Today the European Parliament held a debate on glyphosate, including a response from the Commission to an oral question from a cross-party group of MEPs.
Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP, commented after the debate:
“It was encouraging to see cross-party MEPs shining a spotlight on the dangers of glyphosate today. The Commission is still considering whether to reauthorise this product, we need to know what evidence they are looking at.
Glyphosate is a compound found in many common agricultural pesticides. However, its usage is controversial – while the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says it’s safe, the World Health Organisation’s cancer agency (IARC) says the compound is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. This doesn’t add up.
The EFSA won’t give us access to the studies it used to determine that glyphosate was safe. That’s because the studies are owned by companies who are eager to get their glyphosate products approved for use on the market, and who worry that disclosing the information may harm their commercial interests.
This is a clearly a serious public health issue. However, the matter also has major implications for transparency. All studies used in the assessment of active substances by EU agencies, including the raw data they are based on, should be available to the public.
I am pleased to join a group of Greens/EFA MEPs who have launched a case at the European Court of Justice to take a decision on this . It’s time to put public health ahead of commercial interests.”