No Qualified Majority for glyphosate renewal: EU Commission will now decide

PAN Europe applauds that some countries share public and scientific concerns

The European Commission's proposal to reapprove the glyphosate licence for 10 years faced another deadlock today. It failed to reach a qualified majority from Member States' representatives in the Appeal Committee. The EU Member States did not agree for the second time in about a month.

PAN Europe welcomes the outcome of the vote. It is an important sign of Europe's growing concerns surrounding the dangers linked to the widely used pesticide.

With no qualified majority for the re-approval, the responsibility for the next steps now falls squarely on the shoulders of the Commission. The Commission already announced its plans to renew glyphosate on its own. A re-approval of glyphosate, however, would breach the EU Pesticide Law, under which health and environment should come first. In case of doubt, the precautionary principle must be invoked.

“We regret that the Commission turns its back to independent science and citizens’ concerns and plans to re-approve this dangerous herbicide for another 10 years. There is alarming evidence highlighting the cancer risks associated with glyphosate, along with the myriad of other reported adverse effects” said Angeliki Lysimachou, Head of Science and Policy at Pesticide Action Network Europe.

A recent IPSOS poll spanning six EU countries shows that only a mere 14% of citizens express support for the prolonged use of glyphosate. In stark contrast, almost two-thirds (62%) of respondents are in favour of a ban on glyphosate.

This week, more than 100 Civil Society Groups sent an open letter to the President of the European Commission, Von der Leyen, urging her to take action.

In Belgium and the Netherlands almost 300 scientists, including over 100 university professors, asked their ministers to take independent science seriously.

Hundreds of scientific findings have underlined in recent years the alarming and unacceptable risks of glyphosate to human health and the environment. These range from cancer, impacts on microbiome and neurotoxicity to impacts on biodiversity and soil health.

Only last month, a new study released groundbreaking data on how low levels of glyphosate herbicides - that have previously assumed to be safe - caused cases of leukaemia in young rats, following early life exposures. The study, known as the 'Global Glyphosate Study,' is a result of international collaboration involving multiple independent institutions and was coordinated by the Ramazzini Institute in Italy.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in its Conclusions identified several data gaps and issues that should have led to a non-renewal.

“Several member states have recognised conclusions of the independent science: this substance does not meet the safety criteria for reapproval in Europe. The independent science is clear, and we call on the Commission to remove this hazardous substance from the European market once and for all,” said Gergely Simon, Senior Policy Officer at PAN Europe.


Contact: Dr Angeliki Lysimachou, Head of Science and Policy at Pesticide Action Network Europe angeliki [at]; +32 496 392930


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Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the European Union, European Commission, DG Environment, LIFE programme. Sole responsibility for this publication lies with the authors and the funders are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.