Answer given by Mr Dalli on behalf of the Commission
The Commission is aware of a recent report, which raises safety concerns in the use of glyphosate and its formulated products, such as Roundup. In this regard, the Honourable Member is invited to refer its reply to Written Questions P‑10522/2010 and E‑6135/2011. However, the Commission has not been informed about the specific findings by the Leipzig University.
Glyphosate is used worldwide as an herbicide and it is also authorised in the EU. The Commission is aware that residues may occur in food and animal feed, due to glyphosate uses in agriculture in and outside the EU. The Commission has fixed Maximum Residues Limits (MRLs) for all agricultural products that may be used for human consumption or animal feed and for products of animal origin. These MRLs were set based on European Food Safety Authority opinions confirming the safety of the residues for all EU consumer groups, including children.
Plant protection products may only be used in the EU when applicants provide evidence that the use is acceptable for consumers, operators and when there are no unacceptable effects on the environment. If this requirement is not met, the use cannot be authorised. As for any substance, the approval may be reconsidered in the light of new evidence on adverse effects revealed by experience, and endorsed by EFSA.
According to the EU annual report on pesticide residues over 2008, 6 % of cereals and 0.04 % of fruit and vegetables contain residues of glyphosate, but never higher than the MRL and therefore not presenting a risk for any consumer group.