The General Court in Luxembourg ruled today in two appeal cases that studies regarding carcinogenicity and reproductive toxicity of Glyphosate have to be disclosed. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the European Union and worldwide. The studies were commissioned and paid for by the industry, for obtaining an approval to put Glyphosate on the market in the European Union.
EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority, rejected the requests for disclosure of the studies, filed by four Members of the European Parliament, Heidi Hautala, Benedek Javor, Michèle Rivasi and Bart Staes, and by Antony Tweedale. In these studies Glyphosate was administrated to rats, mice and rabbits. According to EFSA the studies demonstrate that Glyphosate is safe for human health. As the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to the contrary in 2015 concluded, based on publicly available information, that Glyphosate is ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’.
In both cases EFSA refused to disclose the studies to protect the commercial interests of the companies involved. Monsanto and Cheminova, two large pesticides companies, intervened in the proceedings in support of EFSA.
The European General Court ruled in the judgements of today that the studies qualify as information relating to emissions. Information relating to emissions into the environment should, according to the General Court, be disclosed. EFSA may not rely on the protection of commercial interests to keep this kind of information confidential.
It is the first time that the General Court rules that toxicity and carcinogenicity studies, which the European authorities and the industry in general keep confidential, are emissions data that should be disclosed.
In both judgements the General Court annulled EFSA’s decisions. EFSA can appeal these judgements.
The applicants in these proceedings were represented by Bondine Kloostra.
Here you can find to the press release of the General Court.
Here you can find the press release of the Members of European Parliament for the Greens.
Here you can find the news article in Le Monde.
Here you can find the news article in Euronews.