Parliamentary question - E-7874/2010Parliamentary question

Safety standards regarding widely used pesticide

Question for written answer E-7874/2010
to the Commission
Rule 117
Michail Tremopoulos (Verts/ALE)

Research findings[1] show that glyphosate, the active substance contained in Roundup, the most widely sold weed killer in the world, causes malformations affecting laboratory frog and chicken embryos when administered in concentrations much lower than those used in agricultural sprinklers and well below the EU upper limit for residues. The research was prompted by medical reports concerning high rates of deformity at birth in farming areas of Argentina, where vast areas are devoted to the monoculture of Monsanto ‘Roundup Ready’ (RR) genetically modified soya, which is regularly sprayed from the air.

The figures speak for themselves: the EU maximum admissible glyphosate residue level in soya seed is 20 mg/kg. Significantly, this ceiling was increased by a factor of 200 (from 0.1 mg/kg to 20 mg/kg in 1997) when the marketing of genetically modified RR soya commenced in Europe. According to the above research findings, embryo deformations were caused by exposure to glyphosate concentrations of 2.03 mg/kg. The soya in question, however, may contain glyphosate residue concentrations of as much as 17 mg/kg. Roundup is widely used in conjunction with genetically modified soya.

In view of this:

OJ C 243 E, 20/08/2011