votes to 6, with 18 abstentions, the Environment Committee said, “The European Commission should not renew the approval of the herbicide substance glyphosate on the EU market for another 15 years, until 2031, without any restrictions as proposed.”
MEP Pavel Poc (S&D, CZ), who drafted the motion for a resolution, said, “The fact that we have to resort to a parliamentary objection shows that something has gone wrong in the decision process.
"Glyphosate has been classified as probably carcinogenic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). While the industry claimed that the substance can be completely metabolised, it is now clear that glyphosate residues are everywhere: in the environment, in many products we consume every day, in our bodies.”
Publish the scientific evidence
Pavel Poc continued, ”Will the European Commission and EFSA publish the studies on which their proposal is based? Why propose authorising glyphosate for another 15 years, the longest period possible? We need those studies to be made public, and we should wait until we have them. Any uncertainty must be avoided before proceeding with the approval of a substance that is so broadly used. That is how precautionary principle should be applied.”
The non-binding resolution calls on the EU executive to table a new draft. MEPs want the European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority to “immediately disclose all the scientific evidence that has been a basis for the positive classification of glyphosate and the proposed re-authorisation, given the overriding public interest in disclosure”.
The EU Food and Veterinary Office should also be mandated to test and monitor glyphosate residues in foods and drinks, it adds.
The motion for a resolution will be put to a vote at the 11-14 April plenary session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
National experts sitting in the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (Phytopharmaceuticals Section) will vote to adopt or reject the Commission proposal by qualified majority in May. If there is no such majority, it will be up to the European Commission to decide.