MEPs point to lack of scientific agreement on chemical’s potential dangers to health
Following the announcement of the European Commission that it will allow member states to decide on how to use glyphosate, a potentially carcinogenic pesticide, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament expressed their disappointment at the lack of EU action.
S&D vice-president Kathleen Van Brempt said:
“There is growing anxiety over the use of this substance, given the lack of scientific agreement on its potential dangers to health. The European Parliament already took a balanced decision asking for an immediate ban in public parks, public playgrounds and gardens, as well as the pre-harvest use of glyphosate. Now the Commission wants to allow member states to decide on how to ‘minimise’ the use in such cases granting a 'technical extension'. This is discouraging.”
S&D spokesperson on glyphosate, Pavel Poc MEP, said:
“The Commission has the obligation to take the decision, and it shouldn't be just a technical extension of the existing authorisation. We need to have more scientific evidence, but until then the Commission is not bringing any real solution of the existing problem, and it is not respecting the precautionary principle.
“A technical extension is a solution for the Commission, not for the European public. For consumers it is absolutely not important who is hiding behind who, people want safe food and a safe environment and this answer will be postponed for 18 more months, this is sad news for us."
S&D spokesperson on health and environment, Matthias Groote MEP, said:
“This extension of 18 months is only a postponement of the final decision. In addition, it ignores the request of the Parliament to restrict the use of glyphosate only to those cases where no alternative methods exist, and furthermore it ignores the request to ban it in pre-harvest agricultural use, in public parks and in playgrounds.
“In view of the precautionary principle we should not be taking any risk that could affect the health of all European citizens and its flora and fauna. The use of glyphosate should be restricted as soon as possible.”
The Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (the S&D Group) is the second largest political group in the European Parliament with 189 members from all 28 EU member states.