EP Wants to Study Pesticide Approval Procedure

  • The European Parliament is planning to establish a special committee to review the EU’s authorization procedure for crop protection agents (c) Federico Rostagno/ShutterstockThe European Parliament is planning to establish a special committee to review the EU’s authorization procedure for crop protection agents (c) Federico Rostagno/Shutterstock

The European Parliament is planning to establish a special committee to review the EU’s authorization procedure for crop protection agents.

The plans reflect the Parliament’s dissatisfaction with the outcome of the protracted re-authorization procedure for glyphosate, which in November 2017 resulted in the chemical‘s license being renewed for another five years.

A plenary session on Feb. 5-8 will make the final decision about establishing the committee, which is planned to have 30 members and a nine-month term. It will be tasked with delivering a final report of its factual findings and recommendations, which would be submitted to the full house for approval.

One of the new parliamentary body’s tasks would be to assess potential failures and conflicts of interest in the risk assessment and approval procedure as well as inadequacies in the way substances are scientifically evaluated and approved. The committee is expected to also examine the role of the European Commission in renewing the glyphosate license.

Additionally, the MEPs plan to evaluate the role of EU agencies in the approval procedure to determine whether they are adequately staffed and financed.

In a resolution passed in October 2017, the EP said the so-called “Monsanto Papers,” internal documents from the US chemical giant, which produces the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup, “shed doubt on the credibility of some studies used in the EU evaluation on glyphosate safety.”

The EU should only consider published, peer-reviewed and independent studies commissioned by competent public authorities, the Parliament said. In the review of glyphosate, some reports suggested that European safety agencies may have relied in part on Monsanto studies when drawing conclusions on glyphosate’s safety.

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