Stricter testing around pesticide permissions

Photo: EP Bart Staes, Eric Andrieu, PEST chair, and Norbert Lins (L-R).

The authorisation procedure for pesticides such as glyphosate must be fundamentally reformed, urged PEST Committee MEPs, adopting on 6 December with a wide majority the report authored by Belgian Green MEP Bart Staes and German EPP MEP Norbert Lins. The paper calls on national governments and the Commission to step up environmental and health assessments of pesticides and pesticide active substances, to ensure that no conflicts of interest affect the authorisation procedure and to make risk assessments transparent.

The risk assessments of dangerous substances must not be put in the hands of the pesticides industry that manufactures these products, Bart Staes said, adding that the PEST committee recognises that there is still scientific controversy surrounding the cancer risk of glyphosate that cannot simply be swept aside. He specified that all studies on its carcinogenic effects must be reviewed by the end of 2019 at the latest.

Even though the EU authorisation procedure is already one of the safest in the world, we can, of course, always improve it further to safeguard the highest standards for the health of our citizens, the environment and the survival of European farms, Norbert Lins stressed.

The vote in the plenary is scheduled for January.

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