EC Commissioner denounces glyphosate attacks and product prohibitions in some member states

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, has defended EU scientific assessments and processes on glyphosate, adding criticism of NGOs.

Addressing the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, Andriukaitis said, although glyphosate had been authorised in Europe, EU Member States were still prohibiting the use and sale of products containing glyphosate.

Commissioner Andriukaitis emphasised the importance of science in the food safety policy and denounced information about glyphosate claiming the weedkiller was carcinogenic. 

After the International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) concluded that glyphosate was likely to be carcinogenic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and a number of food agencies concluded that all possible data suggested that glyphosate was unlikely to be carcinogenic. 

"It was a common position. Why does this conclusion die and people only talk about the first study?" asked Andriukaitis, echoing comments by EC president Jean-Claude Juncker.

He said there was no reason to ban glyphosate at European level: "The conclusion that lies on the table is that the substance is not carcinogenic or hormone disruptive. I have respect for science and the law. If the law is bad, it must be changed. Until then, it must be applied. If there's new scientific evidence, show me and I will take it into consideration." 

He added: "Why do we talk about pesticides today, but not about the harmful effects of tobacco and alcohol? It's the lobby groups".

Monsanto said it would not comment on this occasion.

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