MEPs have called on the European Commission not to renew the authorisation for glyphosate at least until more research has been done in response to concerns it could be carcinogenic.
The European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted on Tuesday (March 22) by 38 votes to 6, with 18 abstentions, not to renew the herbicide until 2031, without any restrictions, as proposed.
While the vote is not yet binding, it represents another blow to efforts to secure EU approval for Monsanto’s flagship product.
The concerns stem from a report by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which concluded glyphosate was ’probably carcinogenic to humans’.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) subsequently published its own findings, concluding glyphosate was ‘unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans’.
The Environment Committee called on the Commission to ‘commission an independent review and disclose all the scientific evidence EFSA used to assess glyphosate’.
UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew said he would expect the full European Parliament to endorse the vote when it votes on in April.
Experts from member states will then have their say in May and, if this is not decisive, the Commission will decide.
Mr Agnew said the actions of MEPs illustrated why UKIP was calling for the UK to leave the EU.
Monsanto said EFSA had reaffirmed glyphosate’s ‘40-year history of safe use’ in ‘a rigorous, four-year process involving scores of experts’.