Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide. The approval of glyphosate under the Plant Protection Products Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 (PPP Regulation) will expire on 31 December 2017 at the latest.
In the context of litigation in the US brought by plaintiffs who claim to have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of exposure to glyphosate(1), the court unsealed internal documents by Monsanto. Monsanto is the owner and producer of Roundup®, the active substance of which is glyphosate.
The released correspondence has shed doubts on the credibility of some Monsanto-sponsored studies which were among the evidence used by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) for their evaluation of the safety of glyphosate. In this regard, transparency and public availability of scientific studies, as well as of the raw data that these studies are based on, are of utmost importance.
1. In the light of public concern, what steps is the Commission taking to ensure that the decision on the renewal of the approval of glyphosate is based on credible and independent scientific findings? Will the Commission investigate alleged undue influence from the applicant?
2. What specific measures is the Commission considering, in the context of the ongoing REFIT evaluations of the PPP Regulation and the General Food Law Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, with regard to transparency and the role of scientific peer-reviewed, publicly available studies in the evaluation of active substances?
3. How do the Commission and EFSA ensure that the requirements of Article 63 of the PPP Regulation with regard to the disclosure of scientific evidence are respected in accordance with the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, specifically the judgments in cases C-673/13 and C-442/14?
4. What measures is the Commission taking to finance research and innovation with regard to alternative sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for plant protection(2)?