By Graciela Vizcay Gomez
Published after 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, by the press of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). They also demand that all the scientific evidence that has been the basis for the positive classification of the herbicide and the reauthorization project be disclosed, given the higher public interest at stake. "
While serious concerns remain about the carcinogenicity and endocrine disruptive properties of the herbicide glyphosate, which is used in hundreds of farms, forestry, urban and garden applications, the EU Commission should not renew its authorization. Instead, an independent review should be commissioned and all the scientific evidence from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) used to evaluate glyphosate should be released, MEPs from the Environment Committee said on Tuesday.
"The fact that we have to resort to a parliamentary objection shows that something has gone wrong in the decision process," said Pavel Poc (S&D, CZ) MEP, who drafted the motion for a resolution.
"Glyphosate has been classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO) Although the industry claimed that the substance can be completely metabolized, it is now clear that glyphosate residues are everywhere: in the environment, in many of the products that we consume every day, and in our bodies, "he continued.
Publish scientific evidence
"Can the European Commission and EFSA publish the studies on which their proposal is based? Why do they propose to authorize glyphosate for another 15 years, the longest period possible?
We need those studies to be made public, and we must wait for them. We need to avoid any uncertainty before proceeding with the approval of a substance that is used so widely. this is how the Precautionary Principle should be applied, "he concluded.
The non-binding resolution urges the EU Executive to bring a new project to the table. MEPs want the European Commission and the European Food Safety Authority to be able to "immediately release all the scientific evidence that has been the basis for the positive glyphosate classification and the reauthorization project, given the overriding public interest at stake."
The EU Food and Veterinary Office should also have the mandate to test and monitor glyphosate residues in food and beverages, the statement added.
The motion for a resolution, co-signed by Kate? Ina Kone? Ná (GUE / NGL, CZ), Bas Eickhout (Greens / ALE, NL) Piernicola Pedicini (EFDD, IT), on behalf of their respective political groups and MPs Marcos Demesmaeker (Compilation, BE), Sirpa Pietikainen (PPE, FI) and Frédérique Ries (ALDE, BE), will be put to a vote in the plenary session from April 11 to 14 in Strasbourg.
National experts participating in the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (Phytopharmaceuticals Section) will vote to approve or reject the Commission's proposal by qualified majority in May. If there is no such majority, it will be up to the European Commission to decide.
Note to editors
Glyphosate is an active substance widely used in herbicides. Patented in the 1970s, it was introduced to the consumer market in 1974 as a broad-spectrum herbicide and quickly became a best-seller. Since its patent expired in 2000, glyphosate has been marketed by various companies and several hundred plant protection products containing glyphosate are currently registered in Europe for use on crops.