The Greens/EFA group has welcomed the decision of the European Parliament to set up a committee to investigate the failings highlighted by the glyphosate scandal. The European Parliament voted today to establish a committee to analyse and assess the authorisation procedure for pesticides. The Greens/EFA group called for the establishment of a special committee in December.
Bart Staes, who will be one of the Greens/EFA group’s nominees to sit on the committee, comments:
"This committee will make sure that answers are found to the serious questions raised throughout the glyphosate authorisation process. Pesticides can have a serious impact on the quality of the food on our plates and the health of our environment. That’s why it is so important that the authorisation process is made fit for purpose.
“If the public is to have confidence in these decisions, they need to be fully transparent and based on public scientific findings, not secret industry-funded studies. The EU agencies in charge of assessing potentially dangerous substances have a crucially important role to play in protecting public health and our environment. We need to make sure they are properly equipped and financed to do that job and find out whether chemical companies were able to gain undue influence over the assessment procedure."
The committee is expected to be composed of 30 members and will work for nine months. The constituent meeting is expected in March 2018. The parliament will vote on the composition of the committee on Thursday.
On 24 February 2016, the European Commission proposed a maximum 15 year renewal of the licence for glyphosate. Almost two years later, the EU licence for glyphosate was renewed for five years, thanks in part to huge mobilisation by civil society, including more than one million signatures to a European Citizens’ Initiative to Stop Glyphosate. Bart Staes is one of four Green MEPs that filed a case at the ECJ demanding public access to the studies used by EFSA in the assessment of glyphosate.