Special committee to oversee pesticides authorisation
9 February, 2018
The Parliament adopted last week the mandate and the composition of a special committee to look into the EU's authorisation procedure for pesticides, the EP press service reported. The committee is a response to concerns raised about the risk posed by the herbicide substance glyphosate, whose marketing licence was renewed by Member States for five years in November last year. The term of the committee, which will have 30 members, is to be nine months from its first meeting. It will deliver a final report of its factual findings and recommendations, to be approved by the full House.
The special committee is to assess the authorisation procedure for pesticides in the EU, potential failures in how substances are scientifically evaluated and approved, the role of the Commission in renewing the glyphosate licence, possible conflicts of interest in the approval procedure, the role of EU agencies, and whether they are adequately staffed and financed to fulfil their obligations.
In a resolution voted on in October, Parliament stated that the release of the so-called “Monsanto Papers”, internal documents from the company which owns and produces Roundup, of which glyphosate is the main active substance, shed doubt on the credibility of some studies used in the EU evaluation on glyphosate safety. The EU's authorisation procedure, including the scientific evaluation of substances, should be based only on published, peer-reviewed and independent studies commissioned by competent public authorities, MEPs said. EU agencies should be beefed up in order to allow them to work in this way.