Environmental coalition says independent data was not considered in decision


Source: © Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

The member states of the EU failed to reacha qualified majority to either block or support a proposal to renew glyphosate’s approval, meaning the European commission had to decide itself

Six environmental groups are challenging the European commission’s decision to reapprove the herbicide glyphosate for 10 years. They argue that the EU assessment relied on incomplete evidence from industry for its risk assessment and that there were deficiencies with contributions from the European Chemicals Agency (Echa) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to the decision-making process.

The European commission renewed glyphosate’s approval for 10 years in November, after member states failed to reach majority agreement to either support or block a renewal proposal. On 25 January the six organisations submitted a ‘request for internal review’, demanding the commission reconsider.

‘The authorities have systematically rejected all data from the independent scientific literature, basing their assessment solely on data supplied by manufacturers,’ stated Pauline Cervan, a toxicologist at the French environmental campaign group Générations Futures. Further, she suggested that some key studies are still missing for different areas of the assessment, which should have led the commission not to accept the dossier on the grounds of incompleteness.

The commission is required to formally respond to the request by the end of June, and the campaigners have indicated that they will take the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union if they find the response lacking and the glyphosate re-authorisation is not revoked.