The EU Commission and agencies EFSA and ECHA will be under the spotlight
Today the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg backed the creation of a special committee to find out whether Monsanto, the multinational producing glyphosate, an active ingredient in broadly used pesticides, tried to influence independent scientific research and therefore EU legislation. The mandate, however, will be broader in order to analyse the system by which pesticides are approved into the European market.
The committee will "analyse and assess possible conflicts of interest at all levels of the approval procedure" and examine whether the Commission has acted in accordance with the EU pesticide regulation when taking decisions on the renewal of the approval of glyphosate.
The Socialists & Democrats' vice-president for sustainability Kathleen Van Brempt said:
“We have strong concerns on the potentially harmful impact of glyphosate on human health, and we want to know what was behind the renewal of its license. This special committee on pesticides will analyse whether the positive reports on glyphosate by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) were influenced by its developer.
“But this would not be enough; our political group requested a special committee because we want to go beyond the Monsanto papers. If there are flaws in the approval procedure of pesticides, we want to be able to fix them and make sure that health is always put ahead of the economic interests of big corporations. Authorisation and renewal procedures should be based on objective and independent scientific research, preferably by public research institutions. The special committee’s aim is to make the decision-making and evaluation processes transparent and objective.”
The composition of the special committee will be voted on by the Parliament on Thursday 8 February 2018.
Source: Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament