EU experts postpone vote on glyphosate due to growing opposition
The standing committee of experts of the European Commission was expected to vote this week on whether to extend the authorisation of glyphosate, the world’s most used herbicide, for the next 15 years.
This substance was assessed as safe by European food safety authority (EFSA), but probably carcinogenic by WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The European Commission has to decide about the authorisation in the EU by June 2016.
However, due to growing opposition from member states and strong pressure from the S&D Group, the Commission has decided to postpone any decision.
S&D spokesperson on this issue, Pavel Poc MEP, said:
"This is a big victory for our group and for citizens. Last week we sent a letter to the Commission asking for the postponement of any decision at least until an on-going scrutiny by the European Parliament has finished (see press release).
"We know that more member states are becoming aware of the risks of glyphosate and they are concerned about their citizens’ health. What other reason should there be for an application of the precautionary principle if not suspicion that it may be carcinogenic?
"I am happy that the member states and the Commission share the opinion expressed last week in the European Parliament. Public health has to be a priority, this is the lesson taken with DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) years ago. We must not put new generations at unnecessary risks."
The standing committee of experts will meet again in May. By then we hope that the Parliament's own scrutiny has shred some more light in order to take a well-informed and definite decision.