Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - EU - 2017

European Parliament Press Release, 13 June 2017

PESTICIDES - Glyphosate: MEPs grilled Commission on “Monsanto papers” 

The safety assessment of the most widely used herbicide, for which authorisation will expire at the end of the year, was put into doubt by many MEPs on Tuesday.

EU agencies concluded that allegations stemming from “Monsanto papers”, if true, would have no impact on safety assessment conclusions, said Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis on Tuesday before MEPs.

Some MEPs stressed that the substance’s safety assessment should be strictly science-based and that the process should steer clear of emotions. Others called for the launch of an independent review on glyphosate. Many MEPs agreed that low-risk herbicides should be better promoted.

The debate took place as MEPs say that correspondence from the company, which was recently disclosed, has shed doubt on the credibility of a number of Monsanto-sponsored studies. The studies were part of the evidence used by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to evaluate the safety of glyphosate.

Monsanto is owner and producer of Roundup®, a herbicide based on the active substance glyphosate.

For additional background information, see the European Parliament's 'At a glance' sheet on 'Renewing authorisation for glyphosate' (from April 2016).

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