Published: Wed, 21 February 2018
Seán Kelly MEP has been appointed to a special European Parliament committee on the EU’s authorisation procedure for pesticides. Ireland South MEP cautioned against a political game-playing with such an important issue and stressed the need for a balanced approach.
“This special committee has been set up following an EU-wide debate over the use of pesticides, and glyphosate in particular, in recent years. Glyphosate has been authorised in the EU since 2002. As the most frequently used herbicide in agriculture and horticulture in the EU and Ireland, it is primarily used to combat weeds that compete and damage cultivated crops,” said Mr Kelly, the Leader of the Fine Gael Delegation in the European Parliament.
“It is important to remember that glyphosate has been thoroughly assessed by the Member States and the European Food Safety Authority, to establish whether its use results in any poor effects on human and animal health or the environment. They found that there is no evidence to link glyphosate to cancer in humans and that it should not be classified as a substance that causes genetic damage.”
Mr Kelly has called on the Committee on Pesticides to take a fair and balanced approach based on factual, scientific studies and with due regard to the guidance given by the European Food Safety Authority:
“MEPs are not being tasked with reviewing the scientific arguments, but with examining the EU procedures in place for authorising pesticides. That can be done with a critical but fair approach in respect of our citizens, and without needless scaremongering.”
The committee will assess the authorisation procedure for pesticides in the EU; potential failures in how substances are scientifically evaluated and approved; the role of the European Commission in renewing the glyphosate licence; possible conflicts of interest in the approval procedure; the role of EU agencies, and whether they are adequately staffed and financed to fulfil their obligations.
A final report on the committee’s findings and recommendations will be subject to approval by the European Parliament.