EP Proposes Seven-year Glyphosate Reauthorization

14.04.2016 -

After the European Parliament’s Environment Committee (ENVI) last month passed a resolution urging the EU Commission not to renew the authorization of the herbicide ingredient glyphosate for 15 years, as it has been expected to do, the EP’s plenary session has recommended a renewal for seven years. In a non-binding resolution, passed with a vote of 374 to 225 with 102 abstentions, the MEPs called for an independent review of all the scientific evidence the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) used to assess glyphosate.

The EU’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (Phytopharmaceuticals Section), made of up experts from the member states, must vote to adopt or reject the Commission’s renewal proposal by qualified majority before mid-May. If is no such majority can be found, it will fall to the Commission to decide.

For some time, the controversial active ingredient for a number of herbicides, including Monsanto's Roundup, has been under worldwide scrutiny worldwide as a possible carcinogen.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended classifying glyphosate as “probable carcinogenic to humans.” In its own report, however, EFSA said the chemical was “unlikely to cause cancer.”

The EP’s latest resolution calls on the Commission not to approve any non-professional use of glyphosate and, under a separate law, to take account of the pending classification to be proposed by ECHA, the EU body charged with implementing REACh.

Simultaneousy, the MEPs said, the Commission should table a new draft in order to better assess the sustainable use of herbicides containing glyphosate and also launch an independent review of the overall toxicity and classification of the chemical, based not only on data relating to carcinogenicity but also on possible endocrine-disruptive properties.