EU’s Pesticide Risk Assessment System: The Case of Glyphosate

15-09-2016

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of the workshop on the “EU’s pesticide risk assessment system: the case of glyphosate”, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, 24 May 2016. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for the Members of the ENVI Committee on the effects of glyphosate on human health. During the first part of the workshop, the EU policy context and the state of play of the issue were presented. An update on the environmental effects of glyphosate on biodiversity was also given. Moreover, the status of the precautionary principle, a legal principle which underpins the use of this substance, was discussed. The second part of the workshop focused on the challenges and options based on the available research and evidence. The different findings of the IARC and EFSA were presented. In particular, the different methods of the evaluation, as well as the difference between hazard assessment and risk assessment, were covered during this session. Furthermore, the ongoing ECHA’s evaluation of glyphosate, which is being carried out under the CLP Regulation, was illustrated. Finally, the perspectives from civil society and doctors were also taken into account. While the divergences during the sessions showed how polarised the issue is, it was outlined that a decision on the glyphosate matter would be crucial in order to bring to an end a situation of uncertainty. This workshop and the respective document were prepared by the Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

This report summarises the presentations and discussions of the workshop on the “EU’s pesticide risk assessment system: the case of glyphosate”, held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, 24 May 2016. The aim of the workshop was to provide background information and advice for the Members of the ENVI Committee on the effects of glyphosate on human health. During the first part of the workshop, the EU policy context and the state of play of the issue were presented. An update on the environmental effects of glyphosate on biodiversity was also given. Moreover, the status of the precautionary principle, a legal principle which underpins the use of this substance, was discussed. The second part of the workshop focused on the challenges and options based on the available research and evidence. The different findings of the IARC and EFSA were presented. In particular, the different methods of the evaluation, as well as the difference between hazard assessment and risk assessment, were covered during this session. Furthermore, the ongoing ECHA’s evaluation of glyphosate, which is being carried out under the CLP Regulation, was illustrated. Finally, the perspectives from civil society and doctors were also taken into account. While the divergences during the sessions showed how polarised the issue is, it was outlined that a decision on the glyphosate matter would be crucial in order to bring to an end a situation of uncertainty. This workshop and the respective document were prepared by the Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

External author

Yoline KUIPERS CAVACO, Matteo MASCOLO, Alicia McNEILL and Rachel DEMPSEY