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Transparency and independence key to EC’s authorisation of pesticides

The European Parliament has today passed strong recommendations to make the EU approval procedure for pesticides more transparent and independent.

The special committee on pesticides (PEST) was established in the wake of the controversial authorisation in late 2017 of Monsanto’s glyphosate for another 5 years – despite calls from the Parliament and the public for a complete ban.

Yesterday, MEP Anja Hazekamp (Partij voor de Dieren, Netherlands) launched a study that showed that over half of the EU safety assessment for glyphosate had been plagiarised from industry-sponsored studies.

Today, the Dutch MEP welcomed the vote on the PEST committee’s report and said the Commission must now urgently implement the necessary reforms:

“The recommendations that the Parliament approved today are promising. Europe needs to become more transparent and decide – independent of lobbying from industries – whether agricultural pesticides are safe for use. We demand the use of fewer pesticides in its totality.”

“The use of agricultural pesticides in public spaces should also be prohibited. Animals can no longer be misused to demonstrate the so-called safety of pesticides. There should be animal-free testing methods.”

“We now call on the Commission, but also on the Council, to embrace these recommendations and to incorporate them into general food law.”

However, Hazekamp added that the struggle for a ban on glyphosate is far from over:

“Europe’s approval of Monsanto’s glyphosate is and remains a major scandal. It’s now been over a year since Monsanto, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, the EFSA and the European Commission jointly granted this approval with the assent of member states.”

“That decision was made on the basis of dubious, manipulated and industry-sponsored studies. Europe is taking unacceptable risks with the health of over 500 million citizens and animals. Europe is allowing more and more of this poison to be pumped into our environment, our waters, our food and our bodies.”

“Glyphosate must be removed from the market because there is no basis for the approval to be granted,” Hazekamp concluded.