A consortium of six NGOs – PAN Europe, ClientEarth (EU), Générations Futures (France), GLOBAL 2000 (Austria), PAN Germany, and PAN Netherlands – has officially launched a legal challenge against the European Commission’s recent decision to re-approve glyphosate.
After conducting a detailed examination of the glyphosate re-approval process and identifying several critical shortcomings, the NGOs submitted a Request for Internal review to the Commission, marking the first step in this legal battle.
Angeliki Lyssimachou, Head of Science and Policy at PAN Europe said, “We are dismayed by the incredible number of breaches in EU law. Scientific evidence on the important toxicity of glyphosate on health and the environment was not correctly communicated to the Commission by European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Farmers are the first victims of this. The Commission reapproved glyphosate despite the available information on its toxicity and the numerous data gaps. This should have led to a ban.”
The European Commission re-approved glyphosate for 10 years, despite what PAN Europe calls “an impressive body of scientific evidence indicating its toxicity to human health and the environment.” They say that the European Commission, EFSA and ECHA have failed to uphold their obligation to protect European citizens and the environment by not adhering to the EU law and case law on Pesticide Regulation and the precautionary principle.
Pauline Cervan, Toxicologist at Générations Futures said, “The authorities have systematically rejected all data from the independent scientific literature, basing their assessment solely on data supplied by manufacturers. In addition, it appears that some key studies are still missing for different areas of the assessment, which should have led the Commission not to accept the dossier on the grounds of incompleteness”.
ClientEarth Senior lawyer Juliette Delarue said: “Glyphosate is a dangerous substance – by re-approving it, the Commission has made a manifest error in the face of the law and of independent and reliable science. Beyond that, the EU treaties require the Commission to act with caution to prevent harm to humans and nature. Our challenge asks the Commission to finally pay heed to the science and withdraw its approval.”