On glyphosate

On glyphosate

Question with request for oral response to the Commission:

by Angélique DD, Miriam Dally, Julie Girling, Sheafn-Jan Gerbrandy, Kateřina Konečná, Bart Staes, Piernicola Pedicini and Jean-François Jacob, on behalf of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety

Glyphosate is the most used herbicide in the world. The approval of glyphosate under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 on plant protection products (PPP Regulation) will expire on 31 December 2017 at the latest.

In the context of litigation in the United States initiated by complainants claiming to have developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as a result of exposure to glyphosate (1), the court made public internal documents to Monsanto. Monsanto is the owner and producer of the Roundup ®, whose active ingredient is glyphosate.

The published correspondence cast doubt on the credibility of some Monsanto-sponsored studies, which were among the evidence used by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency ( ECHA) to assess the safety of glyphosate. In this regard, the transparency and public availability of scientific studies, as well as the raw data on which these data are based, are of the utmost importance.

1. In the light of public concerns, what measures does the Commission intend to take to ensure that the decision on the renewal of the approval of glyphosate is based on credible and independent scientific findings? Will the Commission open an inquiry into the presumption of undue influence on the part of the applicant?

2. What specific measures does the Commission intend to take, in the context of the current REFIT evaluations of the PPP Regulation and Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 on general food legislation, as regards transparency and the role of studies Peer-reviewed scientists and publicly available in the assessment of active substances?

3. How do the Commission and EFSA ensure compliance with the requirements of article 63 of the PPP regulation with regard to the disclosure of scientific evidence, in accordance with the case-law of the European Court of Justice, in Particular in cases C-673/13 and C-442/14?

4. What measures does the Commission intend to take to finance research and innovation on viable and cost-effective alternatives to plant protection (2)?

(1) Case 3:16-MD-02741-VC.
(2) Following the request made by Parliament in paragraph 11 of its resolution of 13 April 2016 on the draft implementing regulation of the Commission renewing the approval of the active substance glyphosate (adopted texts of that date, P8_TA ( 2016) 0119).