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A new infographic and social media assets launched by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) today illustrate why the European Commission and governments must ban the harmful pesticide glyphosate to protect farmers, our health and the environment [1].

Available for download as PDF or PNG

Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in the world, which is of concern since its negative impacts on human health and the environment are well-documented. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the gold standard for cancer research, finds exposure to glyphosate may cause cancer. Exposure to glyphosate-based pesticides has also been linked to adverse effects on human development, reproduction and hormonal systems, according to evidence from the independent scientific literature.

And yet, the European Commission and Member States have started the process to renew the pesticide’s market approval, which is expiring in December 2022, for 15 years. HEAL and its members have previously expressed specific concerns about the preliminary conclusions by four EU Member States that the substance has no harmful effects on health or the environment and the poor evaluation of all the available scientific evidence [2].

The ball is now in the court of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), who will respectively carry out the hazard and risk assessments. Discussions at the former start today at ECHA [3]. Both agencies must carry out an objective and independent analysis of all available evidence, and adequately account for published scientific literature in addition to  industry studies. This is of great importance, because their recommendations will greatly impact the proposal that the European Commission will formulate to either reject or give the green light to the renewal of glyphosate’s licence for use in Europe. 

Together with our members, HEAL will continue to advocate on the public health benefits of banning glyphosate and other harmful pesticides across Europe. We will continue to stand with affected farmers, workers, their families and residents suffering from health problems as a result of glyphosate exposure. For an overview of our work, visit our campaign page

Download our social media assets:

Contact:

Ivonne Leenen, Senior Communications Officer at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), ivonne@env-health.org

Notes:

[1] The infographic ‘Europe needs to ban glyphosate to protect farmers, our health and the environment’ is available in in PDF and PNG format.

[2] The EU renewal process of glyphosate kicked off in June 2021, when four EU Member States (France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden) released a statement which concluded that glyphosate does not pose risks for human health. HEAL and its members expressed concern at such a conclusion, which contradicts scientific evidence. See for example:

https://www.env-health.org/ominous-first-step-in-eu-renewal-process-of-glyphosate-4-member-states-suggest-no-risk-for-human-health-heal-comment/

https://www.env-health.org/glyphosate-health-and-cancer-groups-ask-france-to-publicly-clarify-contradictory-position-regarding-the-health-effects-of-the-worlds-top-selling-herbicide/

Further investigation by HEAL and other civil society groups also uncovered that the EU’s initial assessment of the toxicity of glyphosate was based on studies provided by the chemical industry and does not take into consideration all available scientific evidence. See for example: 

https://www.env-health.org/glyphosate-eu-toxicity-assessment-report-still-fails-to-address-health-risks-of-worlds-most-used-pesticide/

https://www.env-health.org/glyphosate-41-health-and-environment-groups-urge-eu-commission-to-put-an-end-to-use-of-unreliable-industry-studies/

https://www.env-health.org/revealed-eu-glyphosate-assessment-was-based-on-flawed-science/  

[3] On 16 March 2022, the discussions on the hazard classification of glyphosate start at ECHA, during the plenary of the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC)-60. Member State experts will present key issues in relation to the draft dossier (preliminary assessment) on “Harmonised classification and labelling” of glyphosate and registered observers (civil society organisations, including HEAL, and industry) will present their views on the dossier.  https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/2200976/rac_60_agenda_en.pdf/7a9acc3d-2e10-0514-1a25-26f93c1ea6ed?t=1646402034637

See also HEAL contributions to public consultations on the EU glyphosate assessment report, launched by the EU Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the EU Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (November 2021 – updated February 2022)