Written question – Glyphosate / British Agriculture – P-005517/2017

In March 2015, an agency of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), concluded that glyphosate is a ‘probable’ carcinogen to humans (Group 2a).

By contrast, the EU agencies the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), agree with the conclusions of many regulatory bodies to the effect that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans, reviewing extensive data, including both public and confidential information.

A Reuters study has revealed that at the time of the glyphosate classification, IARC members were aware of information which showed that there is ‘absolutely no evidence whatsoever’ of an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma because of exposure to glyphosate. This new data was not taken into account by the IARC, as it had not yet been published at the time of the assessment.

Given that glyphosate is an important tool for European farmers — including in my South East of England constituency — care must indeed be taken in making such an assessment.

Therefore:

What view does the Commission take of the claims being made by the IARC?
In light of the new information not taken into account by the IARC, 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?
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