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Tuesday, 13 June 2017 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

10. Glyphosate and authorisation procedures (debate)
Video of the speeches

  La Présidente. – L’ordre du jour appelle le débat sur la question orale à la Commission sur le glyphosate et les procédures d’autorisation d’Angélique Delahaye, Miriam Dalli, Julie Girling, Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy, Kateřina Konečná, Bart Staes, Piernicola Pedicini et Jean-François Jalkh, au nom de la commission de l’environnement, de la santé publique et de la sécurité alimentaire (O-000046/2017 - B8-0316/2017)


  Miriam Dalli, author. – Madam President, glyphosate, which we are speaking about today and the oral question that we are presenting and the topic that it is focusing on, is the world’s most used herbicide, and obviously the European Union is no exception to this.

The carcinogenity and the genotoxicity of the substance are confirmed by certain studies but denied by others. The fact is, that it is undeniable that there are serious doubts as to the substance’s safety. The Commission keeps on insisting that it arrives to its decisions based on two things: scientific evidence and the rule of law. The issue we are dealing with today goes further. It is about the lack of transparency; it is about questionable scientific reliability and scientific independence. It is about losing public trust and about corporate giants overstepping their authority – and yes, transparency matters.

The glyphosate hazard classification process of the European Commission and its two agencies, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), appears to be a good example of how lack of transparency regarding the scientific evidence that underlies important public health decisions can end up eroding public trust and raise serious concerns.

Independent analysis indicates serious flaws in the EFSA and ECHA safety assessments – namely, eight instances where increases in tumours as a response following glyphosate exposure were not included in the assessment by either agency. In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which forms part of the World Health Organisation, said that glyphosate was ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’.

On the other hand, the Commission is claiming that ECHA and EFSA concluded that the available scientific evidence did not meet the criteria to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen, as a mutagen or as toxic for reproduction. No wonder that questions and doubts still exist. Is it too extreme to imagine that there could be an expert panel, financed by corporate giants, who would conclude that available data will not support the conclusion that that glyphosate is a ‘probable human carcinogen’? How can we be sure of the validity of the conclusions about the safety or otherwise of glyphosate when there is lack of transparency, and when it has been publicly revealed by the latest US court cases that the scientific data provided by the company experts was falsified?

We have to take a strong stand on this issue. Until we know for certain that glyphosate is safe for our citizens and the environment, we cannot allow this substance to be freely sold in the EU market. And this is why we are presenting this Oral Question: we want to understand what steps the Commission is taking to make sure that the decision on the renewal of glyphosate is based on credible and independent scientific findings. We want the Commission to recommend ECHA and EFSA to critically revise the validity of the current studies, and not to propose the approval of glyphosate as long as the scientific uncertainties have not been clarified. We also require the Commission to rapidly ensure an independent review of the classification of glyphosate in relation to hormone disruption, genotoxicity and carcinogenity.

Finally, we want the Commission to promote and support the agricultural sector so that our farmers can move towards glyphosate-free agriculture, and towards alternative sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for pest management. We asked precise questions on behalf of the Environment Committee to the Commission, and we are looking forward to precise detailed answers. Ultimately, people’s right to health and a healthy environment should be our priority at all times.


  Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, I am pleased to attend this plenary session to talk about a substance which has generated a great deal of interest and debate, namely glyphosate. I hope that you will allow me a bit of time to insist on this point as it was repeatedly requested by various Members of this House who asked for the debate today, and of course I had slightly different questions compared to those which I received in writing. I believe that it is of the utmost importance to reply as precisely as possible to the specific questions raised by honourable Members.

On the chronology of events: as you know, glyphosate is the most frequently used active substance in herbicide products in Europe as it is has already been on the national markets since 1970s. It was previously subject to national approval processes. Since 1 July 2002, this substance has been approved for use at European Union level after a review assessment. It is currently under evaluation as regards a possible renewal of its approval. This evaluation is done following the procedures laid down in the EU legislation concerning pesticides. This is a very strict legislation which you wisely contributed to put it in place.

In April 2015, in accordance with the legislation, a comprehensive assessment of all available data was carried out by the Rapporteur Member State, Germany. This assessment included both studies that industry legally has to submit and independent peer—reviewed scientific literature. This assessment was then also peer reviewed by all other European Union Member State bodies and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – a lot of bodies together, as you can see.

An agency of the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), also carried out an assessment and concluded, in March 2015, that glyphosate is ‘probably carcinogenic’ to humans (Classification Group 2a). This is why, taking into account public concern, I asked EFSA to ensure that the IARC assessment was fully considered in the EU peer review of glyphosate.

In November 2015, EFSA concluded, in contrast to IARC, that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans. But the same conclusion was also reached by all – except one – of the regulatory agencies in the European Member States: 27 agencies. In 2016-2017, the same conclusions were also reached by agencies in Japan, New Zealand, Canada and Australia – a lot of agencies worldwide.

In May 2016, the Joint Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues also reached their conclusions, taking into account the work of IARC, which was only a first step in the WHO assessment. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that, even without mentioning tobacco, solar radiation or processed meat – alcoholic beverages are, for instance, classified by IARC in Group 1 as ‘carcinogenic to humans’, contrary to glyphosate. But only glyphosate is high on the agenda in public debates. Does this mean that I should label processed meat or alcoholic beverages as carcinogens, or even ban them? That is an open question.

In 2016, the Commission discussed a possible renewal of the approval of glyphosate with the Member States. Following the divergent opinions between, as I mentioned, IARC and EFSA – and also between different Member States – on the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate, the Commission took a cautious approach, also in light of legitimate public concern. We also used the precautionary approach and therefore made a proposal to extend the expiry date of glyphosate until 31 December 2017 (at the latest!) to enable the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to deliver its opinion on the hazardous properties of glyphosate based on the proposal from the Rapporteur Member State, namely Germany. In parallel, in April 2016, your House adopted a resolution asking to renew glyphosate for seven years. As always, the Commission was very attentive to this expression of Parliament’s position. We took good note of your support for a renewal of the approval based on scientific assessment conducted in the EU.

Lastly, on 15 March 2017, ECHA’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) concluded that glyphosate should not be classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction. In recent weeks various sources have reported on the so—called ‘Monsanto papers’. First, the facts. According to media reports and correspondence sent to the Commission, a US Court ordered the release of documents following a freedom of access to documents request, which you mentioned in your speech.

I will now turn to your first question. You rightly pointed to a very important aspect: ‘in light of public concern, to ensure credible and independent scientific findings’. In this field, as in others, I heard and listened to public concerns and many questions are legitimate and I am happy to provide you once again with answers. From 2014 when I took office, I have indeed received a lot of letters, messages and emails concerning glyphosate, together with a European Citizens’ Initiative registered in January this year, a request for a urine sample last year, and even a citizens’ Monsanto Tribunal. This shows a real picture of different opinions and concerns.

We are working on this. For some people, glyphosate is a symbol of intensive agriculture and strongly linked to GMOs. This debate is broader than glyphosate, but this is why the need to maintain a strong scientific assessment in this context is crucial. We will also always take public concern very much into account. This is why we asked EFSA and ECHA to indicate what impact the allegations, if confirmed, would have on the Agencies’ overall assessment and conclusions on glyphosate.

Both ECHA and EFSA reached the same conclusion. EFSA confirmed that: ‘even if the allegations regarding ghost-writing proved to be true, there would be no impact on the overall assessment as presented in the EFSA Conclusion on glyphosate’. ECHA confirmed that: ‘the information contained in the so—called “Monsanto papers” did not have an impact on the overall assessment as presented in the draft opinion of the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) on 15 March 2017’. This is because ‘EU experts had access to the raw data and to the original study reports’ and they produced their own independent conclusions based on the original data and not on another interpretation of it.

In contrast, the articles mentioned were study reviews summarising or substantiating the industry position on glyphosate that had been presented elsewhere. These study reviews were known by all assessing bodies and are not new as they were mentioned in the Declarations of Interests of the participating experts.

In other words, the study reviews have limited weight in the overall scientific assessment of glyphosate and, I quote, ‘would not normally on their own be sufficient for a conclusion to be reached on a harmonised classification’. This answer is from scientific bodies. The statements of both agencies have been available online since last week.

Overall, there is thus broad convergence between the European and international community of scientists on the fact that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, keeping an eye on public opinion and different views around the world. All agencies – in Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the EU – came to the same conclusion and only one agency, IARC, had a different opinion. It was little strange to see that so many scientific bodies agreed but we will ask once again how to move forward, keeping an eye on scientific based arguments.

While individual persons may continue to disagree with this overwhelming convergence of scientific opinions, this cannot call into question the robustness of our system and we should proceed with the renewal of the approval of glyphosate as there is no reason to doubt the evidence-based arguments about the safety of the substance.

Therefore the Commission decided, in light of public concern, to propose a renewal for ten years. In parallel, three very clear recommendations to Member States were adopted last year: first, to ban the co—formulant Tallowamine from glyphosate-based products; second, to minimise use in public parks, public playgrounds and gardens; and, third, to be attentive to the pre-harvest use of glyphosate. Let me also recall that, even if glyphosate is approved at EU level, it is within the responsibility of Member States to authorise plant protection products containing glyphosate at national level and decide on the conditions of use. They of course have the right to ban it because it concerns co-formulants. The Commission is therefore not the only one to decide when it comes to pesticides.

On your second sub-question, on investigation, let me stress that, in the case you refer to, the Commission does not have any proof that the allegations are correct. I am not a lawyer but I know that we have a very thorough assessment. Let me turn now to your second question.

I can confirm that the way in which data and information is provided to the regulatory authorities and shared with the public for consideration of the approval of substances will be examined in the context of the REFIT evaluation of the European Union pesticides legislation. Indeed the Commission is specifically asking the external contractor that will conduct an external study on the preparation of the REFIT evaluation to look into this issue. This is actually reflected in the terms of reference which are publicly available, as is everything we do.

As the REFIT evaluation of the EU pesticide legislation and the fitness check of the General Food Law are still ongoing, it is a little bit too early to make assumptions or consider a different course of action at this stage. However, I would like to stress that the outcome of the fitness check of the General Food Law will also be publicly available, once completed, and the outcome of the REFIT evaluation of the EU pesticide legislation will be presented to this Parliament.

In the meantime, I am aware that Parliament is preparing an own—initiative report on the implementation of the Plant Protection Products Regulation. The Commission will of course carefully examine this report and its conclusions once it is finalised and will consider this during the preparation of the REFIT evaluation.

I will now turn to your third question. Let me start by first highlighting that the process of examining the claims made by companies to exclude the public release of certain information is, of course, directly managed by EFSA and Member States. Such claims are considered in conjunction with the rules outlined in the Plant Protection Products Regulation and the relevant rulings of the Court of Justice.

In this context, the Court of Justice rulings of November 2016 in relation to the implementation of the Aarhus Convention in the EU concern two important issues: first, access to confidential information related to the manufacturing and detailed composition of substances, in this case concerning the original approval of glyphosate; and, second, disclosure of studies on substances and formulated products submitted to Member States in the context of product authorisation.

In the first ruling the Court of Justice referred the case back to the General Court and the proceedings before the Court are still pending. As regards the protection of confidentiality and access to information at issue in this case, the Commission is awaiting the outcome. I can assure you that I welcome the initiative to have more clarity in this field. There is no doubt that we need more clarity.

In the second case, the Court of Justice defined information on emissions into the environment with regard to studies submitted for active substances in plant protection and biocidal products. The Commission and the Member States are currently assessing the consequences of this judgment.

I would like to emphasise the following: first, at my request, the companies applying for renewal of the approval of glyphosate made available to Members of Parliament and stakeholders the key studies underlying the assessment of glyphosate in a reading room; and, second, in addition EFSA provided Members of Parliament and stakeholders with access to raw data from a number of key studies, following a request for access to documents. This access is on top of the extensive documentation that had already been made available as part of the standard procedures by EFSA during the peer review of glyphosate.

Therefore, one can only conclude that there has been a particularly high level of transparency in the specific case of glyphosate in the light of public concern. I understand that this might not be enough for some of you in this House and I am also aware that a complaint is about to be lodged with the Court of Justice. Once again, I can only welcome the increased clarity that the Court would give on this matter.

Let me now turn to your fourth and last question. I would like to stress that the Commission, through its research and innovation programmes – such as the Seventh Framework Programme and Horizon 2020 – supports a broad body of research in plant protection to identify new low—risk products and biological control techniques. This is what I highlighted again last week in a very interesting conference in Parliament on biological low—risk pesticides.

Let me stress again that in the Seventh Framework Programme over EUR 100 million was invested by the European Union in cooperative research projects and coordination support actions in the areas of plant protection, plant health, integrated pest management, and risk assessment and diagnostics.

Furthermore, specifically in relation to alternatives to chemical herbicides, a Horizon 2020 initiative, supported by an EU contribution of EUR 7 million, is currently looking at strategies, tools and technologies for sustainable weed management. So, as you will notice, a lot of money has already been invested already in terms of research and development.

With regard to sustainable plant protection more specifically, the need to find alternatives to traditional chemical solutions is also reflected in the Sustainable Use of Pesticides Directive, which aims at reducing the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment, and at promoting the use of integrated pest management and of alternative approaches or techniques such as non-chemical alternatives to pesticides.

The Commission audits Member States to monitor implementation of the Directive and also encourages Member States to share best practice, identify challenges and ensure harmonisation. The Commission is also undertaking several actions to increase the availability of low-risk products. These actions include prioritisation of the assessment for the renewal of potentially low-risk substances and amendment of the low-risk criteria to facilitate their identification.




  Angélique Delahaye, au nom du groupe PPE. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, chers collègues, vous l’avez dit, Monsieur le Commissaire, nous devons prendre des décisions sur lades bases d’analyses scientifiques solides et non sur des postures.

Certes, le sujet est technique, mais il est devenu, comme vous l’avez dit, politique.

Nous nous devons de protéger la santé de nos concitoyens de façon générale, mais et en particulier celle des utilisateurs.

Nous avons un système en place, en matière d’autorisation de substances, et n’en déplaise à certains, ce n’est pas parce que les résultats ne nous conviennent pas, que nous devons l’attaquer ou passer par des voies détournées pour le modifier, quand cela nous chante.

Par contre, nous devons avoir confiance en notre système afin d’assurer aux citoyens que les décisions qui sont prises, le sont bien dans leurs intérêts.

Le débat d’aujourd’hui est évidemment le bienvenu, puisque les doutes se sont immiscés depuis un an, comme vous l’avez souligné, Monsieur le Commissaire, et que ces doutes demeurent pour des raisons différentes: .

Premièrementd’abord, les approches différentes de nos agences, les unes basées sur le risque, les autres basées sur le danger – et tout celaci crée une confusion, malheureusement savamment entretenue.

Moi, j’ai confiance dans notre système, Monsieur le Commissaire, et puis, comme vous l’avez souligné, le Parlement a pris une posture consensuelle sur dans une résolution l’année dernière. Mais compte tenu de la défiance de nos concitoyens européens et étant donné qu’un doute existe et voit le jour, nous devons clarifier les choses.

Je souhaite à ce titre-là que vous puissiez aller un petit peu plus loin dans les réponses que vous avez commencées à nous apporter, sur les précisions prises apportées données et les mesures prises par la Commission et les mesures qu’elle prend pour une meilleure transparence de ses décisions qu’elle prendqui sont prises par cette dernière, ceci afin de rétablir la confiance perdue par certains.

Vous avez été interpellé par des chercheurs. J’aimerais savoir comment la Commission a été prise en compte cette interpellation en compte. par la Commission, Eet savez-vous ce que l'’Autorité européenne de sécurité des aliments (EFSA) et l'’Agence européenne des produits chimiques (ECHA) ont fait, ou ont fait de ces informations?

Vous avez souligné le fait que de nombreuses agences de par le monde, mettent en évidence le fait que cette substance ne présente ’il n’y a pas de risque de cancer avec cette substance. Malheureusement, il faut aller plus loin et je souhaite que nous ayons, pour les professionnels, des solutions alternatives de rechange économiquement viables et environnementalement viablesur les plans économique et environnemental.

J’aimerais aussi, sur ce point, que vous alliez plus loin sur les mesures et le financement de la recherche.


  Eric Andrieu, au nom du groupe S&D. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, merci de votre intervention, je sais le travail que vous faites au sein de la Commission et je voudrais ici vous en remercier publiquement.

Ceci dit, il est vrai que, sur la question du glyphosate, la position que la Commission a prise quant au renouvellement de son utilisation pour dix ans ne paraît pas convenir à la situation du moment, tant il est vrai – vous l’avez rappelé dans vos propos – que nous sommes au cœur d’une controverse forte, même si bon nombre d’études – vous l’avez dit aussi – révèlent que le glyphosate ne serait pas potentiellement cancérigène. Pour autant, d’autres affirment le contraire. Il est vrai que, dans ce moment où nous devons choisir, vous, en tant que Commission mais aussi nous, ici, au sein du Parlement, avons un devoir d’exigence quant à la qualité et à la véracité des approches scientifiques. Vous n’êtes pas scientifique, nous non plus ici, et nous devons nous appuyer sur des recherches réelles. Mais, actuellement, ne pas s’appuyer sur le principe de précaution ne me semble pas adapté en tant que position responsable et politique.

Vous l’avez dit également, vous avez fait référence aux «Monsanto Papers» et nous savons les uns et les autres les révélations qui y sont faites. Au moment où la justice américaine et le tribunal californien se saisissent de cette situation, il apparaît, à notre connaissance, que Monsanto aurait su depuis 1999 que cette molécule était potentiellement cancérigène.

Aujourd’hui, c’est dans ce contexte que le débat a été ranimé, ici, à travers cette question orale. Dans tous les cas et en ce qui me concerne, je ne peux pas en prendre la responsabilité et je ne participerai pas à ce qui peut ou pourrait potentiellement s’apparenter à un acte criminel, tant il est vrai que, s’il était révélé exact que le glyphosate était potentiellement cancérigène, nous devrions assumer collectivement une grande responsabilité.

Aussi, je vous demande solennellement d’appliquer à l’instant ce principe de précaution absolu et, ensuite, de prendre en compte, comme vous l’avez dit expressément, l’ensemble des expertises scientifiques sur ce sujet et pas uniquement celles réalisées par les agences de la Commission européenne, et enfin permettre l’accès à toutes leurs études dans un souci de transparence absolue.

Enfin, je vous demande de préparer, dès à présent, d’autres molécules possibles pour nos agriculteurs dans l’hypothèse où le glyphosate se révélerait potentiellement cancérigène car, une fois encore, si nous ne faisons rien, ils seront les premières victimes d’un système dont ils sont les otages.


  Τάκης Χατζηγεωργίου ( GUE/NGL), ερώτηση με γαλάζια κάρτα που απευθύνεται στην κυρία Delahaye. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η γαλάζια κάρτα που είχα σηκώσει ήταν για ερώτημα προς την προηγούμενη ομιλήτρια. Δεν με είχατε προσέξει. Νομίζω ότι μπορεί να δοθεί η ευκαιρία να απαντήσει τώρα. Δεν είχα κατανοήσει καθόλου ποια ήταν η θέση της, αν ήταν υπέρ ή εναντίον της συγκεκριμένης ουσίας και θα την παρακαλούσα να το αποσαφηνίσει περαιτέρω.


  Angélique Delahaye (PPE), réponse "carton bleu" à Takis Hadjigeorgiou. – Monsieur, il me semble très clair dans les propos que j’ai tenus tout à l’heure que la question n’est pas de savoir si on est pour ou contre, mais de savoir si ce produit présente ou non un danger pour la santé humaine.

J’attends que les scientifiques nous donnent des réponses claires et sûres pour pouvoir assumer mon rôle d’élue.


  Bolesław G. Piecha, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Glifosat od lat jest powszechnie stosowany jako składnik lub środek ochrony roślin i od lat toczą się wokół niego różnego rodzaju dyskusje, a w przypadku tych dyskusji wciąż operujemy na zbyt wielu niewiadomych. Wciąż pojawiają się sprzeczne ze sobą raporty dotyczące szkodliwości glifosatu, a co więcej w dyskusji zdarzają się często przeważać emocje, a nie ułatwiają one rzetelnego zabrania głosu i oceny sytuacji glifosatu. Apeluję jednak nie o emocje, a o rzeczowe i ściśle naukowe podejście do zagadnienia, zharmonizowane przede wszystkim na poziomie naukowym a dopiero w dalszym kontekście na poziomie ekonomicznym czy społecznym, przy czym bezpieczeństwo zdrowotne musi być priorytetem.

Choć pewne ostatnie badania odnotowują kolejne przypadki korelacji kancerogennych glifosatu, tak że niektórzy posłowie posądzają wręcz agencje europejskie o manipulowanie danymi naukowymi, to właśnie w myśl powyższego bardzo otwarcie wzywam Komisję Europejską do, po pierwsze, szczegółowego monitorowania i ścisłej współpracy z Europejskim Urzędem Bezpieczeństwa Żywności oraz Europejską Agencją Chemikaliów i innymi. Agencje te bezwzględnie również powinny współpracować z amerykańską Agencją Ochrony Środowiska, aby wspólnie wytworzyć pewien odpowiedni system, po pierwsze zbierania i analizy danych naukowych, ale również wypracować konkretny modus operandi w celu rozwiązania niejasności dotyczących glifosatu w kontekście zdrowotnym. Nie emocje, a dowody naukowe a do tego, Panie Komisarzu, potrzeba większej transparentności instytucji europejskich.


  Frédérique Ries, au nom du groupe ALDE. – Monsieur le Président, la saga glyphosate continue donc. La balle est à nouveau, aujourd’hui, chez nous, au Parlement européen, quatorze mois jour pour jour après le vote de notre résolution qui, déjà, appelait à son interdiction dans des usages précis.

D’étude en étude, d’agence en agence, d’expert en contre-expert, les avis se succèdent et ne se ressemblent pas et la clarté n’est pas faite, j’use là d’un euphémisme.

En mars dernier, ce sont les «Monsanto Papers» qui mettent le feu à l’opinion aux États-Unis. Les documents déclassifiés ont parlé. Monsanto s’inquiétait sérieusement, dès 1999, du caractère mutagène du glyphosate. Une dissimulation de preuve s’il en est, mais l’enquête devra le dire.

Le groupe ALDE, que je représente, continue de faire confiance et veut faire confiance au travail de l’Autorité européenne de sécurité des aliments (EFSA) et à l’Agence européenne des produits chimiques (ECHA), qui a son siège à Helsinki. Nous savons pertinemment aussi – et le commissaire l’a rappelé – que, sur ce dossier comme sur les OGM, par exemple, les États membres cachent leurs divisions et ne prennent pas leurs responsabilités.

Pour autant, il n’y a plus de temps à perdre: la feuille de route de la Commission devrait reposer sur quelques principes. La Commission doit s’assurer que sa décision finale soit fondée sur des études scientifiques indépendantes et non sur des travaux et documents biaisés, fournis par Monsanto ou d’autres firmes. Dans cette phase de transition, avant le mois de décembre, il est impératif pour la Commission de changer de modèle et de passer enfin à une logique d’interdiction progressive de la substance, plutôt que de réhomologation et de dérogation.

Il faut aussi donner aux agences européennes les moyens de leurs ambitions. Je trouve assez choquant – je le dis en passant – que le budget de l’EFSA soit presque quatre fois inférieur à celui de l’Agence européenne des médicaments, alors que l’alimentation est le troisième poste de dépenses des ménages européens.

Voilà ce que vous devriez faire, Monsieur le Commissaire, mais que vous n’allez très probablement pas faire, au vu de ce que vous venez de nous répondre cet après-midi. En gros, tous les éléments sont connus, je vous cite, il n’y a rien à déclarer, pire encore, les «Monsanto Papers» n’y changeront rien, circulez.

C’est une fin de non-recevoir sidérante, que je trouve regrettable, et j’use encore d’un euphémisme, car, l’essentiel – et parfois les évidences doivent être martelées –, c’est que votre principe d’action publique, ce doit être le principe de précaution, Monsieur le Commissaire.


  Kateřina Konečná, za skupinu GUE/NGL. – To, co děje poslední roky na Evropské komisi a EFSA ohledně autorizace glyfosátu, je nehorázné. Nebála bych se vůbec použít slovo fraška.

Evropský parlament dal v této věci Komisi několikrát jasné instrukce, kterými se však ona zjevně neřídí. V mezidobí prosakuje jeden skandál za druhým týkající se Monsanta a jejich již prokázaného přímého ovlivňování vědeckých studií glyfosátu. Studií, které jak se lze důvodně domnívat, používá i EFSA k podpoře svého stanoviska o nezávadnosti glyfosátu. Přitom tyto studie ani po letech nátlaku stále nikdo neviděl. Stále nejsou k dispozici dokonce ani Mezinárodní agentuře pro výzkum rakoviny, která označila glyfosát za pravděpodobně karcinogenní. Dle uniklé komunikace je zjevné, že se Monsanto neštítilo ani takových praktik, jako je napsání si svých vlastních studií, které jim poté jenom někteří vědci nakonec podepsali, a následně je vydávalo za nezávislé. Navíc již 17 let má tato společnost podezření o tom, že je jejich vlajkový produkt rakovinotvorný, a snaží se to zakrýt, aby se na to nepřišlo. A EFSA i Komise stále mlčí.

Proto to znovu zůstává na Evropském parlamentu. Pokud Evropská komise urychleně nevyšetří, jak tyto praktiky Monsanta ovlivnily hodnocení glyfosátu ze strany EFSA, byla bych pro zřízení vyšetřovacího výboru k prověření této záležitosti. Pane komisaři, nepotřebujete 20 minut na vysvětlování navíc. My po vás chceme jediné: skutečné činy.


  Bas Eickhout, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, if I have understood the Commissioner well, then everything is fine, everything has been done properly and we can just continue. That is more or less the summary of his 15 minute speech.

That, however, is not really paying attention to the huge scientific debate that has been ongoing on glyphosate from the 1980s onwards, broader than only carcinogenicity – it is broader than that – but secondly and more importantly, it is ignoring the fact that the Monsanto papers show that Monsanto was unduly influencing studies that were being used also, later on, by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). That is a concern and the problem is that EFSA is saying that they used more studies, one that for example the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) did not use, but do not have access to it.

So we do not know exactly which studies have been used by EFSA to come to those conclusions. It is lack of transparency, it is lack of trust in these organisations, and we see in the United States that there is undue influence from Monsanto. We want a good investigation by the Commission on this issue, otherwise we will have to do it ourselves.


  Julia Reid, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, the deadline for the re—approval of the use of glyphosate in the EU is rapidly approaching, and soon a decision must be made on this very important issue. Although I agree that the release of recent confidential documents disclosed to the public in the US are reason for concern, we take the position that glyphosate is one of the few herbicides that our farmers have at their disposal, and compared to earlier products is safer. Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide, and such products are also used in public and private gardens, as well as in agriculture. However, as much as I would like to see herbicides phased out completely, realistically this is not possible, especially in the UK where we have a very mild, damp climate which is conducive to weed growth. Until an alternative product is found, I believe that we cannot remove a necessary tool from the arsenal of farmers who cultivate vast areas of land. I would, however, like to see Member States give more encouragement and financial help to those farmers that wish to farm organically.


  Philippe Loiseau, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, parler du glyphosate, c’est évidemment parler du poids de Monsanto, mais aussi de l’opacité concernant la divulgation des études menées sur ce produit et sur son impact sur l’environnement et donc sur l’homme.

L’Agence européenne des produits chimiques a refusé de classer ce produit comme étant cancérigène, ce qui permet évidemment son maintien sur le marché.

L'immense majorité des agriculteurs souhaite continuer à utiliser le glyphosate, car il est le seul produit qui réponde efficacement à leurs besoins.

Le principe de précaution pourrait bien sûr nous obliger à l’interdire, mais cela ne réglerait pas tout. Car c’est bien là le fond du problème: par quoi le remplacer?

Aujourd’hui, il n’y a pas de produits de substitution. Le débat n’est donc plus la dangerosité du glyphosate. La vraie question est sur quelle solution alternative travaille la Commission. Peut-elle être transparente sur les crédits alloués à la recherche et au développement des produits de substitution?

Enfin, je pense qu’il faut écouter les agriculteurs dans ces concertations, car ils sont les principaux utilisateurs de glyphosate, souvent parce qu’ils n’ont pas d’autre choix. Leur voix doit être écoutée et prise en compte dans le débat sur le glyphosate comme dans les recherches d’une solution alternative viable.


  Diane James (NI). – Mr President, decisions involve choice and choice involves consequences, but the issue that I believe we are facing this afternoon is one of public confidence in the decisions that the European Union takes. Two of the issues that I have with what the Commissioner opened with is how can he stand there and make the points he did when the European Union expert body, the European Union Chemicals Agency, this year said it should not be classified as a carcinogen; the WHO conclusion: ‘potentially’ hazardous to human health – not conclusively hazardous to health. We have lots of products out there that are ‘potentially’ hazardous, but we do not ban those. We have to draw a line somewhere in terms of being reasonable.

Some of my colleagues have already highlighted – and others will, I am sure – the issues, the consequences, that will come of banning this particular product, and none of them are very positive for our farmers and for our agricultural business. I have read quite widely issues about protecting wildlife. If the decision to ban this is to protect the environment, I am for it – but not based on the flawed information we have heard.


  Peter Liese (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich möchte darauf verweisen, dass dieses Parlament nach intensiver Diskussion eine Position zu Glyphosat bezogen hat und diese Position mit großer Mehrheit angenommen hat. Das ist ein Kontrast zum Rat, wo sich viele Mitgliedstaaten, auch der, aus dem ich komme, weggeduckt haben. Aus politischen Gründen gab es keinerlei Position. Und ich glaube, wir sollten darauf aufbauen, und die Kommission sollte besser als bisher auf das hören, was das Parlament zu diesem Thema gesagt hat.

Glyphosat ist ein problematischer Stoff. Wenn am Anfang der Debatte über den Kommissionsvorschlag einige Kommissionsvertreter gesagt haben: „Man kann das trinken wie Wasser“, dann war das sicherlich falsch. Man muss damit sehr vorsichtig umgehen. Aber wenn er vorsichtig angewandt wird und wenn das nur in bestimmten Bereichen passiert, dann ist für eine begrenzte Zeit die Anwendung von Glyphosat vertretbar. Das hat das Europäische Parlament beschlossen, und dabei hat sicherlich eine Rolle gespielt, dass zurzeit wenige Alternativen vorhanden sind. Deswegen stimme ich Frau Delahaye zu, die sagt: Wir müssen da forschen, wir müssen neue Alternativen auf den Markt bringen. Das dauert aber seine Zeit, und wir können nicht Europa innerhalb kurzer Frist komplett auf Bio-Anbau umstellen. Deswegen: für eine begrenzte Zeit, aber das heißt nicht fünfzehn Jahre, das heißt nicht zehn Jahre. Das Parlament sagt: maximal sieben Jahre. Und wir sind für viele Einschränkungen – mehr, als die Kommission vorgeschlagen hat.

Für mich ist besonders wichtig, dass die Vor-Ernte-Behandlung aufhört. Es gibt immer noch die Praxis, dass vor der Ernte die Kulturfrucht mit Glyphosat abgetötet wird, um die Erntearbeit zu erleichtern. Das ist sicherlich nicht das, was wir vor unseren Bürgerinnen und Bürgern guten Gewissens vertreten können.

Deswegen, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, lassen Sie uns diese Position, die wir mit großer Mehrheit angenommen haben, weiter vertreten. Und, Herr Kommissar, warten Sie nicht auf den Rat; der wird Ihnen in dieser Frage nicht helfen. Orientieren Sie sich am Parlament!


  President. – For the sake of clarity, transparency and understanding, I need to say that, due to time constraints, I will not be taking any blue—card questions.


  Pavel Poc (S&D). – Jen abych ošetřil všechny přešlapy, které tu předvedla Komise, tak bych potřeboval 5 minut. Komise dostala 20, měla nárok na 3.

Jen namátkou, parlamentní rezoluce požadovala autorizaci maximálně na 7 let, ne na 7 let, a to s takovou sadou omezení, která by skutečně zajistila maximální bezpečnost, a Komise to v podstatě vůbec nerespektovala. To je trochu rozdíl oproti tomu, co zde bylo panem komisařem řečeno. Tu námitku jsem sám podával, takže si to velmi dobře pamatuji. Podával jsem ji proti návrhu Komise autorizovat glyfosát na 15 let.

Jedno ale prostě Komise popřít nemůže a to je, že skandál Monsanto papers prostě zpochybnil věrohodnost výzkumů financovaných průmyslem, který je na těch výzkumech finančně zainteresován, je zainteresován na jejich výsledku, a tím naprosto jednoznačně zpochybnil náš vlastní evropský systém autorizace, který je na těchto studiích závislý také.

Vždyť my víme, proč je takový rozpor mezi EFSA a IARC, a ta bulvární dehonestace IARC, kterou jsme zde slyšeli od Komise a která zní jak citát z webu výrobce glyfosátu, na tom vůbec nic nezmění. My to přeci víme. IARC i agentury používají různé statistické postupy, ale hlavně používají různé soubory dat. IARC používá veřejně dostupné akademické výzkumy a naše agentury bohužel používají práce financované průmyslem. V tom je ten rozdíl, proto je ten výsledek rozdílný.

Takže v žádném ohledu nikdo nemůže s klidným svědomím tvrdit, že je glyfosát bezpečný, a dokonce nemůže ani tvrdit, že byly při jeho schvalování dodrženy všechny náležité postupy. Musím říci zcela jasně, že po dnešním vystoupení Komise jsem definitivně přesvědčen, že musíme bezpodmínečně ustanovit parlamentní vyšetřovací výbor, a to nejen kvůli glyfosátu, ale i kvůli celému procesu autorizace pesticidů.


  Richard Ashworth (ECR). – Mr President, I would like to say to the Commissioner that we are asking farmers to meet the challenge of climate change and to provide a growing world population with a reliable food supply. Only productive, competitive agriculture can do that, and the key is safe technology. So the message is absolutely clear: public health is not negotiable, but farmers need every tool in the box. This debate about glyphosate is going to be the first of many future technologies, and those debates have got to bring clarity, otherwise scientists are not going to invest in technology. It has got to bring consistency, otherwise farmers cannot plan their future. And it has got to bring confidence that the food we eat is safe. Any debate in the future about technology like glyphosate has to be balanced and has to be proportionate, and that means, Commissioner, the debate has to be about proven science – not about emotion.


  Jan Huitema (ALDE). – Beste collega's, bij de toelating van gewasbeschermingsmiddelen zorgen de Europese Autoriteit voor Voedselveiligheid alsmede de nationale autoriteiten ervoor dat alle bewijzen worden meegewogen en iedereen gehoord. Deze instituten zijn ingesteld om onafhankelijk en met verstand van zaken te oordelen over de risico's van dit soort middelen. Erg belangrijk, want ik vind dat hierin wetenschap leidend moet zijn en niet onze politieke opvattingen. Een recent vrijgegeven briefwisseling trekt de geloofwaardigheid van een aantal door Monsanto gefinancierde studies in twijfel. Deze studies zijn gebruikt bij de evaluatie van de veiligheid van glyfosaat. Net als mijn collega's wil ik heel graag weten hoe betrouwbaar deze studies zijn en wat de consequenties hiervan zijn voor de risicobeoordeling van glyfosaat. We moeten het besluitvormingsproces altijd kritisch volgen en waar nodig verbeteren. Maar dat betekent absoluut niet dat we moeten ingeven op ons vertrouwen in de wetenschap. Want het alternatief, een politiek welles-nietes, ondermijnt de feiten en leidt tot onrust.


  Anja Hazekamp (GUE/NGL). – Al in 2015 concludeerde de Wereldgezondheidsorganisatie dat glyfosaat waarschijnlijk kankerverwekkend is. Inmiddels hebben twee Europese instanties, EFSA en ECA, zich in allerlei bochten gewrongen om aan te tonen dat dit juist niet zo is. De onderzoeken waarop de één zich baseert zijn deels afkomstig van Monsanto, de producent van glyfosaat. De onderzoeksresultaten van de ander zijn zelfs mede geschreven door Monsanto. We kunnen ons natuurlijk afvragen hoe het kan dat Monsanto jarenlang onderzoek naar haar eigen producten kon manipuleren. Maar belangrijker is de vraag waarom het plan om de toelating van glyfosaat met tien jaar te verlengen nog steeds op tafel ligt. Als u zich niet langer baseert op gemanipuleerd en niet gepubliceerd onderzoek, dan heeft u geen enkele reden om milieu, mens en dier nog langer bloot te stellen aan glyfosaat. Glyfosaat is het symbool geworden van wat er mis is in Europa: multinationals boven milieu en geld boven gezondheid. En u, commissaris, heeft nog zes maanden om uw gezond verstand te gebruiken. En voorts ben ik van mening dat de Europese landbouwsector moet worden afgebouwd.


  José Bové (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, je suis inquiet. Depuis des mois, Monsanto mène des actions de dénigrement contre le Centre international de recherche sur le cancer (CIRC), agence des Nations unies.

Cette firme menace les chercheurs indépendants pour les obliger à se taire. Cette campagne rappelle les pratiques scandaleuses, voire criminelles, de Philip Morris, ces dernières décennies, pour expliquer que le tabac était inoffensif. C’est le même cabinet qui défendait l’industrie du tabac qui défend aujourd’hui Monsanto. Depuis, ces industriels sont interdits de présence à l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), de même que l’Institut international des sciences de la vie (ILSI), qui est aujourd’hui le bras armé de la défense du glyphosate.

Les scientifiques du CIRC ont mis le glyphosate dans la catégorie «cancérigènes probables». Or, la Commission s’appuie sur le CIRC pour interdire un certain nombre de produits chimiques. Pourquoi ne le fait-elle pas pour le glyphosate?

Monsieur le Commissaire, je vous demande de mettre en place un moratoire tant que la lumière ne sera pas entièrement faite et, éventuellement, de prendre des mesures contre Monsanto si l’on constate que l’entreprise a triché.


  Piernicola Pedicini (EFDD). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, noi crediamo che trasparenza e accesso alle informazioni siano diritti non negoziabili. Perciò troviamo sconvolgente che la pericolosità di un prodotto come il glifosato debba essere valutata sulla base di studi scientifici prodotti dalla stessa industria che produce il glifosato, tra l'altro scegliendo i dati che sono più congeniali all'industria stessa.

Troviamo sconvolgente che ogni legittima richiesta di accesso agli atti venga sistematicamente negata perché questi dati sono classificati come "confidenziali". Noi crediamo che l'intero sistema regolatorio debba essere modificato e ripensato perché non sarà mai possibile avere studi indipendenti fino a quando sarà l'industria stessa a finanziare questi studi.

Non stiamo parlando soltanto di erbicidi, ma anche di mangimi animali, di carne, di latte, di prodotti derivati dal latte. Insomma, stiamo parlando di salute pubblica, per cui mi sembra davvero il minimo pretendere che le valutazioni scientifiche siano davvero accessibili, trasparenti e comunque indipendenti.


  Jean-François Jalkh (ENF). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, le renouvellement de l’autorisation du glyphosate pour dix années supplémentaires révèle les limites de la réglementation européenne, qui peine à trouver une solution de substitution à cet herbicide.

Les «Monsanto Papers» ont achevé de nous mettre en garde sur la fiabilité des recherches privées et nous prouvent l’influence de très grands groupes sur les décideurs politiques. Ce rapport de force place les intérêts privés au-dessus de l’intérêt général.

La fusion Bayer-Monsanto, envisagée pour la fin de l’année, est une menace supplémentaire de voir un groupe privé et d’envergure mondiale peser davantage sur la décision politique et imposer sa vision de l’agriculture aux agriculteurs, comme aux pays européens.

La Commission peut-elle, à ce titre, nous préciser sa position concernant la fusion Bayer-Monsanto?

Deuxième problématique, c'est celle de la recherche, menée notamment dans les universités européennes et dans d’autres structures publiques, en vue de trouver un substitut suffisant au glyphosate.

À travers les programmes de recherche de l’Union européenne, la Commission entend-elle susciter une étude d’impact sur les autres molécules et technologies disponibles?

La raison d’être des institutions européennes réside en effet dans de telles initiatives.


  Λάμπρος Φουντούλης ( NI). – Κύριε Επίτροπε, θεωρώ απαράδεκτο το γεγονός πώς η Επιτροπή δέχεται, σαν στοιχεία ικανά να ανανεώσουν την άδεια κυκλοφορίας της γλυφοσάτης, μελέτες χρηματοδοτούμενες από τη Monsanto, την εταιρία, δηλαδή, που παράγει το εν λόγω ζιζανιοκτόνο, ενώ υπάρχει αδυναμία διασταύρωσης των στοιχείων και συνεχίζει να αρνείται τη δημοσιοποίηση των μελετών, με το επιχείρημα ότι είναι επένδυσή της. Η Monsanto προφασίζεται κυρίως το εμπορικό απόρρητο και την πνευματική ιδιοκτησία, αλλά ο πυρήνας του μηνύματός της είναι πάντα ο ίδιος. Τα δεδομένα της μελέτης είναι ιδιοκτησία της και δεν παραβιάζονται. Πρέπει να εξακριβωθεί αντικειμενικά η επικινδυνότητα της γλυφοσάτης, τόσο για την ανθρώπινη υγεία όσο και για το περιβάλλον. Οι έρευνες θα έπρεπε να διεξαχθούν από ανεξάρτητα εργαστήρια πολύ πριν τη διαδικασία ανανέωσης αδείας και τα επιστημονικά στοιχεία να τεθούν στη διάθεση της επιστημονικής κοινότητας. Είναι καθήκον των θεσμικών οργάνων της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης να αξιολογήσουν τη συμβολή που προσφέρουν οι πληροφορίες στην προστασία του δημοσίου συμφέροντος. Έτσι οι ευρωπαίοι πολίτες ίσως λάβουν ένα ξεκάθαρο μήνυμα πως οι ευρωπαϊκοί θεσμοί δεν εξυπηρετούν τα συμφέροντα των μεγάλων πολυεθνικών και δεν αδιαφορούν για την προστασία της υγείας τους και του περιβάλλοντος.


  Norbert Lins (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Das gleiche Thema, eine ähnliche Debatte – haben wir wirklich neue Erkenntnisse? Die ECHA hat bestätigt, dass Glyphosat nicht krebserregend ist – für mich keine neue Erkenntnis. Ich vertraue hier auf die Arbeit von EFSA und auch von ECHA. Deswegen ist es richtig, dass die Kommission einen nun veränderten Rechtsakt vorschlägt.

Nach meinem Dafürhalten sollte die Kommission sich nochmal die Entschließung des Europäischen Parlaments aus dem Jahr 2016 genau anschauen. Die wurde hier im Hause mit deutlicher Mehrheit verabschiedet. Wir haben uns für die Zulassung von Glyphosat für weitere sieben Jahren ausgesprochen – aber mit deutlichen Anwendungsbeschränkungen. Schon das erlaubt aus meiner Sicht mehr Artenvielfalt, vor allem, wenn wir es bei der Vor-Ernte-Behandlung einschränken würden und nicht mehr in Kindergärten bzw. auf öffentlichen Plätzen anwenden. Aus meiner Sicht brauchen die Landwirte Glyphosat, den Wirkstoff und die entsprechenden Mischungen, noch, weil es nicht wirklich Alternativen gibt.

Die Politik wäre aus meiner Sicht gut beraten, hier weniger auf Emotionen und stattdessen mehr auf wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse zu setzen. Ich glaube aber auch, dass es richtig ist, die Forschung hier zu verstärken, um am Ende auch Alternativen zu haben. Ich würde mir wünschen, dass die Mitgliedstaaten im Rat nicht wieder dasselbe Theater aufführen, wie sie das im letzten Jahr getan haben. Übrigens wünsche ich mir auch von meinem Heimatland, dass es hier in dieser Diskussion endlich klar Position bezieht.


  Jytte Guteland (S&D). – Herr talman! Hur många människor är det inte som lever med cancerns skräckvälde på vår kontinent? Vår uppgift måste ju vara att se till att färre människor drabbas. Det är därför oansvarigt att kommissionen vill tillåta försäljning av ett ämne som Världshälsoorganisationens internationella agentur för vetenskap om cancer klassificerat som just potentiellt cancerframkallande. Enligt EU-lag ska försiktighetsprincipen gälla, och det borde vara solklart här att den ska vara tillämplig. Det är människors hälsa det handlar om.

Glyfosat används i enorm utsträckning i dagens jordbruk världen över. Den osäkerhet som råder över hur det drabbar människor är djupt allvarlig. Jag tycker också att kommissionen är svag när det handlar om dess ansvar för människors hälsa på andra områden, exempelvis hormonstörande ämnen. Inte heller där visar man att man tar på allvar att människor riskerar att drabbas av cancer. Det finns nu – och flera kolleger har tagit upp det här i salen – återkommande problem kring hur Efsa agerar och vilken tillförlitlighet de har med tanke på hur de behandlar industrin.


  Urszula Krupa (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Po wieloletnim doświadczeniu kliniczno-naukowo-dydaktycznym w świecie, gdzie nie uznaje się prawdy absolutnej, wielkim problemem są sponsorowane badania naukowe. Jednak mimo wszystko obserwacje i niektóre doświadczenia od dawna dowodzą, że wbrew opinii Monsanto, glifosat jest słabo biodegradowalny, produkty jego rozpadu można znaleźć we krwi matek ciężarnych, we krwi noworodków. W krótkim czasie po urodzeniu wstrzykiwane są szczepionki, w których znajdowano zawartość glifosatu. Największe ilości, według piśmiennictwa, w kontrowersyjnej od dawna szczepionce przeciwko odrze, śwince i różyczce. Poza podejrzewanym nawet przez organa ONZ-u działaniem rakotwórczym, udowodniony jest wpływ tego herbicydu – obecnego od lat w glebie, w wodzie – na powstawanie wad wrodzonych, uszkodzeń wątroby, nerek, zaburzeń płodności, alergii, zaburzeń hormonalnych – co jest wystarczającym dowodem na to, żeby zebrać badania wiarygodne z nadrzędnym celem, jakim jest ochrona ludzkiego zdrowia i życia.


  Estefanía Torres Martínez (GUE/NGL). – Señor presidente, si la Comisión Europea extiende finalmente la licencia de uso del glifosato por una década más, ¿saben lo que ocurrirá? Que a la ciudadanía le quedarán ya muy pocas dudas de que la Unión Europea está dominada por los lobbies de la industria química y agroindustrial y que la salud de las personas importa bien poco.

La Autoridad Europea de Seguridad Alimentaria se ha basado en estudios patrocinados por Monsanto para llegar a la conclusión de que no existen evidencias para considerar esta sustancia como cancerígena.

¿Quieren evidencias más allá de los estudios de la Organización Mundial de la Salud? Pregunten a los habitantes de barrios como Ituzaingó, en la ciudad argentina de Córdoba, rodeado de campos cultivados con soja transgénica y fumigados con glifosato.

Ya lo hemos dicho muchísimas veces: ¡no se puede jugar con la salud de nuestro pueblo!

Si la Comisión Europea ignora de nuevo el principio de precaución, quedará en evidencia la complicidad de unas instituciones que no están al servicio de la ciudadanía, sino al de las multinacionales.

¡Demuestren que la Unión Europea no está al servicio del agronegocio, que destruye el medio ambiente, pone en peligro nuestra salud y perpetúa las desigualdades sociales! ¡Impidan que el aire que respiramos en la Unión Europea siga impregnado de un pesticida cancerígeno! ¡Prohíban el glifosato!


  President. – Colleagues, we do have a time limit not just for any reason but especially as we are under time constraints. I think we should also show collegiality to those who will be speaking on other items later in the evening. We do have a time limit so please do respect it.


  Martin Häusling (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident! Herr Kommissar, ich dachte eigentlich, dass bei uns immer noch das Vorsorgeprinzip gilt. Es gibt bisher nicht ausgeräumte Zweifel an Glyphosat, und Sie ignorieren das ganz konsequent. Sie ignorieren auch, dass bei den Studien bestimmte Studien überhaupt nicht in das Prüfverfahren einbezogen wurden, sondern nur Studien, die die Industrie erstellt hat. Wir müssen doch mal ernsthaft darüber nachdenken, ob unser Prüfverfahren überhaupt noch den neuen Standards entspricht.

Und bei Ihnen kommen gar keine Zweifel auf. Wenn Sie die Monsanto-Papers aus den USA gelesen haben, dann müssten auch Ihnen Zweifel kommen, ob das Verfahren nicht doch von Monsanto ein wenig manipuliert wurde, um es mal vorsichtig zu formulieren. Und Ihre Konsequenz daraus ist überhaupt keine Einschränkung für Glyphosat, noch nicht einmal in der Vor-Ernte-Anwendung. Sie ignorieren komplett die Gefahren für die Biodiversität, und Sie sagen jetzt: Business as usual, es kann so weitergehen.

Das kann so nicht sein! Sie ignorieren auch die Tatsache, dass fast eine Million Menschen Unterschriften sammeln, um hier im Europäischen Parlament nochmal eine Debatte zu bekommen. Auch das ignorieren Sie komplett, und das ist keine gute demokratische Maßnahme.


  Eleonora Evi (EFDD). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, io vorrei farle una domanda diretta: lei personalmente non ritiene che sia più corretto utilizzare per le valutazioni scientifiche solo ed esclusivamente gli studi pubblicati e sottoposti alla revisione dei pari, per poter fare una valutazione scientifica da parte delle istituzioni europee e quindi autorizzare sul mercato un prodotto potenzialmente pericoloso come il glifosato? Io credo che questa sia la strada che ci chiedono i cittadini europei ed evidentemente è l'unica strada da poter intraprendere per il futuro, per ridare credibilità a quella che è l'istituzione europea che rappresentiamo.

Inoltre, io vorrei chiederle se fa una rassicurazione. Io vorrei chiederle, nel momento in cui il glifosato dovesse essere bandito, io non vorrei che altre sostanze più tossiche e più pericolose, come ad esempio quelle per le quali sono resistenti alcuni nuovi OGM che stiamo autorizzando a livello comunitario e che sono resistenti al 2,4-D, il componente dell'Agente Arancio utilizzato in Vietnam, siano il futuro dell'agricoltura.


  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). – Mr President, I would like to thank the Commissioner for his very detailed opening to this debate. I think we owe it to you, Commissioner, to read the detail and study it because there was quite a lot of information in this. I think it is also important to point out, because there seems to be some confusion about what glyphosate is, that it is a weed killer, not a pesticide and I think that is an important point.

Secondly, to those who say we can do without it – hands up those in this Chamber who will go out and weed the fields. Because there are very few of you who will do it. I used to do it as a child, and that is long, long time ago. I think we need to be mindful of the possibilities or the options for farmers who need it. I am looking in the gallery here and when I go into a garden centre anywhere in Europe, I see wall-to-wall glyphosate products because gardeners across Europe use this product.

This is a debate that is worth having. Monsanto, I think, is on trial here and I am happy for Monsanto to be on trial, as is GM technology, but I do think we need to be careful about the other issues and Agencies that are on trial here: the Food Safety Agency and the Chemicals Agency. We do have to have trust in these Agencies. I would be deeply troubled if this Chamber became the authorisation place for any product, but I do believe that this Chamber should be where we debate these issues. And that is why I welcome the debate but I am concerned about some of the comments that have been made.

This is an important part of the technology, as has been said, that farmers use. If I believed that there was a problem, I would call for a ban as well. However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is out of step with all of the other Agencies that have looked at this product and we need to acknowledge that. So perhaps Commissioner, when we analyse the information you have given us and follow up, as many of us will, with some questions, there will be greater clarity on this issue. However, I think many of us come to this debate with closed minds; mine is slightly open, to science.


  Massimo Paolucci (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, devo essere sincero, signor Commissario, lei non mi ha convinto. Lei elude un punto essenziale. Non cattivi ambientalisti e pericolosi estremisti, ma gli atti di un tribunale mettono in evidenza con mail e trascrizioni atteggiamenti truffaldini poco trasparenti e pressioni indebite. Perché se tutto è in ordine si truccano le carte. Io ho fiducia nella scienza ma non ho fiducia in chi manipola le ricerche scientifiche a fini di parte. Ecco perché occorre fare chiarezza. Ecco perché serve una commissione d'indagine ed ecco perché, in assenza di questa chiarezza, la proroga per dieci anni sarebbe uno schiaffo al principio di precauzione.


  Mark Demesmaeker (ECR). – Vorig jaar stemde ik tegen de verlenging van de licentie voor glyfosaat. Over de hamvraag of glyfosaat kankerverwekkend is, was immers geen wetenschappelijke consensus. Ik pleitte toen voor meer transparantie, duidelijkheid, onafhankelijk onderzoek en dat standpunt blijft vandaag volledig overeind. Het nieuws dat Monsanto onderzoek zou hebben gestuurd en gemanipuleerd, maakt de oproep naar transparantie zo mogelijk nog dwingender. De Commissie moet nu daadkracht tonen. Ik geloof sterk in “evidence based beleid” op basis van objectieve wetenschap. De vraag aan de Commissie hoe ze zo'n beleid verder wil garanderen en hoe ze omgaat met de roep om transparantie is dan ook essentieel. Tegelijk willen wij met een open vizier meedenken over eventuele structurele wijzigingen van het systeem inzake goedkeuring van herbiciden en pesticiden en pleiten we voor een grondige analyse van het professioneel gebruik van glyfosaat. Ik hoop dat de Commissie, net als wij, de bescherming van de volksgezondheid en van het milieu voorop plaatst en met duidelijke antwoorden komt.


  Stefan Eck (GUE/NGL). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar! Im März 2015 kam die IARC zu dem Schluss, dass Glyphosat krebserregend sein könnte. Nur ein halbes Jahr später kam die EFSA zu dem Ergebnis, dass eine karzinogene Gefährdung durch Glyphosat für den Menschen unwahrscheinlich sei. Also gibt es zwei unterschiedliche Bewertungen hinsichtlich der Gesundheitsrisiken. Das hat doch zur Verunsicherung und zu einem berechtigten Misstrauen in der Bevölkerung geführt.

Dazu kommt, dass die einzelnen Untersuchungen der EFSA und die Hintergründe, die zu dieser Studie führten, der Öffentlichkeit und uns nicht lückenlos vorliegen. Zu Recht ist der Verdacht aufgekommen, dass vielleicht Monsanto die Hände im Spiel haben könnte.

Herr Kommissar, um das Vertrauen zurückzugewinnen, hilft nur vollkommene Transparenz. Wenn es um die Gesundheit von Menschen geht, dann dürfen wir doch keinen Kniefall vor der Industrie oder vor den Landwirten machen. Ich appelliere an Ihr Gewissen, das Vorsorgeprinzip walten zu lassen.


  Bronis Ropė (Verts/ALE). – Vadinamųjų Monsanto dokumentų istorija viešumon iškėlė skandalingus klausimus. Ar gali būti, kad Europos Sąjungos vykdomosios agentūros, tokios kaip Europos maisto saugos agentūra ir Europos cheminių medžiagų agentūra, vykdo ne tik Europos Sąjungos teisę, bet ir Monsanto nurodymus? Nenoriu tuo tikėti, tačiau turiu pripažinti, kad tokius kaltinimus labai smarkiai sustiprina bekompromisė jų pozicija, kurią šios dvi agentūros užima teigdamos, kad glifosatai nekenkia žmogaus sveikatai ir greitai suyra. Noriu tikėti, kad šis glifosatų skandalas taps riba, nuo kurios Komisija pradės atsakingiau vertinti potencialiai sveikatai žalingas medžiagas. Tai atlikti turi ne valdininkai, o nepriklausomi mokslininkai, tyrimų rezultatai turi būti aiškūs, prieinami visuomenei ir tokie, kuriuos galėtų patikrinti mokslo bendruomenė.


  John Stuart Agnew (EFDD). – Mr President, for 40 years, we have been using this material in Britain very successfully. The British authorities were quite happy to pass it for safety under the risk-based assessment. The EU likes to use the hazard-based assessment – but of course anything can be a hazard, such as the salt and pepper we put on our food; it is the degree that counts. The Canadian authorities have crawled all over glyphosate and they cannot find anything wrong with it. And, of course, over these 40 years we have had canaries in the mine – these are the sprayer operators who handle the concentrated material. There would be queues in doctors’ surgeries if there was a problem, but there are not queues in doctors’ surgeries. The Health and Safety Executive in Britain, which looks at accidents on farms, sees far more problems with falling from heights, getting tangled in machinery, drowning in slurry or drowning in grain – exposure to pesticides is way down their list. The World Health Organization says this material is no more carcinogenic than sitting in front of a log fire, cutting human hair, working night shifts, being exposed to dry cleaning fluid or drinking the Argentinian drink ‘mate’. The WHO says that this material is far less carcinogenic than drinking coffee, drinking alcohol or eating processed meat. We are being very silly here.

The burden of proof is obviously on the manufacturers, and they have always got in mind the thalidomide scandal. It now costs EUR 200 million and nine years to get a material through this process – only a large company can afford to do it. The green lobby are determined to kill agriculture.


  Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Nasze zdrowie w dużej mierze zależy od jakości żywności, którą spożywamy, oraz od stanu środowiska naturalnego, dlatego myślę, że bardzo ważne jest, aby wszelkie dodatki i środki chemiczne, których używamy do produkcji żywności, ochrony roślin bądź w rolnictwie, nie wzbudzały żadnych wątpliwości.

Dzisiaj mówimy o glifosacie – herbicydzie, który najczęściej jest stosowany na świecie i patrząc dzisiaj na coraz częstsze przypadki zachorowalności na raka, na coraz mniejszą ilość naturalnych zapylaczy, patrząc na różne wyniki badań, a także patrząc na aferę z udziałem firmy Monsanto, to naturalne, że rodzi się wiele pytań i wątpliwości. Ja w zeszłym roku zadałam pytanie Komisji Europejskiej właśnie na temat negatywnego wpływu glifosatu na zdrowie ludzi i zwierząt, który według doniesień mógł być przyczyną powstawania wad wrodzonych, nowotworów i ciężkich chorób. Komisja odpowiedziała, że jest mało prawdopodobne, aby glifosat stwarzał zagrożenie rakotwórcze u ludzi. Ta odpowiedź stoi w sprzeczności z wynikami czy z opinią WHO, która powiedziała, że glifosat może być przyczyną zapadalności na raka, więc mam pytanie do Komisji – dlaczego, skąd te rozbieżności, na podstawie jakich badań, jakich opinii Państwo udzieliliście tej odpowiedzi? Myślę, że na te wiarygodne odpowiedzi czekają konsumenci, rolnicy, zwłaszcza w obliczu tego, że ma być przedłużone używanie glifosatu w Unii Europejskiej i my konsumenci mamy mieć stuprocentową pewność, że to jest bezpieczny produkt i że badania są wiarygodne, że nie były wykonywane na zlecenie, nie zapłaciła za nie firma, która jest najbardziej zainteresowana, bo jest producentem Roundupu czy innych produktów, które zawierają glifosat.


  Karin Kadenbach (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Herr Kommissar, wir haben Sie in der Vergangenheit immer als sehr besonnenen und verantwortungsbewussten Menschen kennengelernt, der sich in seinen Entscheidungen immer wieder darauf berufen hat, dass die Entscheidung wissensbasiert sein muss, dass die Entscheidungen einer empirischen Forschung standhalten müssen. Und gerade deswegen fordere ich Sie heute auf, in diesem Sinne weiter zu agieren. Denn das, was wir vorliegen haben, was zu der Entscheidung geführt hat, dass Sie jetzt um zehn Jahre verlängern wollen – auf diese Entscheidung können wir uns nicht verlassen, weil wir nicht wissen, wie diese Studien zustande gekommen sind.

Wir haben im Vorfeld schon Studien gehabt, die auf der einen Seite behauptet haben: Ja, hier ist ein Risiko. Andere haben das Risiko nicht gesehen. Wenn jetzt ernsthafte Zweifel daran bestehen, dass diese Studien von Monsanto wirklich korrekt, transparent und ehrlich sind, und große Zweifel bestehen, ob ich mich darauf verlassen kann, dann dürfen Sie diese Studien nicht zur Entscheidung heranziehen.

Ich darf Sie nochmal ersuchen, darüber nachzudenken. Ich glaube, die Position des Parlaments von maximal sieben Jahren war schon eine äußerst weitgehende unter diesen Bedingungen.


  Claude Turmes (Verts/ALE). – Herr Präsident! Seit März wissen wir, dass Monsanto lügt, verheimlicht und schlimmer: mit schlimmsten Geheimdienstmethoden Wissenschaftler einer UN-Behörde verfolgt und in den USA mit Trump jetzt versucht, die Gelder dieser UN-Organisationen zu kürzen – nur, weil diese Organisation unabhängige Wissenschaftler hat. Und was macht die Kommission seit den Monsanto-Leaks? Weiter so wie bisher. 10 weitere Jahre dieses Produkts.

Warum sind wir als Grüne an diesem Dossier interessiert? Hier geht es um die Glaubwürdigkeit Europas. Deshalb haben wir bereits im März Briefe geschrieben, deshalb gehen wir vor den Europäischen Gerichtshof, um zu klären, welche Studien denn zugänglich gemacht werden. Ich kann die Kommission von Herrn Juncker nur warnen: Hier geht es nicht nur um Gesundheit, hier geht es nicht nur um Landwirtschaft – hier geht es um das Vertrauen zu Europa.




  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, I have listened to this debate. I heard Miriam Dalli outline the case against glyphosate and I listened to the Commissioner very carefully when he answered. I think that on balance the Commissioner is correct. Because if one reputable agency said glyphosate was safe, then you would be inclined to say: this is an independent agency saying it is safe, so you should go along with it. But when two agencies say it is safe, then I think to actually go against them, and especially to ask for a ban, does not make much sense to me.

I have spoken to many farmers, horticulturists, etc. about this, and they are deeply concerned. Before you talk about any ban, you should have an impact assessment on what the effects are going to be. Are we going to allow the weeds to destroy the village farmers’ crops? The same for the horticulturists, the same for our gardens when glyphosate has been used for many decades and, to all intents and purposes, seems to be safe.

We have, of course, to take public concerns into consideration. We have to allay people’s fears. But we can do so in a practical and logical manner. As the Commissioner pointed out, it is not just European agencies, agencies around the world have said similarly. So I think that this is an overreaction. We certainly have to be careful, we certainly have to be prudent and we have to allay, as I said, people’s fears.

But in relation to Monsanto, they do not own the rights any more. They produce it, there is a company in Ireland that produces it and sells it, and they have been doing it for many years. Are we going to suddenly say: ‘sorry folks, fold up the tent, your business is gone’? That is not the way to go ahead.


  Christel Schaldemose (S&D). – Hr. formand! Ja, så står vi her igen med glyphosatsagen, sagen der ikke vil dø! Kommissionen siger, at der er ikke noget at komme efter. Videnskaben har talt, og alt er sikkert. Men alligevel siger I også, at det er vigtigt, at medlemsstaterne gør en stor indsats for at begrænse brugen af glyphosat i parker og private haver osv. Det ville I jo ikke gøre, hvis I ikke mente, at der var bekymringer og problemer omkring dette stof. Det, jeg synes, vi har brug for, er en klar plan fra Kommissionen. Vi har brug for, at I laver en plan for, hvordan vi udfaser glyphosat. Vi har brug for, at I laver en plan for, hvordan vi sikrer gennemsigtighed og troværdighed hos de myndigheder, der skal vurderer stoffer, som vi bruger i EU. Og så har vi også brug for en klar plan og finansiering for, hvordan vi kan finde alternative ukrudtsbekæmpelsesmidler, så vi kan komme af med glyphosat og round-up. Der er ikke behov for, at vi bruger det. Vi bliver nødt til at finde nogle nye. Det er farligt at fortsætte med den kurs. Kom nu med den plan!


  Florent Marcellesi (Verts/ALE). – Señor presidente, el glifosato es, según la Organización Mundial de la Salud, una sustancia posiblemente cancerígena, es decir, dañina para nuestra salud. A pesar de esto, la Autoridad Europea de Seguridad Alimentaria lleva un año negándose a hacer públicos los estudios que avalan el glifosato.

Por supuesto, en el Grupo Verts/ALE no nos hemos quedado parados y hemos llevado esos hechos tan graves ante el Tribunal de Justicia Europeo. Queremos que los datos sean transparentes y que los expertos puedan trabajar con rigor científico. Y, también, conocer el papel de Monsanto en este proceso.

Mientras tanto, casi un millón de personas ya están pidiendo la prohibición del glifosato, a través de una iniciativa ciudadana europea. Pedimos sentido común a la Comisión Europea, una moratoria sobre el glifosato y una investigación independiente y transparente. Esto es básico para un debate democrático de calidad con el que repensar nuestro sistema agrícola y proteger nuestra salud.


  Емил Радев (PPE). – Въпросът за употребата на най-широко използвания в света хербицид глифозат продължава да бъде актуален, като съществуващото одобрение за неговото използване ще изтече най-късно на 31 декември 2017 г.

Понастоящем глифозат се използва интензивно не само в земеделието, но и за поддръжката на паркове и обществени пространства. Това означава, че на контакт с него са изложени широка гама лица – от селскостопанските работници, влизащи в пряк контакт с продукта, до крайния потребител на земеделската продукция.

Всички знаем, че продуктът глифозат е силно оспорван, тъй като има съмнения, че предизвиква ракови заболявания, тежки увреждания на плода в утробата на майката, сериозни заболявания на стомашно-чревния тракт и редица други негативни влияния върху здравето на хората и животните. Ясни и категорични заключения за неговата токсичност или безопасност все още липсват.

От друга страна обаче продуктите, съдържащи глифозат, се използват широко в редица държави, не само в Европа, но и по целия свят. Това на практика означава, че дори неговата употреба на територията на Европейския съюз да бъде ограничена, влиянието му върху европейските граждани няма да бъде преустановено.

В тази връзка, за всички нас е изключително важно Комисията и държавите членки да разполагат с достоверни данни относно реалното въздействие на глифозат върху здравето на хората и животните. Тези данни трябва да се основават на независими, задълбочени и прозрачни научни изследвания и проучвания.


  Marc Tarabella (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, comme vous, nous devons faire confiance à la science. Le politique doit s’appuyer sur la science pour décider, mais il y a plusieurs dizaines d’années, des scientifiques ont dit que l’amiante était tout à fait inoffensif et, aujourd’hui, l’amiante fait encore des centaines de milliers de morts par an sur la planète. Des scientifiques ont dit que l’aspartame était inoffensif et le disent encore aujourd’hui, mais l’aspartame est probablement une prochaine bombe alimentaire qui va exploser. Des scientifiques ont dit que le glyphosate était inoffensif, mais les «Monsanto Papers», depuis mars dernier, nous ont montré que certains scientifiques avaient modifié leurs résultats et avaient truqué leur enquête pour permettre la mise sur le marché du glyphosate.

Par conséquent, il est permis de douter des avis scientifiques qui sont remis. Il faut donc faire toute la transparence sur l’indépendance et la fiabilité des enquêtes sur lesquelles s’appuient nos agences pour remettre leurs avis.

Monsieur le Commissaire, c’est pour cette raison qu’il faut une commission d’enquête, pour établir toute la vérité et toute la fiabilité afin d’avoir confiance dans notre système. Il y va de l’intérêt des 500 millions de citoyens européens et de leur santé, et même des 7 milliards de citoyens qui peuplent la planète.


  Susanne Melior (S&D). – Herr Präsident, verehrter Herr Kommissar, verehrte Kollegen! Wir haben viele Argumente ausgetauscht. Nicht alle kann ich unterstützen, aber vielen doch folgen. Ich danke Ihnen, verehrter Herr Kommissar, vor allem für Ihre sehr ausführliche Antwort zu Beginn dieser Diskussionsrunde hier im Parlament.

Ich glaube aber, dass wir uns einem Vorwurf ganz hart stellen müssen, und dieser Vorwurf betrifft unsere europäischen Agenturen, nämlich die ECHA und die EFSA. Da heißt es, dass hier eigennützige Studien von Monsanto hinzugezogen worden sind. Dieser Vorwurf muss ausgeräumt werden, auch und vor allem im Interesse unserer eigenen europäischen Agenturen. Deswegen müssen wir hier diskutieren, und deswegen müssen wir hier miteinander streiten und gucken, dass wir das in Zukunft sehr viel besser hinbekommen. Dazu gehört auch – Frédérique Ries hat es vorhin schon angeführt – eine gute Ausstattung für die Agenturen, die wir in Europa haben.


  Gilles Pargneaux (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, je connais votre probité, je connais votre expertise, je connais votre volonté, car nous travaillons ensemble, de protéger la santé des Européennes et des Européens.

Dans ce dossier, il y a urgence. Il y a urgence que vous preniez une initiative protectrice dans les mois à venir, avant l’automne prochain, pour contrer tout d’abord l’inquiétude grandissante des Européens devant les révélations récentes concernant ce perturbateur endocrinien préjudiciable à leur bonne santé et à leur espérance de vie.

Il y a aussi urgence sur les inquiétudes qui se développent en raison du manque de transparence. L’avis de l’Autorité européenne de sécurité des aliments (EFSA) aurait été fondé sur des études sponsorisées par l’industrie agrochimique. L’identité des 73 experts nationaux qui ont participé à cette évaluation reste inconnue.

J’espère donc qu’avant que les États membres prennent leur décision, à l’automne, le nouveau ministre français, Nicolas Hulot, sera en adéquation avec ce qu’il disait, le 20 avril, dans le cadre de la Fondation Nicolas Hulot: oui, il faut prendre ses responsabilités et protéger la santé des Européennes et des Européens, en interdisant ce renouvellement du glyphosate, compte tenu de l’inquiétude grandissante qu'il suscite.


  Tibor Szanyi (S&D). – Elnök Úr, magam is egyetértek azzal, hogy az uniós állampolgárok egészségét maximális mértékben szem előtt kell tartanunk. Éppen ezért örülök, hogy itt a Parlamentben is napirendre tűztük ezt az ellentmondásokkal teli témát. Javaslom, hogy józan ésszel közelítsünk a kérdéshez. Egy Amerikában kirobbant állítólagos botrány ugyanis nem áshatja alá az Európai Élelmiszerbiztonsági Hatóságba és az Európai Vegyianyag-ügynökségbe vetett bizalmat. Amíg a termék szabadalmi védettsége élt, addig furcsa mód a kérdés évtizedekig nem volt az asztalon. Mindezek ellenére úgy vélem, hogy minden esetben az elővigyázatosság elvét kell szem előtt tartanunk. Azt vallom, hogy minden méreg méreg, azonban a szabályozott használattal csökkenthető a káros hatásuk. Nem engedhetjük e szerek mértéktelen használatát, hiszen a 100 tonna számra kijuttatott szerek kumulálódnak a természetben. De a teljes tiltás sem megoldás. Alternatív megoldás hiányában éppen ezért úgy gondolom, hogy a kutatás-fejlesztés mellett a gazdálkodók ismeretanyagának bővítésére is figyelnünk kell. Továbbá kérem a Bizottságot, hogy dolgozzon ki védintézkedéseket, és biztosítsa az engedélyezési eljárások 100%-os megbízhatóságát.


Zgłoszenia z sali


  José Inácio Faria (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, o senhor é médico e, portanto, vai compreender o que lhe vou dizer. O glifosato é o herbicida mais utilizado no mundo, sendo que 76 % da sua utilização a nível mundial é na agricultura, em aplicações florestais, urbanas e jardins. O glifosato e os seus resíduos foram detetados na água, no solo, nos alimentos e no corpo humano. A OMS classificou este herbicida como carcinogéneo provável para o ser humano e carcinogéneo provado para os animais de laboratório. O glifosato tem um efeito negativo também nos oceanos, onde tudo depende do fitoplâncton que está no topo da cadeia alimentar.

A iniciativa Stop Glifosato visa pressionar a Comissão para dois objetivos: garantir a transparência e independência dos processos na reutilização de pesticidas e impor prazos obrigatórios para a redução progressiva do uso de todos os pesticidas.

O processo de autorização do glifosato na União tem corrido de forma pantanosa, com estudos contraditórios, documentos mantidos em segredo e conflitos de interesse revelados, e é por isso que precisamos de um estudo baseado em todos os dados científicos disponíveis respeitantes ao carácter carcinogéneo do glifosato, bem como às eventuais propriedades perturbadoras do sistema endócrino.

Ao abrigo do princípio da precaução, continuarão a pressionar a Comissão a não renovar a autorização do glifosato, à luz do interesse público superior da defesa do ambiente e da saúde pública.


  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, non è la prima volta che discutiamo in quest'Aula di glifosato e ho la netta sensazione che non sarà neppure l'ultima. La recente pubblicazione dei Monsanto Papers ha fatto sorgere ragionevoli dubbi in merito alla credibilità di alcuni studi sponsorizzati dalla stessa Monsanto, che figurava tra le prove documentali utilizzate dall'EFSA e dall'ECA ai fini della valutazione della sicurezza del glifosato. Da settimane filtrano indiscrezioni sulla possibilità di un rinnovo ultra decennale dell'autorizzazione di questo principio attivo, mentre decine di campagne per la sua messa al bando sono già partite in tutti gli Stati europei.

Su questo tema la Commissione deve innanzitutto recuperare credibilità agli occhi dei cittadini europei, assumendo approfondite informazioni sulle accuse di indebito condizionamento della Monsanto, prima di concedere qualsivoglia autorizzazione. Quando è in gioco la salute pubblica, la trasparenza e la disponibilità di studi scientifici credibili rivestono massima importanza e l'Unione europea ha il dovere di rispondere in maniera adeguata alle legittime preoccupazioni di milioni di consumatori.


  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). – Κύριε Επίτροπε, σας άκουσα με προσοχή, μιλήσατε 19 λεπτά, ίσως ήταν η πιο μακροσκελέστατη ομιλία Επιτρόπου που έχω ακούσει σε αυτήν εδώ την αίθουσα, και είμαι πολύ συχνά εδώ στην αίθουσα. Τελικά, μετά την ομιλία σας αυξήθηκαν τα ερωτήματά μου και η ανησυχία μου. Το ίδιο ισχύει και για την πλειοψηφία των βουλευτών, διότι αν, όπως ισχυρίζεστε, η γλυφοσάτη είναι, δήθεν, ακίνδυνη, τότε γιατί λαμβάνετε ειδικά μέτρα όταν έχουμε εφαρμογές σε προϊόντα προσιτά στα παιδιά; Γιατί αν δεν υπάρχει, δήθεν, πρόβλημα θα μπορούν τα κράτη μέλη να την απαγορεύσουν; Η αρχή της προφύλαξης πρέπει να εφαρμοστεί αυστηρά, ιδίως, μετά τα «Μonsanto papers» από όπου προκύπτει ότι η γλυφοσάτη είναι δυνητικά καρκινογόνος ουσία. Η Μonsanto, όπως γνωρίζετε, στα τέλη του έτους συγχωνεύεται με την Bayern. Επομένως, γιατί να υπάρχει χρήση αυτής της αμφιλεγόμενης ουσίας, βάσει αμφιλεγόμενων εκθέσεων αξιολόγησης, όταν o ίδιος Παγκόσμιος Οργανισμός Υγείας την έχει χαρακτηρίσει καρκινογόνο;


  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός ( NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η ομιλία του κυρίου Επιτρόπου νομίζω ότι ήταν προβληματική. Η γλυφοσάτη, σύμφωνα με τον Παγκόσμιο Οργανισμό Υγείας, είναι προφανώς καρκινογόνος. Ο ΟΗΕ κάνει λόγο για επιθετικές και ανήθικες τακτικές μάρκετινγκ με σκοπό την παρεμπόδιση των μεταρρυθμίσεων και την παράλυση των περιορισμών στα φυτοφάρμακα. Στον βωμό του εύκολου χρήματος, οι θεσμικές διαδικασίες καταστέλλονται. Η επιστήμη εξαγοράζεται και τα στοιχεία αποκρύπτονται. Σε συνέχεια της απόφασης του Ευρωπαϊκού Οργανισμού Χημικών Προϊόντων, τονίζω ότι δεν πρέπει η ασφάλεια μιας ουσίας να βασίζεται αποκλειστικά στις βλαβερές ιδιότητές της. Η διασφάλιση υψηλού επιπέδου προστασίας της ανθρώπινης υγείας και η προστασία του περιβάλλοντος απαιτούν την πρόσβαση σε πρωτογενή δεδομένα και όχι απλή ανάλυση ερευνητικών αποτελεσμάτων που χρηματοδοτούνται από τις εμπλεκόμενες εταιρείες. Η βιομηχανία φυτοφαρμάκων ζητεί περισσότερη επιστήμη και λιγότερη πολιτική. Από την πλευρά μας, πρέπει να διασφαλίσουμε ότι η πολιτική παράγει αποτελέσματα, διασφαλίζοντας τη δημοκρατική νομιμοποίηση, αφουγκραζόμενοι τις ανάγκες της αγοράς και της κοινωνίας. Απαιτείται η παρακολούθηση των επιπέδων υπολειμμάτων γλυφοσάτης σε τρόφιμα και ποτά και η υποστήριξη του αγροτικού κλάδου ποικιλοτρόπως προς ανάπτυξη βιώσιμων λύσεων.


  Franc Bogovič (PPE). – Sem sadjar iz Slovenije, ki že 25 let uporabljam glifosat, in če je komu do tega, da bi vedel, kaj je končna resnica glede glifosata, je ravno meni. Ker ne bi želel, da bi nikogar zastrupil s svojimi jabolki, ki jih prodajam, niti sebe ne bi rad zastrupil.

Pri svojem delu moram pač upoštevati tudi inštitucije, ki jih imamo za to ustanovljene. Pregledal sem tako poročilo EFSE, pregledal sem sedaj tudi poročilo agencije za kemikalije, ki potrjuje to, kar je EFSA prej trdila.

Številne svetovne agencije govorijo, da ni nevarnosti v glifosatu. Prebral sem tudi to, kar je zdravstvena agencija zapisala. Urad za kemikalije te agencije pravi, da ni rakotvoren glifosat, medtem ko urad za preprečevanje raka pravi, da je v kategoriji skupaj z rdečim mesom in s podobnimi stvarmi.

In sam mislim, da verjamem tu, kar trdi Komisija, mi pa imamo odgovornost, da se pogovarjamo tudi o tem, da bomo, prvič, zagotovili zdravje Evropejcev, da bo obstala kmetijska proizvodnja, da ne bo Evropa postala odvisna od tistih delov sveta, ki uporablja tako glifosat kakor tudi Monsantove GMO produkte. Sam sem tudi proti tem produktom.


  Clara Eugenia Aguilera García (S&D). – Señor presidente, muchas gracias, señor comisario, por su amplia explicación: casi veinte minutos.

Muchos de los que han intervenido ni le han escuchado a usted ni se quedarán para el final; venían con su posición prefijada, su minuto de gloria, a decir una posición política. Y eso es lo que está sucediendo con esto.

La Agencia Internacional para la Investigación contra el Cáncer dijo que el coformulante que se mezclaba con el glifosato era el que podía tener efectos cancerígenos. Eliminando el coformulante del herbicida, no tendría el glifosato ningún problema cancerígeno.

Usted se comprometió a que con los análisis científicos que le diera la EFSA, se iba a conceder la autorización o no, teniendo en cuenta también la opinión del Parlamento.

Yo confío en las instituciones europeas. Confío en usted, señor comisario. Confío en las agencias que nos dan seguridad alimentaria.

Por tanto, aquí hemos llegado a un punto en el que hay juicios políticos.

Habrá que aclarar muchas circunstancias, también Monsanto. Pero Monsanto se ha convertido en el «caballo de Atila» en una posición frente a los herbicidas en general. Por tanto, hay una gran manipulación política.


  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR). – Mr President, I have listened very intently to this debate, and I just want to say that of course we all want a healthy countryside and a good environment for us all to live in; so do our farmers.

No one in this House has a monopoly on virtue in this particular matter. Our farmers are responsible farmers. I represent the East of England, which is a major agricultural sector in the United Kingdom. Our responsible farmers rely on good scientific, evidence—based information for what they are doing. From what I have heard from the Commission this afternoon, that is exactly what we have. I hope that the Commission will bring an end to all the uncertainty on this, and confirm once and for all the authorisation for glyphosate.

It has been very clear: we are hearing repetitions of the same sort of scaremongering, the same things. Listen again to what the Commissioner had to say, look more closely at what he said to us all. So let us put an end to all this nonsense, and let us give certainty to our farmers – our responsible farmers.


  Marijana Petir (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, od institucija čiji rad financiraju porezni obveznici država članica očekujem transparentnost, vjerodostojnost i povjerenje. To se odnosi i na rad Europske agencije za sigurnost hrane i Europske agencije za kemikalije. Te agencije trebaju osigurati građanima Unije visoku kvalitetu života bez rizika za zdravlje od proizvoda koje svakodnevno upotrebljavaju.

Objava korespondencije tvrtke Monsanto u procesima pred sudovima u Sjedinjenim Američkim državama koja posljednjih mjeseci preplavljuju medije, a vezano uz više od 60 tužbi za narušavanje zdravlja i pojave ne-Hodgkinovog limfoma povezanog s korištenjem aktivne tvari glifosata u sredstvima za zaštiti bilja, poljuljalo je vjerodostojnost američkih agencija za nadležnih zaštitu zdravlja i okoliša zbog sumnje u vjerodostojnost određenih studija koje su se koristile u procjeni rizika.

Posebno zabrinjava to što su te studije također bile i podloga za ocjenu sigurnosti glifosata pred europskim institucijama.

Očekujem brz odgovor na postavljena pitanja, te prijedloge za poboljšanja procedura koji bi postupke ocjene sigurnosti biocida učinile vjerodostojnijima.


(Koniec zgłoszeń z sali)


  Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, let me start by thanking all the honourable Members because, ladies and gentlemen, you have put a lot of questions on the table but, as you know, I will not be able to address all those questions and to comment as we do not have enough time. However, may I draw your attention to this WHO report which I have here in my hand, because many of you quote the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Here is the IARC report too. I have both reports: from IARC and the WHO joint meeting on pesticide residues.

Two agencies – one and the other – which then decided – because this is the final decision – that glyphosate is unlikely to be carcinogenic. When you speak about the WHO, please read all the documents together, otherwise you will repeat the working group and the very active Professor Portier, who was a chair of the working group. I met him and we discussed this together. I was in Lyons, where we had a lot of discussions. I have visited all the agencies – IARC, EFSA – because I am not responsible to judge on science, colleagues, and I do not think all of you can judge on science.

It must be understood that we have our framework of actions and the framework is law. You mentioned the Monsanto papers but it is enshrined in law that Monsanto is obliged to present a study review, because this is enshrined in law. This law was adopted here in this House together with the Council.

I am responsible for following the law because the rule of law is my basic area in which to act and I would like to say to you, very openly, that we have a very precautionary approach, but do not mix up precautionary approach and precautionary principles. We do the same: we have a precautionary approach and then we use the precautionary principle: we ask EFSA, we ask the ECHA for an analysis.

And then nowadays we have all the agencies at EU level. The 28 EU Member State agencies did the same. ECHA did the same, EFSA did the same. That is all, colleagues. Please, then, do not ask me to present another scientific review. I would like to present you with a scientific view that goes into a very detailed explanation but IARC and WHO are not European Union agencies, they are global agencies, but we take those outcomes into account too. Please tell me: how can I act in this situation? My answer is very simple. I would like to follow only plant protection product legislation. Otherwise I will be in a dangerous situation.

OK, I can show you all the materials I have. I have a lot of meetings with my colleagues from the S&D Group. I have a lot of meetings with the Greens. I know very well that you have your own approach. Here is the Monsanto Tribunal paper. Here you can see the urine test. Here you can see seven reasons why we can ban glyphosate.

Colleagues, this is about politics, it is not about science. But I read it very carefully because some write, quite rightly, that it would be good to ban glyphosate because this would give a very good momentum to promoting organic farming. I am not against promoting organic farming but sorry, it is not about science! It is about your political platform! OK, I respect your political platform but I would like to follow the instruments which are in our hands. I know that scientists have a slightly different approach.

Professor Portier has one approach. John Little sent me a letter today and a lot of their working group people are very active discussing this. OK, we will continue those scientific discussions. I welcome those discussions. It would be good to organise scientific debates and move forward, but we must follow our legal obligations, and I would like to say very openly that I am ready to fulfil my legal obligations.

When I started in 2014 I had doubts because I listened to you and I had doubts about our European Union system. Today I would like to say very openly – let me reiterate this – that I firmly believe that the European Union system concerning the approval of active substances to be used in plant protection products is robust, trustworthy and ensures the highest safety standards for human and animal health and the environment. And this is true, colleagues. I spent two and a half years but I would like to say that today I am a big believer in our European Union safety system. Please follow me. I would like to invite you to organise debates and once again address those issues in a more detailed way.

I don’t know who is repeating that I said I can drink glyphosate as a glass of water. Sorry, I never, never, told you such a thing. I would like to mention that glyphosate is, as you know, labelled – this is a hazard classification –as corrosive, causing serious eye damage, hazardous to the environment and toxic to aquatic life, with long-lasting effects. This is on the label. OK, we need to move forward and to see how to manage the situation and how to keep our instruments to guarantee levels – hazard approach, risk approach – and then to fulfil our obligations and of course also finalise our decision. Otherwise it will be very difficult.

Please look, research the consequences of ignoring science and EFSA conclusions in the field of plant health. We now have an entire region infected by Xylella in Puglia. Can you imagine the disaster in Puglia? There is no treatment for this, the only possibility is to remove the trees. Those people who attacked the EFSA proposal to remove those trees did not listen to me – and what is happening today in Puglia? But the scientific advice was clear.

With regard to conclusions about glyphosate, we have today conclusions built by ECHA. Then I have legal obligations, colleagues; six months or until the end of this year. I know that it is only me who will follow the rule of law but I would like to fulfil my obligations.

With regard to the idea to have an inquiry committee, please do it; I will be more than happy to look at your inquiry compared to the Monsanto Papers. Please do it because it will be very good to cooperate with you, and from the Commission side we have no grounds to start with the inquiry procedure but maybe parliamentarians have a bit more space for manoeuvre. Please do it. I will be more than happy to communicate, to coordinate our common knowledge and to present to you the whole picture.

Sorry, friends, but I would like to say that the Commission approach is very clear, based on science, based on precautionary principles. I am a medical doctor, colleagues, and I know how difficult it is to encourage my patients to use medicines in the proper way. You always know how difficult it is to manage medicines but without medicine you have no chance of moving forward.

I know some of you have it in mind to propose glyphosate-free agriculture in the EU. Yes, please do this, please organise a pilot project, encourage farmers to do it; but it is not up to me, it is not up to science. Friends, I am very happy to listen to you very carefully but, sorry, I do not touch all the questions about transparency because I have answers about transparency. I have discussed those issues in a very detailed manner together with EFSA, together with ECHA, together with IARC, together with those working groups and I think we will see possibilities after REFIT. Move forward, but we will do it together. You know, you are also responsible in regard to risk management and risk communication because those messages which are being disseminated today create distrust.

We live in a very difficult society where distrust in science creates a lot of problems. It does not matter what – medicines, vaccinations or plant protection products. Blaming each other is very dangerous. I would be happy to be the scapegoat, the bad guy, but I count on my teams, I count on DG SANTE, I count on our specialists, I count on our scientists around the world – a lot of scientific communities which presented a common picture. And only a few create a lot of problems. Sorry, friends, I would be more than happy to move forward together with you in responding to your questions, but I trust in science.


  Przewodniczący. – Panie Komisarzu Andriukaitis! Zwłaszcza ostatnie Pana wystąpienie przekonało nas o tym, że wysłuchał Pan 32 opinii i wypowiedzi. To była prawdziwa debata. Nie wiem, czy wszystkich Pan przekonał, ale niewątpliwie wszyscy czują się usatysfakcjonowani, że uczestniczyli w przyzwoitej wymianie poglądów.

Oświadczenia pisemne (art. 162)


  Beata Gosiewska (ECR), na piśmie. – Glifosat od lat jest powszechnie stosowany jako składnik lub samodzielny środek ochrony roślin i od lat toczą się wokół niego dyskusje, jest bowiem substancją niezwykle kontrowersyjną. Wciąż pojawiają się sprzeczne ze sobą raporty dotyczące szkodliwości glifosatu, a w mojej ocenie istnieją poważne obawy co do jego bezpieczeństwa.

Pozwolenie na używanie glifosatu na terytorium Unii Europejskiej wygasa z końcem roku, co jest dla Komisji Europejskiej znakomitą sposobnością na wprowadzenie całkowitego zakazu jego stosowania. Niestety podjęto próbę kolejnego przedłużenia zezwolenia na jego stosowanie, mimo że ostatnie badania odnotowują kolejne przypadki kancerogennego działania glifosatu, a niemiecki urząd ochrony środowiska udokumentował poważny negatywny wpływ glifosatu na bioróżnorodność.

Rolnictwo ekologiczne w każdym momencie udowadnia, że glifosat nie jest niezbędny dla jego wydajności, a rolnictwo przyszłości winno być oparte na wysokiej bioróżnorodności, dużym zróżnicowaniu upraw oraz na pracy w zgodzie z naturą, a nie przeciwko niej. Dlatego wzywam Komisję Europejską do szczegółowego monitorowania badań dotyczących pestycydów oraz ścisłej współpracy w tym zakresie z Europejskim Urzędem Bezpieczeństwa Żywności oraz Europejską Agencją Chemikaliów.


  Момчил Неков (S&D), в писмена форма. – Глифозатът е най-използваният хербицид в света. Той намира широка употреба и в селското стопанство, и в градинарството. В европейските градове той се използва широко в борбата с плевелите и де факто милиони европейци са изложени на този хербицид.

Самата Европейска комисия определя веществото като корозивно, предизвикващо вреда на зрението, токсично за водната флора и фауна и с дългосрочен ефект. Това са достатъчно причини в научните изследвания от страна на частния бизнес да се заложи изработването на заместител, който да преодолява тези опасности.

Подкрепям създаването на анкетна комисия в Парламента, за да се повиши осведомеността по въпрос, който буди все повече притеснения сред гражданите. Смятам, че Европа има достатъчно голям научен и икономически потенциал, за да стимулира европейската индустрия за разработването на вещества, които носят по-малко рискове от тези, разработени преди десетилетия другаде. С това ще се подпомогне европейското производство и Съюзът може да докаже себе си като лидер в прилагането на добри практики и работа с хербицидите с минимален риск за околната среда, здравето на човека, почвите и околната среда.

Last updated: 31 July 2017Legal notice