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Reaction on postponement of glyphosate vote

Brussels, 19 May 2016 – The vote on re-authorisation of glyphosate to be taken today in the Standing Committee on Plant Animal Food and Feed (PAFF) was postponed. It appears that the Commission (DG Sante) could not achieve the required "qualified majority" needed for giving a renewal.

HEAL reaction:

‘‘The European Commission seems to have a losing proposal on its hands. It has twice had to postpone the vote on glyphosate because enough national governments are unwilling or unready to take a position, probably because of the public unpopularity or pressure. Combine that with the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) standing solidly by its hazard assessment that glyphosate probably causes cancer, and the EU law which, on the basis of hazard, prohibits cancer causing substances. And last but not least, the official EU process to classify glyphosate, which started in March, may result in the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) confirming IARC’s conclusion in which case glyphosate cannot legally be used in the EU anyway’’.

Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Adviser, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)

In early 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. (1)

Ahead of the vote, HEAL together with some of its members and partner organisations were active outside the Commission meeting building

More on HEAL’s work on glyphosate here:


Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Advisor, HEAL, Tel: +32 2 234 36 45. Mobile: +32 484 614 528

Notes for journalists

1. Lancet Oncology, Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate, 20 March 2015,

Last updated on 26 May 2016

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