Open Letter to the President of the European Commission
On November 16, the European Member States will decide on the fate of glyphosate, a widely used herbicide, with a proposed renewal approval for 10-years under consideration.
Together with 106 civil society organisations, the Biodynamic Federation Demeter International addressed an open letter to the president of the European Commission, Urusula von der Leyen, asking to withdraw the re-approval process for glyphosate in the light of new scientific evidence on glyphosate’s carcinogenicity.
Recent findings, research gaps, and risks
Recent findings from the Global Glyphosate Study (GGS) challenge assumptions about glyphosate’s safety, revealing potential harm even at low doses previously deemed safe. It’s clear that glyphosate’s potential for carcinogenicity and genotoxicity has not undergone a thorough assessment, and essential evidence from independent literature has been disregarded in the EU evaluation. The study contributes to existing evidence of glyphosate’s carcinogenic potential, echoing concerns from NGOs and independent scientists.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) identified data gaps but dismissed concerns, asserting safety despite lacking long-term toxicity or carcinogenicity studies. This contradicts regulatory requirements of Regulation (EU) 1107/2009 (Article 4) and the emphasis by the European Court of Justice (Case C-616/17), both stipulating that products and active substances must undergo comprehensive assessments to demonstrate their lack of long-term toxicity and/or carcinogenicity.
Glyphosate’s failure to meet the approval criteria set by Regulation (EU) 1107/2009, which mandates that pesticide substances and products must not harm humans, animals, or the environment, raises serious concerns. Given its widespread use and exposure, neglecting reported adverse effects poses a significant health risk to farmworkers and the general population, while also jeopardizing biodiversity.
Reassessing Glyphosate renewal: The time is now
Immediate action is crucial to withdraw the 10-year renewal proposal. The European Union must adopt a reevaluated approach to glyphosate usage, placing the well-being of people and the environment at the forefront.
The letter, addressed to the President of the European Commission, highlights the commitment of the European Commission outlined in the European Green Deal to steer the EU toward sustainable food systems, reduce reliance on chemical pesticides, and protect human health, the environment, and biodiversity from the harmful effects of pesticide pollution.
Contact: Clara Behr, Head of Policy and Public Relations