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Boylan: Commission backs down on glyphosate

1 June, 2016 - by Lynn Boylan MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has today reacted to the news that the European Commission is now proposing to re-authorise the use of the pesticide glyphosate only until the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) comes out with its assessment which is due in around one year.

‘The European Commission have now had to make an embarrassing about-face on glyphosate. After initially proposing to re-approve it for the maximum time limit of 15 years, it has now had to back down amongst outcry from the public and certain Member States and suggest only re-approval for as little as one year.

‘The EU’s safety assessment which found the pesticide to be unlikely carcinogenic has been widely criticised for using industry-sponsored studies which it refuses to publish. Their assessment is completely different to the finding by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) cancer health expert group that glyphosate was ‘probably carcinogenic’. IARC uses only peer-reviewed and independent science in coming to its conclusions.

‘Although this step down from a 15 year approval is significant, the concern remains that the EU is happy to proceed to authorise pesticides whose safety is based on secret industry studies which other scientists are not permitted to evaluate. I urge the Irish government to join my calls and the calls of other Member States to demand that these studies are published immediately in their entirety.

‘Independent science free from conflicts of interest must be the cornerstone of safety assessments in Europe.’ ENDS

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