/commission/commissioners/file/my-letter-dr-richard-p-garnett-chair-board-glyphosate-task-force-1_enMy letter to Dr. Richard P. Garnett, Chair of the Board of the Glyphosate Task Force

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Dear Dr. Gameti.

Subject: Plant protection products - transparency in the context of the decision-making process on glyphosate

I am writing to you in relation to the on-going discussions on the application submitted by the Glyphosate Task Force, asking for the renewal of the active substance glyphosate under Regulation 1107/2009 on the placing on the market of plant protection products.

I have full confidence in the solid assessment of your application by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) with the involvement of EU Member States, either in the function as Rapporteur Member State or in the peer review process.

At the same time. I am mindful of the fact that a significant part of civil society is worried about the different outcome reached by EFSA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) on the carcinogenicity of glyphosate. As Commissioner for Health and Food safety, I cannot ignore such concerns and doubts, and it would be most helpful to clarify whether one of the reasons explaining such divergence is indeed that some studies were available to EFSA and not to IARC.

I am obviously fully aware that transparency must be balanced with other needs of society, such as the protection of private property and protection of the ongoing decision-making process. However, the glyphosate authorisation process has drawn an extraordinary degree of public attention and concerns, particularly in the European Parliament, about the transparency of the European assessment process.

This is a particularly sensitive and complex case and there is consequently a strong public request for full transparency on the studies used by EFSA for the assessment of the carcinogenicity of the substance.

For this reason, I believe that the proactive publication by the Glyphosate Task Force of the full studies including the underlying raw data would be beneficiai for the society as a whole and would facilitate the ongoing discussions and the decision-making process. In fact, I welcome that this interest in transparency is also shared by the Glyphosate Task Force which has dedicated a specific website to ensure "Transparency on safety aspects and use of glyphosate-containing herbicides in Europe" (http://www.glуphosate.eu/safety).

In conclusion, for the sake of facilitating the decision making process and reinforcing trust in the EU on-going procedure, I hereby invite the Glyphosate Task Force to publish proactively the full studies provided to EFSA.


Yours sincerely,
Vytenis Andriukaitis, member of the European Commission