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Parliamentary questions
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28 March 2019
P-000284/2019(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-000284/2019

1. Various allegations have been made about the credibility and reliability of the EU assessment of glyphosate, referred to by the Honourable Member. In September 2017, but also more recently, articles appeared in a number of publications casting doubts on the integrity of the EU assessment of glyphosate, in particular on the content of the renewal assessment report (RAR) submitted to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), which formed the basis of the EFSA conclusions. The Commission took these allegations seriously and asked the BfR and EFSA to respond. The two bodies issued statements(1) strongly refuting these allegations. Therefore, given the thorough scrutiny of all available information, there were no grounds to question the EU assessment of glyphosate.

2. EFSA is an independent body, responsible for its policy, and implementing rules on competing interests. EFSA has renewed them in 2017. The Commission is confident that EFSA has strong safeguards to ensure the independence of its Scientific Committee/Panels.

3. The European Parliament and the Council recently reached a political agreement on the Commission proposal for a regulation on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain amending the General Food Law and — as far as transparency is concerned — eight other legislative acts(2). According to this provisional agreement, all scientific studies and information that accompany requests for a scientific output (including authorisation procedures) will be made public early on in the risk assessment process to ensure public scrutiny.

(1)https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/glyphosate and https://www.bfr.bund.de/en/press_information/2017/34/glyphosate_assessment__bfr_rejects_plagiarism_accusations-201890.html
(2)Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain amending Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 [on general food law], Directive 2001/18/EC [on the deliberate release into the environment of GMOs], Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 [on GM food and feed], Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 [on feed additives], Regulation (EC) No 2065/2003 [on smoke flavourings], Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 [on food contact materials], Regulation (EC) No 1331/2008 [on the common authorisation procedure for food additives, food enzymes and food flavourings], Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 [on plant protection products] and Regulation (EU) No 2015/2283 [on novel foods], COM(2018)179, dated 11.4.2018.

Last updated: 4 April 2019Legal notice