‘All 28 Member States need a common position on glyphosate’

All 28 Member States of the European Union need a common understandable position on glyphosate, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis has said.

It was reported recently that the European Commission looks set to re-licence glyphosate, the world’s most widely-used chemical.

It was reported in The Guardian that a draft decision by the Commission recommends that the key ingredient in Monsanto’s well known Roundup product be reapproved for use in the EU.

Speaking to the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development recently, Andriukaitis said that the EU saw an unprecedented controversy about whether or not glyphosate should be kept on the market.

“I have listened carefully to the concerns expressed particularly those of the members of this house [Committee of Agriculture and Rural Development].

“I heard many concerns about the so-called lack of transparency of the EU process, mostly because we only publish the summary of studies performed by the industry and not the raw data.”

The Commissioner went on to say that he is sensitive to the concerns expressed.

For that reason, I will ask the industry to publish the raw data as well. I believe it is in the collective interest.

“In the Standing Committee on March 8, discussions took place with the Member States and they will continue.

“Let me be clear: the Commission will only take a decision that gathers broad support.”

Speaking to the Committee about glyphosate, he said that he is ready to evaluate the situation how to change our assessment system being more transparent and disclosing such studies which are presented from industry.

“We need a common understandable position for all 28 Member States. We need broad coalition on such a decision on glyphosate.”

Last year glyphosate, which is used in Roundup, was declared unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

However, research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer also classified it as ‘probably cancer-causing’.

This was found despite the only finding “limited evidence” that glyphosate was a carcinogen for humans, the IARC was confident enough to classify it as probably carcinogenic to humans.