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Europeans continue to call to ban glyphosate

Back in December, 16 public interest organisations including HEAL delivered a petition from over 100,000 Europeans to the EU Commission to ban glyphosate, classified by IARC as a probable carcinogen. Over 140,000 signatures have been collected already.

In December, the petition was handed over a day before the Standing Committee of Member States and the Commission met to discuss, for the first time, EFSA’s conclusion on glyphosate.

Earlier in 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) classified glyphosate within their ranking system as ‘probably carcinogenic’ [1]. This is the second highest danger level for cancer-causing chemicals that the WHO Agency assigns. In Europe, carcinogenic pesticides are banned from use in agriculture when they meet the criteria for the EU classification system.

Yet, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its report concluding that glyphosate “is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans”, a conclusion which enables the decision makers to give it a green light for its renewed authorisation in the EU [2]. EFSA’s risk assessment was a peer-review of a draft report on glyphosate from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. EFSA’s conclusion and the German report was then criticised by over 90 independent scientists from 25 countries who highlighted the “weaknesses” of EFSA’s and Germany’s evaluation, such as dismissing evidence from epidemiology studies and from exposure to final pesticide products which contain other chemical substances alongside Glyphosate, as well as problems in the interpretation of the toxicological evidence.

The petition is still open to signatures, and it will be delivered to the EU Commission again in early 2016. The EFSA conclusions and the German draft assessment report go probably in March before a Standing Committee on Plants, Animals Food and Feed (Pesticides section). In this Committee Member State representatives and the Commission must take a final decision on the renewal of glyphosate’s authorisation for the European market, before the current extended authorisation expires in June 2016.

Please sign and circulate for more signatures the petition to the EU Commission, the Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, and responsible Ministers of the Member States. Petition available here


[1] (link is external)

[2] (link is external)

Petition delivery

PAN Europe press release

Organising partners include, Corporate Europe Observatory, Ecologistas en Action, Fundación Alborada, Générations futures, Global2000, HEAL, Nature Progres Belgique, Pesticide Action Network Europe, Pesticide Action Network - Italie, Pesticide Action Network - Allemagne, Pesticide Action Network UK, Skiftet, WECF, Wemos and WeMove.EU.

Last updated on 19 January 2016

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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