In a letter delivered to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday (28 May), doctor Portier called into question the scientific findings on glyphosate, the most widespread herbicide in the world and notably the active ingredient in Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup.
Following the conclusions of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which found that exposure to glyphosate in food products was not harmful to human health, the Commission decided earlier this month to re-authorise the chemical for another ten years.
The scientist, who examined the data used and published by the European agencies, was surprised by the omissions he found.
According to Portier, the agencies did not take into account observations of increased cancer rates after exposure to glyphosate. In his letter, he attached a complete list of all the missing data and asked EFSA and ECHA to examine them and correct their conclusions.
Juncker did not reply personally to the letter. “Given that the majority of the problems raised by the letter are related to the scientific evaluation of glyphosate, the Commission will ask EFSA and ECHA to respond,” said Anca Paduraru, a spokesperson for the EU executive. She added that it was the Commission’s opinion that there was currently no reason to doubt the evaluation of the EU agencies.