Monday

11th Dec 2017

MEPs urge Juncker not to renew glyphosate licence

  • Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the world's most widely used weedkiller. (Photo: Jacob Bøtter)

A group of MEPs has asked the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, not to renew the marketing authorisation of glyphosate, the world's most widely used weedkiller.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said last week that there isn't enough scientific evidence to prove that glyphosate causes cancer.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) came to the same conclusion in November 2015.

But 30 MEPs, in a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker dated Friday (24 March), questioned the trustworthiness of one of the studies used by EFSA for its assessment.

The study was co-written by a former employee of Monsanto, the US company that markets glyphosate under the brand name Roundup.

The lawmakers also refer to an ongoing US court case, which has disclosed internal emails from Monsanto. These emails, which have been dubbed the "Monsanto Papers" by French daily Le Monde, suggest that Monsanto had ghost-written research that was later attributed to academics.

The information revealed through the emails also suggests that Monsanto knew already in 1999 that glyphosate could cause cancer.

The European Commission granted a temporary licence to glyphosate last June, after EU member states remained deadlocked on the terms of a regular renewal.

The temporary licence will expire six months after ECHA formally submits its opinion to the commission, sometime in 10-15 weeks time.

The MEPs asked the commission not to propose any new approval of glyphosate in the EU until ECHA and EFSA have checked the validity of some of the studies used in their assessments of glyphosate.

They also called for a black list of companies that "use lies as a common policy", a ban on undisclosed contact between EU officials and any lobbyist working with or for Monsanto, and a full investigation into whether Monsanto has deliberately falsified studies on the safety of glyphosate.

Green MEPs initiated the letter that was also signed by their colleagues from centre-right, centre-left, far-left groups and Italy's Five Star Movement.

The World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a "probable carcinogen" in 2015.

Doubts over EU chemical agency after weedkiller study

Green MEPs and health pressure groups said the European Chemicals Agency could be suffering from conflicts of interest, after it said there wasn't enough evidence to prove that the world's most widely used weedkiller causes cancer.

EU declines to renew glyphosate licence

Member states did not agree on conditions to renew the permit for the chemical used in pesticides, amid contradictory evidence on a possible cancer link.

EU fails to reach weed-killer deal, again

Painful process to agree on use of glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical linked to a cancer scare, could end up with EU Commission taking unilateral action.

Investigation

EU weed-killer evidence 'written by Monsanto'

The EU's favourable opinion of the weed-killer chemical glyphosate was partially based on scientific evidence heavily influenced by weed-killer manufacturer Monsanto.

Opinion

Ceta and pesticides: A citizens' rights issue

The trade agreement with Canada will begin to apply on 21 September. But there is still a potential conflict on the right to data protection vs. the right to access information.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  2. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  3. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  7. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  8. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  9. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties
  10. EPSUEU Blacklist of Tax Havens Is a Sham
  11. EU2017EERole of Culture in Building Cohesive Societies in Europe
  12. ILGA EuropeCongratulations to Austria - Court Overturns Barriers to Equal Marriage