The Greens/EFA group will try to build a majority in the European Parliament to refer the European Commission’s decision to renew the licence for glyphosate to the European Court of Justice.
The call follows a new report from Professor Olivier De Schutter, who served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food from 2008 to 2014, outlining the reasons why the Commission’s renewal should be annulled. The report is available on the Greens/EFA website.
At the end of November a qualified majority of EU member states voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal for the renewal of the approval of glyphosate for five years. Eighteen member states voted in favour, with 9 against and 1 abstention.
The European Commission is due to adopt the implementing regulation on 12 December. There is then a two month period in which any Member State or the European Parliament can file an action for annulment of the implementing regulation.
A last-minute change of position by Germany permitted the vote to go in favour of glyphosate’s renewal. Germany’s U-turn outweighed resistance from France and Italy, which both voted against.
The Commission ignored the Parliament’s demand for a phase-out of glyphosate on farms by 2020 and restrictions in the meantime, including a ban on non-professional use and use in public parks and gardens.
Philippe Lamberts, co-president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
“We will now try build a majority in the European Parliament to take this to the European Court of Justice and will appeal to the Member States that rightly objected to the Commission’s proposals to join us. We must attempt to reverse what is set to be a deeply harmful decision. It will be clear to anyone that reads Professor De Schutter’s meticulous report that the Commission has been led by business interests. They disregarded not only the European Citizens’ Initiative and the view of the European Parliament, but also serious scientific warnings. Despite the large scale concern, they pressed ahead without even allowing a pause for further investigation. The German government in particular has questions to answer. It seems they are more interested in ensuring the proposed Bayer-Monsanto merger goes ahead than protecting the health of their own citizens.”
Professor Olivier De Schutter concluded:
“The Commission has transformed into an institutional crisis what was, initially, a public health issue. It has dismissed the views of the International Agency of Research of Cancer (IARC) of the WHO, according to which glyphosate represents a ‘probable risk of provoking cancer in humans’. It did so despite the fact that the IARC’s findings are far more respected by the scientific community than those of the European agencies — the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) —, which have adopted their views based primarily, it now appears, on the documents provided by Monsanto. This is unacceptable. The Court of Justice shall have no choice but to annul the Implementing Regulation, for violation of the requirement to ensure a high level of protection of human health and of the environment, and for violation of the right of citizens to file a ECI — and to contribute thereby to the democratic life of the Union.”