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Parliament approves greater transparency on approval of pesticides and GMOs

Food law

Members of the European Parliament have just voted to confirm the outcome of trilogue negotiations on the revised regulation: 'Transparency and Sustainability of EU Risk Assessment in the Food Chain'. The revisions will force the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to publish all studies on the basis of which it intends to authorise Glyphosate and other substances. The authorisation procedure for pesticides, genetically modified organisms and food additives, will become more transparent and verifiable in the future.

The European Commission responded to the European citizens' initiative "Stop Glyphosate!" with its proposal for a regulation on the publication of studies prior to authorisation, with which around 1,400,000 people demanded the end of the toxic substance and transparency in decision-making in the authorisation process. The revisions approved today will make it easier for policy makers to judge just how harmful Glyphosate is.

Bart Staes, Greens/EFA group spokesperson on pesticides, comments:

"Public interest and people's health is more important than protecting the secrets of chemical giants or not embarrassing the European Food Safety Authority. The complete lack of transparency in the authorisation of pesticides, genetic engineering and food additives, will finally be addressed. Independent scientific scrutiny and greater transparency in risk assessment and approval procedures is good for people, animals, the environment and biodiversity. Immense public pressure has had an effect and makes the publication of all studies prior to the approval decision on toxic substances such as glyphosate law.

"The glyphosate lobby must prepare to have the toxic effects of its product exposed ahead of its probable application for renewal by December 2019. Thanks to the recent European Court of Justice ruling, we will be able to see the studies we have requested access to already earlier this year."

 

Background

On 7 March 2019, the European Court of Justice ruled in the Green/EFA Group v. EFSA, Monsanto and Cheminova case that EFSA must publish studies on health risks of glyphosate previously declared confidential. The European Court of Justice ruled that the public interest in the cancer risk of glyphosate outweighs the trade secrets of chemical companies. When the law applies from the end of 2020, studies will have to be published automatically, without an access to documents request being necessary.

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Bart Staes
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