Revealed: EU Glyphosate assessment was based on flawed science

[3. July 2021] A new scientific analysis (1) concludes that the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) claim that glyphosate is not genotoxic cannot be justified on the basis of manufacturers’ studies. Of the 53 industry-funded studies used for the EU’s current authorization of glyphosate, 34 were identified as „not reliable“, 17 as „partly reliable“ and only 2 studies as „reliable“ from a methodological point of view.

Several civil society organizations from the successful European Citizen Initiative (ECI) „Stop Glyphosate“ (2) are calling on the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to take into account these new findings in the new authorization procedure of glyphosate, which are very worrying from an environmental and health point of view (3).

Genotoxicity studies indicate the risk of cancer and reproductive damage posed by a chemical. Public authorities that were involved in the previous European authorization procedure – namely the German Health Authority BfR and EFSA – wrongfully accepted these industry studies as key evidence of the absence of glyphosate genotoxicity. EFSA used this flawed science as a basis to contradict the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)’s 2015 conclusion that glyphosate does in fact “probably cause cancer”.

The current approval of glyphosate on the EU market is expiring on 15 December 2022. A first screening of industry’s 2020 new glyphosate application dossier shows that 38 of the 53 genotoxicity studies on “pure” glyphosate submitted in the previous assessment have been submitted once more to the EU authorities by Bayer Agriculture BV, on behalf of the Glyphosate Renewal Group.

Angeliki Lyssimachou, Environmental Scientist at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) said: “This new scientific analysis shows yet again that the European Union’s claim to having the most rigorous pesticide authorization procedure in the world has to be taken with a heavy grain of salt. The authorization procedure in place is evidently not rigorous enough to detect errors in the execution of the regulatory studies that are blindly considered the gold standard. Yet these were at the heart of the 2017 EU-market approval of glyphosate, and they have now been submitted again in an effort to water down scientific evidence that glyphosate may cause cancer and is a danger to human health.”

Helmut Burtscher, Biochemist at GLOBAL 2000 said: “If you subtract from the 53 genotoxicity studies, those studies that are not reliable and those studies that are of minor importance for the assessment of genotoxicity in humans, then nothing remains. Nothing, except the question on what basis the EU authorities have claimed that glyphosate is ’not genotoxic‘. Did they have a crystal ball?”

Peter Clausing, Toxicologist at Pesticide Action Network Germany (PAN Germany) said:  “A rigorous authorization procedure is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition to protect the health of the people and the environment. In 2017 the authorities of the European Union violated their own rules to ensure an outcome that pleased the chemical industry. Not much is achieved, if rules and recommendations are on paper, but not applied.”

Nina Holland, Researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory said: „The last re-approval process of glyphosate caused huge controversies, as Monsanto was shown to be undermining the science regarding the harmful effects of glyphosate. This new scientific review puts once more a finger on a sore spot: that national regulators and EU authorities alike do not seem to pay close scrutiny when looking at the quality of industry’s own studies. This is shocking as it is their job to protect people’s health and the environment, not serve the interests of the pesticide industry.“

Eoin Dubsky, Campaigner at SumOfUs said: “People are sick of glyphosate, and we’re sick of being lied to. That’s why SumOfUs members funded this important analysis, and why we’ll keep campaigning until this herbicide is banned. How could EFSA give glyphosate a thumbs-up based on such shoddy scientific studies, when IARC warned that it’s genotoxic, and probably cancer-causing too?”


You can find the scientific study here

You can find a Q&A on the study here

You can find a short backgrounder on what happened so far in the glyphosate dossier here


For more information and interview requests:

Helmut Burtscher, Biochemist at GLOBAL 2000: helmut@global2000.at and +43 69914200034

Angeliki Lyssimachou, Environmental Scientist at Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL): angeliki@env-health.org and +32 496 392930

Nina Holland, Researcher at Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO): nina@corporateeurope.org and +32  466294420

Peter Clausing, Toxicologist at Pesticide Action Network Germany (PAN Germany): peter.clausing@pan-germany.org and  +49 176 4379 5932.

Eoin Dubsky, Campaigner at SumOfUs: eoin@sumofus.org and +31 641636410


Notes to the editor:

(1) The scientific analysis was conducted by Armen Nersesyan and Prof. Siegfried Knasmueller, two renowned experts on genotoxicity testing, from the Institute of Cancer Research at the Department of Medicine I, Medical University of Vienna. No less than 34 out of 53 industry-funded genotoxicity studies used for the EU’s current authorization of glyphosate were identified by the scientists as „not reliable“, because of substantial deviations from OECD Test Guideline, which can be expected to impair the sensitivity and accuracy of the test system. As for the rest of the 53 studies, 17 were „partly reliable“ and only 2 studies „reliable“.

(2) Stop Glyphosate – European Citizens‘ Initiative to Ban Glyphosate

(3) The European Commission and member states are gearing up to review the current approval of glyphosate, which expires on 15 December 2022. The industry has started the process to renew it. The assessment of the application for EU renewal of glyphosate was performed by the AGG, consisting of the authorities for the assessment of active ingredients of France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Sweden (the last assessment procedure was handled by Germany alone). The assessment was sent to EFSA on 15 June and was based on a dossier submitted last summer by the applicants, the Glyphosate Renewal Group (GRG). See: pesticides_aas_agg_report_202106.pdf (europa.eu)

Glyphosate is the most widely-used pesticide in the world. Exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides has been linked to certain types of cancer, as well as to adverse effects on the development and hormonal system.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that glyphosate „probably causes cancer“. Yet in 2017, glyphosate was reauthorised on the European market until December 2022 by representatives of European governments. This decision was criticised heavily by civil society groups and scientists alike for lacking transparency and scientific objectivity, being predominantly based on industry-sponsored studies and overlooking findings from academic independent literature.

Back in 2015 – 2017 civil society and members of the European Parliament managed to reduce the glyphosate authorization in the European Union from 15 years to 5 years. More importantly, the campaign raised awareness on the toxicity of glyphosate-based products, the major problems underlying the pesticide authorization system and how there are alternatives to glyphosate in agriculture.

In March 2019 four Green Members of the European Parliament got a positive ruling from the ECJ (https://www.greens-efa.eu/en/article/press/ecj-ruling-a-victory-in-the-fight-for-health-transparency-and-the-environment ) stating EFSA should publish all (secret) studies around the cancer risks of glyphosate. NGO SumOfUs requested 54 genotoxicity studies from EFSA and started a crowd funding action to be able to pay independent scientists to screen these studies.

Pestizidhersteller und Menschenrechte

PAN Germany Pestizid-Brief 2 – 2018

Im Juni veröffentlichte das Freiburger Öko-Institut den Bericht „Umweltschutz wahrt Menschenrechte“ im Kontext globalen Unternehmenshandelns (1). Eine Fallstudie in diesem Bericht ist den Pestizidexporten von BASF und Bayer gewidmet. „Produkte die im eigenen Land aufgrund ihrer GefĂ€hrlichkeit nicht zugelassen sind, sollten auch nicht ins Ausland verkauft werden dĂŒrfen. Ein solcher Doppelstandard fĂŒhrt dazu, dass die GefĂ€hrdung von Menschen und Ökosystemen bewusst in Kauf genommen wird“, lautet das Fazit des Berichts, der sich damit langjĂ€hrigen Forderungen von PAN anschließt, und sich somit folgerichtig in seinen Empfehlungen fĂŒr eine Weiterentwicklung des Code of Conduct der WelternĂ€hrungsorganisation (FAO) und die Anpassung einschlĂ€giger Regelungen ausspricht.

Export hochgefĂ€hrlicher Pestizide – die Datenbasis

Der Export von Pestiziden ist in Deutschland eine feste ökonomische GrĂ¶ĂŸe. Im Durchschnitt der letzten fĂŒnf statistisch verfĂŒgbaren Jahre (2012-2016) waren es – bezogen auf die Wirkstoffe – 65.651 Tonnen pro Jahr, 42 Prozent mehr als im gleichen Zeitraum im Inland verkauft wurde (2). Dass der Löwenanteil der exportierten Menge von Bayer CropScience und BASF kommen dĂŒrfte, liegt auf der Hand. Die exportierten Pestizide schließen Wirkstoffe der Kategorie „hochgefĂ€hrliche Pestizide“ (3), HHPs in der englischen AbkĂŒrzung, ein, von denen einige, aber lĂ€ngst nicht all in Deutschland bzw. in der EU verboten sind. Ein Anwendungsverbot ist eben noch lange kein Produktionsverbot. Hinzu kommt, dass diese multinationalen Konzerne ihre Pestizide nicht nur aus Deutschland exportieren, sondern ggf. von auslĂ€ndischen Tochterunternehmen herstellen lassen. Zum Beispiel betreibt der Bayerkonzern den Recherchen des Öko-Instituts zufolge Produktionsanlagen an ĂŒber 130 Standorten in 34 LĂ€ndern, was vom Öko-Institut aufgrund der anstehenden Fusionen und VerkĂ€ufe von Unternehmensteilen zu Recht als Momentaufnahme bezeichnet wurde.

Der Bericht des Öko-Instituts Freiburg (1) befasst sich beispielhaft mit solchen HHP-Wirkstoffen, die in der EU nicht zugelassen sind und nutzt als Ausgangspunkt die HHP-Liste von PAN International (4) sowie die Rechercheergebnisse von PAN Germany zu HHPs von Bayer und BASF aus dem Jahr 2012 (5). Als Beispiele werden in dem Bericht folgende Wirkstoffe aufgefĂŒhrt, die in LĂ€ndern wie SĂŒdafrika, Indien oder Brasilien vermarktet werden: Carbofuran (Bayer, hohe akute ToxizitĂ€t, hochtoxisch fĂŒr Bienen), dem Rotterdamer PIC-Übereinkommen unterliegend (6), Acephate (Bayer, hochtoxisch fĂŒr Bienen), Thiodicarb (Bayer, wahrscheinlich krebserregend beim Menschen, hochtoxisch fĂŒr Bienen), Tepraloxydim (BASF, hormonschĂ€dlich) und Temephos (BASF, hochtoxisch fĂŒr Bienen). Auf Anfrage des Öko-Instituts teilte Bayer in einer Stellungnahme mit, dass der Vertrieb des Produkts Tamaron Gold (Wirkstoff Acephat) eingestellt worden sei. Allerdings wird das Produkt Tamaron Gold auch nach Eingang dieser Stellungnahmen und (wie eine gerade durchgefĂŒhrte ÜberprĂŒfung ergab) bis zum heutigen Tag auf der indischen Website des Unternehmens beworben (7), was die GlaubwĂŒrdigkeit der Konzernaussage erheblich schmĂ€lert.

Bewertung der Menschenrechtsperspektive – die Rechtsgrundlage

Der besondere Wert des Berichts des Öko-Instituts besteht in der VerknĂŒpfung der HHP-Recherche mit einer juristischen Bewertung aus Menschenrechtsperspektive und einer Analyse der Managementprozesse bei Bayer und BASF. BezĂŒglich der Menschenrechte analysiert der Bericht die Möglichkeiten und Grenzen des Rotterdamer PIC-Übereinkommens.

FĂŒr Chemikalien, einschließlich Pestiziden, die im Rotterdamer PIC-Übereinkommen gelistet sind, hat das importierende Land das Recht, vom Exporteur umfangreiche Informationen beispielweise zur ToxizitĂ€t und zu notwendigen Schutzmaßnahmen fĂŒr die Anwendung des Pestizids bereit gestellt zu bekommen. Basierend auf diesen Informationen hat es das Recht, die Einfuhr zu beschrĂ€nken oder zu verbieten. Der Logik des Übereinkommens folgend, mĂŒssten im Fall einer solchen BeschrĂ€nkung bzw. eines solchen Verbots, die Staaten auch die eigene Herstellung beschrĂ€nken oder verbieten, wenn sie sich den Vorwurf der Anwendung doppelter Standards ersparen wollten.

In diesem Sinne wurde die EU-Verordnung 649/2012 erlassen, die das PIC-Übereinkommen in EU-Recht umsetzt. Doch die Entscheidungsgewalt ĂŒber BeschrĂ€nkungen oder Verbote bleibt in vollem Umfang bei den importierenden Staaten – in der „weiterhin leider fiktiven“ Annahme, so der Bericht des Öko-Instituts, dass diese Staaten die völkerrechtlichen Verpflichtungen, die sie gegenĂŒber ihren BĂŒrgern haben, wirksam durchsetzen wĂŒrden. DarĂŒber hinaus gibt es eine zentrale HĂŒrde, um extraterritoriale Menschenrechtsverletzungen deutscher Unternehmen zu sanktionieren: das sogenannte „gesellschaftsrechtliche Trennungsprinzip“, dem zufolge „die Rechte und Pflichten jeder rechtlich eigenstĂ€ndigen Gesellschaft unabhĂ€ngig voneinander zu ermitteln“ sind. Damit wird ein Zusammenhang des Fehlverhaltens voneinander unabhĂ€ngiger RechtstrĂ€ger ausgeschlossen. Die Konzernzentralen haften also grundsĂ€tzlich nicht fĂŒr das Verhalten ihrer Tochterunternehmen, egal wie groß der ökonomische Einfluss der Konzernzentrale ist (8). Dies ist ein klassisches Schlupfloch, um im Bereich der Menschenrechte nicht zur Verantwortung gezogen zu werden. Noch unverbindlicher ist die Situation bezĂŒglich der Mitverantwortung bei Rechtsverletzungen von Zulieferern innerhalb der Wertschöpfungskette.

In Deutschland gibt es laut Bericht des Öko-Instituts jedoch einen Ansatzpunkt, um tatsĂ€chliche Mitverantwortung bei den Konzernen einzufordern – das Deliktsrecht: „Danach sind Unternehmen dazu verpflichtet, die innerbetrieblichen AblĂ€ufe so zu strukturieren, zu organisieren und zu ĂŒberwachen, dass SchĂ€digungen Dritter im zumutbaren Umfang vermieden werden. Unternehmen haben also fĂŒr Gefahrensicherung in ihrem Organisationsbereich Sorge zu tragen; je grĂ¶ĂŸer die Gefahren, desto intensiver sind die mit dieser Gefahrensicherung verbundenen Organisations- und Überwachungsverpflichtungen.“ (8) Dass, auf dieser Basis gerichtliche Schritte tatsĂ€chlich möglich sind, zeigt ein Beispiel aus Großbritannien, wo eine Ă€hnliche Rechtsgrundlage besteht und wo die Klage von sambischen Bauern gegen einen britischen Bergbaukonzern vom Gericht zugelassen wurde.

Unternehmerische Managementprozesse auf freiwilliger Grundlage

Es gibt zwei internationale Richtlinien, die Handlungsempfehlungen fĂŒr die Konzerne aussprechen, allerdings auf freiwilliger Basis:

  • der seit 1985 existierende International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management, zuletzt 2017 aktualisiert (9), gemeinsam herausgegeben von FAO und WHO, und
  • die UN Leitprinzipien zu Unternehmen und Menschenrechten (10)

Sowohl Bayer als auch BASF haben nach EinschĂ€tzung des Berichts vom Öko-Institut eine Reihe von Managementprozessen im Bereich der Produktverantwortung eingefĂŒhrt. Beide Unternehmen haben sich öffentlich zum „Code of Conduct“ (siehe oben) bekannt und unterstĂŒtzen die „Nachhaltigkeits-Initiative der deutschen Chemie“ (11). Allerdings waren die beiden Unternehmen weder zu einem entsprechenden Interview mit dem Öko-Institut bereit, noch zeichnen sich die öffentlich zugĂ€nglichen Dokumente „durch eine besondere Detailtiefe aus“, um die zurĂŒckhaltende Formulierung des Öko-Instituts zu zitieren (12).

Nach Angaben des Öko-Instituts zufolge haben beide Unternehmen gegenĂŒber 2012 die Zahl HHPs in ihrem Portfolio reduziert (13). Allerdings bleibt offen, wie viele Wirkstoffe davon aufgrund ausgelaufener Patente vom Markt genommen wurden, um Platz fĂŒr neue patent-geschĂŒtzte Pestizide zu machen. Das wurde vom Öko-Institut nicht untersucht.

Abschließend spricht der Bericht eine Reihe von Empfehlungen aus. Dazu zĂ€hlt, dass die Thematik der HHPs im Code of Conduct kĂŒnftig stĂ€rker berĂŒcksichtigt werden sollte und dass es nicht möglich sein sollte, „Produkte die im eigenen Land aufgrund ihrer GefĂ€hrlichkeit nicht zugelassen sind“, ins Ausland zu verkaufen (14). DarĂŒber hinaus sieht das Öko-Institut Handlungsbedarf fĂŒr die Weiterentwicklung der rechtlichen Grundlagen, um sicher zu stellen, dass „der tatsĂ€chlich bestehende Einfluss von Muttergesellschaften auch haftungsrechtlich relevant wird (14). Die Studie des Öko-Institutes untermauert damit Forderungen der UN Sonderberichterstatterin fĂŒr das Recht auf Nahrung und von PAN International nach einem weltweiten verpflichtenden Vertrag zur Regulierung hochgefĂ€hrlicher Pestizide (HHPs) (15).

Insgesamt stellt die Fallstudie eine wichtige ErgÀnzung mit Blick auf das Agieren der Pestizidkonzerne im Ausland dar, wÀhrend sich das in Berlin ansÀssige European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) vor allem mit der binnenrechtlichen Verantwortung deutscher Chemiekonzerne beim Pestizidexport befasst hat (16).

(Dr. Peter Clausing, PAN Germany)



(1)        Download ĂŒber https://www.oeko.de/presse/archiv-pressemeldungen/2018/deutsche-unternehmen-gefaehrden-umwelt-und-menschrechte/

(2)        Siehe: http://www.bmel-statistik.de/fileadmin/user_upload/monatsberichte/SJT-3060720-2016.xlsx

(3)        Der Begriff wird im Pestizidbrief 3/2017 vom 27.9.2017 kurz erlÀutert (http://webarchiv.sub.uni-hamburg.de/weltweit/wayback/20180122104336/http://www.pan-germany.org/download/pestizid-brief/PB3_2017_Mexiko-Studie_Final.pdf

(4)        https://pan-germany.org/download/pan-international-list-of-highly-hazardous-pesticides/?wpdmdl=412&ind=1521198756530

(5)        PAN Germany (2012): HochgefÀhrliche Pestizide von BASF, Bayer und Syngenta! http://archiv.pan-germany.org/pan-germany.org_180405/www.pan-germany.org/download/Big3_DE.pdf

(6)        Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, http://www.pic.int/

(7)        https://www.bayer.in/products/products-from-a-to-z/product-detail-35.php (Zugriff 7.7.2018). Vgl. hierzu auch die von PAN Germany durchgefĂŒhrte ÜberprĂŒfung der Einhaltung der am 19.6.2013 ĂŒbernommenen Selbstverpflichtung von BASF, Bayer und Syngenta (http://webarchiv.sub.uni-hamburg.de/weltweit/wayback/20180122104154/http://www.pan-germany.org/download/Niederschrift_DE_130918_FF.pdf) bezĂŒglich des Verzichts auf die Vermarktung von hochtoxischen Pestiziden (WHO-Klasse 1a/1b)

(8)        Siehe (3), S. 32

(9)        http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/agphome/documents/Pests_Pesticides

(10)     https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/GuidingPrinciplesBusinessHR_EN.pdf

(11)     https://www.chemiehoch3.de/de/home.html

(12)     Siehe (3), S. 33

(13)     Siehe (3), S. 35

(14)     Siehe (3), S. 36

(15)     http://archiv.pan-germany.org/pan-germany.org_180405/www.pan-germany.org/download/presse/PAN_International_press_release%20_SR_report_March_2017.pdf

(16)     https://www.ecchr.eu/fall/bayer-doppelstandards-beim-vertrieb-von-pestiziden/

New overview of data on chlorpyrifos residues in fruits strengthens health-case for EU-wide ban

Brussels, 19.06.2019. Common press release.

Chlorpyrifos, a pesticide known for its damaging effects on children’s brain development, is among the top 15 active substances most frequently found in European unprocessed food and prominently present in fruit. This is the conclusion of a new briefing published today, bringing together all official EU data on the analysis of 791 different pesticide residues [1].

Chlorpyrifos is most often detected in citrus fruits: more than 1 out of 3 sampled grapefruits (39%) and lemons (36%), and 1 out of 4 sampled oranges (29%) and mandarins (25%) contained chlorpyrifos residues.

The current authorisation of chlorpyrifos in the European Union is set to expire on 31 January 2020. Member States in charge of the safety assessment of this pesticide are among those countries where residues of the pesticide were most frequently detected in fruits. Spain, where roughly 1 in 5 sampled fruit, including 40% of oranges and 35% of mandarins, are contaminated with chlorpyrifos, is the rapporteur Member State assigned to oversee the re-authorisation dossier. Poland, acting as co-rapporteur, tops the charts as the country with the highest contamination of chlorpyrifos in apples.

Earlier this week, a series of investigative articles published by media outlets across Europe highlighted that the previous European market approval process of chlorpyrifos ignored hundreds of independent studies showing evidence of brain-harming effects [2]. The investigation also found that the EU approval was based on just one single study, that was commissioned by industry [3].

Exposure to chlorpyrifos, even in small doses, can harm children’s brain development and hormonal systems. Scientists have linked it to decreases of IQ in children, working memory loss, endocrine disruption, autism and Parkinson’s Disease [4].

Close to 200,000 have already raised their voices to demand a toxic-free future for farming and food [5]. This #BanChlorpyrifos petition – launched by international consumer watchdog SumOfUs, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), GĂ©nĂ©rations Futures, Ecologistas en AcciĂłn, and the European and German branches of the Pesticide Action Network – is pressuring European governments and the Commission to ban chlorpyrifos for good.


GĂ©non K. Jensen, Executive Director at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) says: “Parents should not have to worry about harming their children’s health when feeding them fruits like oranges or mandarins, which show the highest levels of chlorpyrifos residues. The body of evidence on neurotoxicity of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl is compelling. Chronic exposure to low doses such as residues in fruit is linked to a decrease in IQ and working memory loss in children, there should be zero tolerance. We call on national governments and the EU institutions to make the withdrawal of both substances a public health priority.”

Angeliki Lyssimachou, Science Policy Officer at Pesticide Action Network Europe says: “It’s outrageous that our regulatory system allows for neurotoxic chlorpyrifos, known to harm children’s brains, to be used on open fields and its residues to be present in our food. We call upon Regulators to ban chlorpyrifos at once and improve our pesticide authorisation system, which currently promotes dependency on toxic pesticides in agriculture threatening -rather than protecting- human health and the environment.”

Nabil Berbour, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs says: “This toxic pesticide is harmful to children’s brain development and should have been banned a long time ago in Europe as revealed by a series of investigative pieces in the European press this week. It’s time for EU governments to put people’s health before the pesticide industry’s profits. In a petition launched by the #StopChlorpyrifos group, more than 191,000 EU citizens urge them to do so.”

Peter Clausing, Board member of Pesticide Action Network Germany says: “Chlorpyrifos represents a bold example that the EU’s risk assessment for neurotoxic effects is outdated and insufficient.”



Yannick Vicaire, Chemicals and Health Policy Campaigner at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), yannick@env-health.org, tel.: 0033 (0) 608 755 015

Angeliki Lyssimachou, Science Policy Officer at Pesticide Action Network Europe, angeliki@pan-europe.org, tel.: +32 496 39 29 30

Nabil Berbour, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs, nabil@sumofus.org, tel.: +33 7 56 82 06 55



[1] “Chlorpyrifos residues in fruits, the case for a EU-wide ban to protect consumers”, published June 2019 by the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and Pesticide Action Network Europe. https://www.env-health.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/June-2019-PAN-HEAL-Briefing-chlorpyrifos_web.pdf

[2] This series of articles includes:

–      Main portal (English): Investigative Reporting Denmark (https://www.ir-d.dk/chlorpyrifos/)

–      In English: the EU Observer (https://euobserver.com/health/145146)

–      In French:  Le Monde (https://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2019/06/17/chlorpyrifos-les-dangers-ignores-d-un-pesticide-toxique_5477084_3244.html)

–      In Dutch: Knack (https://www.knack.be/nieuws/belgie/europa-onderzoekt-verbod-op-insectenvergif-dat-in-onze-voeding-opduikt/article-longread-1477255.html)

–       In Spanish: El Confidencial (https://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnologia/ciencia/2019-06-17/pesticia-agricultura-espana-peligro-ue-prohibicion_2073403/)

[3] Safety of Safety Evaluation of Pesticides: developmental neurotoxicity of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl. Mie, Rudén, Grandjean. Environ Health. 2018 Nov 16;17(1):77. doi: 10.1186/s12940-018-0421-y https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30442131

[4] Factsheet ‘EU should ban brain-harming chlorpyrifos to protect health’ (published August 2018 by the HEAL, PAN Europe, GĂ©nĂ©rations Futures and PAN Germany).

[5] SumOfUs petition: No more toxic chlorpyrifos in our food: https://actions.sumofus.org/a/chlorpyrifos (also available in German, Spanish and French). Campaign video: https://twitter.com/SumOfUs/status/1140606268157157376

Infographic ‘Ban the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos from our plates’ (published June 2019 by HEAL) https://www.env-health.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Ban-Chlorpyrifos-Infographic-v2.png


New academic paper condemns pesticide risk assessment practices ahead of Farm to Fork Strategy and REFIT

„Green recovery“ from COVID-19 crisis demands healthy and sustainable food system

Press release from Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 20 April 2020.

Contact in the first instance:
Dr Angeliki Lyssimachou, PAN Europe +32 496392930; angeliki@pan-europe.info

A new peer-reviewed paper authored by a group of experts in law, policy, and toxicology has identified systemic failings in Europe’s pesticide risk assessment process.

The experts have proposed a comprehensive agenda for far-reaching reform after their paper outlined how these failings could seriously undermine ambitions for sustainable agriculture and a “green recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Calls for such a “green recovery” have arisen from 13 European climate and environment ministers, from 180 policy makers, business leaders, researchers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and from WWF. On 16 April, Frans Timmermans, executive vice-president of the European Commission in charge of the European Green Deal, added his voice, demanding an end to old, polluting models of production and a shift to a “circular, sustainable and highly competitive economy”.

These thought leaders agree that business as usual is not an option.

Regulatory failings

According to the new paper, published in the European Journal of Risk Regulation, Europe is consistently failing to implement and enforce its own regulations on pesticides. While the EU’s pesticides Regulation 1107/2009 is, in theory, one of the most stringent in the world, it has yet to achieve its aim of “an independent, objective and transparent assessment of pesticides and achieve a high level of protection for health and environment”. The paper presents a series of recommendations to resolve these problems.

Focusing on glyphosate as a case study of scientific and regulatory controversy, the paper highlights:

  • Widespread misuse and misinterpretation of scientific research, with cherry-picking of favorable studies, plagiarism and uncritical repetition of findings presented as independent validation, and misuse of statistical and analytical tools
  • Ongoing failure to address mixture effects, including of additives which, even though they can change the toxicity profile of the active ingredient, are not part of the pesticide approval process
  • Failure to properly address conflicts of interest within regulatory agencies, undermining the independence and objectivity of pesticide assessments.

As a result of these failings, multiple pesticides are passing through the regulatory process and being authorized in spite of their potential to harm human and animal health and the environment.

Proposed solutions

The authors find that for the most part, the law itself is not at fault. Instead, the problem lies with a failure on the part of regulatory bodies to implement or enforce the hard or „soft“ laws governing how pesticides are regulated.

The authors propose ways to improve the system, requiring changes in the way in which regulators carry out the risk assessment process, as well as in the way that current scientific knowledge and scientific analytical tools are applied.

These include:

  • Wider use of “systematic review” methods to ensure objectivity and transparency in evaluating scientific research results
  • Proper use of the “weight-of-evidence” approach to integrate different lines of evidence, so that, for example, different types of evidence indicating that a pesticide is carcinogenic are not evaluated and dismissed separately but are considered together in an integrated fashion
  • Evaluating the toxicity of pesticide formulations as sold and used rather than just the isolated “active” ingredients that are tested and assessed for safety in regulatory purposes – since the formulations can be far more toxic

Details of the new paper

Achieving a High Level of Protection from Pesticides in Europe: Problems with the Current Risk Assessment Procedure and Solutions

Claire ROBINSON, Christopher J. PORTIER, Aleksandra ČAVOƠKI, Robin MESNAGE, Apolline ROGER, Peter CLAUSING, Paul WHALEY, Hans MUILERMAN and Angeliki LYSSIMACHOU

DOI: European Journal of Risk Regulation, 16 April 2020

The new paper is published as the EU Commission prepares to publish its Farm to Fork (F2F) Strategy as part of the European Green Deal. F2F aims to „secure a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system“ and will include „measures to significantly reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides“.

As well as the F2F, the Commission will publish its long overdue REFIT evaluation of the EU pesticide legislation assessing “if the regulations meet the needs of citizens, businesses and public institutions in an efficient manner“ and giving recommendations on future actions. Concerns have been raised that REFIT appears to be focused on making EU regulations „better“ for industry and that the pesticides regulations will be deliberately weakened as a result.

The publication of F2F as well as the REFIT of the pesticide Regulation has been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis, and the farmers‘ association COPA-COGECA has lobbied for the publication to be delayed until autumn – or for an impact assessment to be carried out first.

But Claire Robinson, editor at GMWatch and first author of the new paper commented, „COVID-19 has shown us that human health must be the priority and that sustainable food production is crucial. We cannot afford more delays in implementing a healthy, sustainable, and resilient food system.“

This call is backed by an open letter signed by 40 NGOs, asking the Commission not to further delay the F2F publication and “to show that it is actively steering the EU towards a greener future, of which sustainable and resilient food systems are an essential part”.


Quotes from the authors

Dr Apolline Roger, Law and Policy Advisor, ClientEarth, Brussels, Belgium, said: „The pesticides Regulation has great elements. For the most part, it is not the law that needs to be reformed, but the way it is implemented. We detail the reforms that are needed in our recommendations.“

Prof Christopher Portier, Senior Contributing Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund, and former Director, US National Center for Environmental Health, USA, said: “Scientific rigour and complete transparency are critical to both the evaluation of data used in regulatory decision making and to the trust the public will have in those evaluations. This article describes improvements that will strengthen both scientific rigor and transparency.”

Paul Whaley, an academic at Lancaster University in the UK specializing in novel methods for evaluating health risks from chemical exposures, said: “The European Food Safety Authority has been a world-leading agency in proposing reforms to how scientific research is used in pesticide risk assessment, particularly in applying systematic review methods to analyze evidence of potential health risks. The problem is, these reforms are being implemented too slowly and too unevenly, leaving too many chemicals being assessed with methods which are obsolete, opaque, and produce unreliable results.”

Dr Peter Clausing, toxicologist at the Pesticide Action Network Germany, said: „The ‚weight-of-evidence‘ approach is an important concept to consolidate scientific data. Our paper shows that there is considerable room for improvement in the way the European authorities make use of this concept during risk assessment of pesticides.“

Professor Aleksandra Čavoơki, University of Birmingham, said: “EFSA has made significant strides in improving its independence policy with the aim of preventing the revolving door effect. However, EFSA’s independence policy does not go far enough to prevent conflicts of interest that may result from the provision of research funding.”



New study reveals dramatic rise in global pesticide poisonings

Worldwide poisonings up from 25 million in 1990 to 385 million today

For immediate release: December 9, 2020

In a comprehensive study, scientists report that pesticide poisonings on farms around the world have risen dramatically since the last global assessment 30 years ago. Based on an evaluation of available poisoning data from countries all over the world, the researchers conclude that there are about 385 million cases of acute poisonings each year, up from an estimated 25 million cases in 1990.

This means that about 44% of the global population working on farms — 860 million farmers and agricultural workers – are poisoned every year.

The systematic review of unintentional acute pesticide poisonings was published today in the peer-reviewed  journal BMC Public Health. The article, entitled “The global distribution of acute unintentional pesticide poisoning: Estimations based on a systematic review,” is the first such global estimate since 1990.

“These findings underscore the urgency of reducing and eliminating the use of highly hazardous pesticides,” says Kristin Schafer, coordinator of Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International. “These pesticides are causing the unacceptable poisoning of those who produce our food, but also chronic health effects such as cancer and ecological impacts such as the collapse of biodiversity. Time for global action is long overdue.”

The study found that the greatest number of non-fatal poisoning cases was in southern Asia, followed by Southeast Asia and East Africa. The highest single national incidence was in Burkina Faso, where nearly 84% of farmers and farm workers experience unintentional acute pesticide poisonings annually.

Total fatalities around the world from unintended pesticide poisonings are estimated at around 11,000 deaths per year. Nearly 60% of which occur in just one country, India, indicating serious problems with pesticide use, according to the researchers.

“Pesticide poisonings are a public health crisis that must be addressed,” said Sarojeni Rengam, Executive Director of PAN Asia Pacific. “Beyond the immediate suffering, poisonings can also reflect exposure that cause long term, chronic health effects. It’s shocking and shameful that this problem has gotten worse rather than better over the past 30 years.”

The authors of the new study conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature published between 2006 and 2018, selecting a total of 157 papers after assessing over 800 papers for eligibility according to set criteria, and additional data from the WHO cause-of-death database. The data covered 141 countries in total. Most studies focused on occupational poisonings, particularly of farmers and agricultural workers.

“We realize there are limitations in the data on pesticide poisonings,” notes Javier Souza, PAN Latin America’s coordinator. “But this study clearly shows this as a serious, global problem that warrants immediate action. Highly hazardous pesticides must be phased out by 2030 to meet global Sustainable Development Goals, and we must shift to healthier and more resilient systems like agroecology. ”

The estimated number of global nonfatal unintended pesticide poisonings in the current study is significantly greater than previous estimates. This is in part because the current study covers a greater number of countries, and also because there has been an 81% increase in pesticide use since 1990 (an estimated 4.1 million tonnes of pesticides were used worldwide in 2017). The researchers point to underreporting to explain the relatively low estimates of fatalities. Underreporting is also an issue for pesticide poisonings overall, as many country-specific reporting systems lack a central reporting point or lack a legal mechanism requiring incident reporting.

The authors conclude that the heavy burden of non-fatal unintended pesticide poisonings, particularly for farmers and farmworkers, brings into focus the current policy bias towards focusing only on fatalities, and the need to more seriously address the overall pesticide poisoning problem in international and national policies and regulations.

Note to reporters: While this study did not cover pesticide poisoning suicides, an estimated 14 million people have died from suicide using pesticides since the Green Revolution in the 1960s. A recent systematic review of data on suicides from 2006-2015, which this review did not cover, found that pesticides accounted for 14-20% of global suicides leading to 110,000-168,000 deaths annually during the period 2010-2014.


Media contacts:

Available for interviews:

  • Sarojeni Rengam, PAN Asia Pacific – Sarojeni.rengam@panap.net
  • Susan Haffmans, PAN Germany – Susan.haffmans@pan-germany.org
  • Javier Souza, PAN Latin America (Spanish) – javierrapal@yahoo.com.ar
  • Maimouna Diene, PAN Africa (French) – maimounadiene@pan-afrique.org

 Pesticide Action Network International (PAN) is a network of over 600 participating nongovernmental organizations, institutions and individuals in over 90 countries working to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. PAN was founded in 1982 and has five independent, collaborating Regional Centers that implement its projects and campaigns. You can find more information at http://pan-international.org.

34 years after the Bhopal disaster: we still need a highly hazardous pesticide ban

December 3rd, 2018, PAN International

December 3rd 2018, is the 34th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster when a gas tank exploded in a Union Carbide pesticide factory in India, killing thousands of people. To date, half a million people have suffered from health consequences linked to that disaster.

With the „Day of No Pesticide Use“ activists from Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International remind the world of this disaster and call on governments, politicians and people to work for the promotion of non-chemical alternatives to Highly Hazardous Pesticides and the ultimate ban of these pesticides.

Keith Tyrell, Director of PAN UK says “Today we remember the 25,000 people who were killed by the Bhopal disaster 34 years ago. But we must also act to protect the hundreds of thousands of other victims who are poisoned by pesticides every year. Non-chemical alternatives exist and they work. We need to help farmers get off the pesticide treadmill and switch to these safer, more sustainable options.”

“Bhopal disaster survivors and victims, are waiting for Dow, the corporation responsible, to be brought to justice after 34 years. Corporate responsibility and accountability is urgently needed now. While thousands of women and men farmers, agricultural workers and children are being poisoned by pesticides every day without recourse, the pesticide corporations are profiting from their poisons. Legally binding treaties on Trans-National Corporations and on Highly Hazardous Pesticide are needed now.” demands Sarojeni Rengam, PAN Asia Pacific’s coordinator.

„Every year, the Bhopal anniversary reminds us just how far the pesticide industry will go to avoid taking responsibility for their dangerous products — and protect their profits,“ says Kristin Schafer, Executive Director of PAN North America. „Union Carbide became Dow, then DowDupont and now „Corteva“ — the very same corporation that has worked so hard to keep the brain-harming insecticide chlorpyrifos on the market here in the US. These pesticide giants aggressively block progress toward a safer, healthier farming future, and must be held accountable.“

Urging the move away from the pesticide-reliant model of agriculture to protect people and the environment from pesticide exposures, Ndeye MaĂŻmouna DiĂšne, coordinator of PAN Africa says „In the name of food security and under pressure from multinational seed companies, African governments are allowing the introduction of genetically modified crops and dangerous synthetic pesticides. We must oppose this model and defend food sovereignty, the right of all peoples to define their own agricultural and food policies. Our governments must support us more so that we can further develop agroecology and the traditional agriculture that we have been practicing for centuries“

Javier Souza Casadinho of PAN Latin America says “Governments should stop working with the pesticide industry to promote policies that favor monocultures and their package of associated agrochemicals. Instead governments must promote policies supporting agroecology. Agroecology enables the development of profitable and sustainable production systems providing healthy food for all. This is food sovereignty”.

Summing up this call for global action, Susan Haffmans of PAN Germany says, „The third of December reminds us that we have to get away from pesticide-intensive agriculture that uses highly hazardous pesticides. Farmers and rural communities all over the world suffer from pesticide-related health impacts, and most soils and water bodies are contaminated with pesticides. If we want to secure our children’s health and future we need globally binding actions on Highly Hazardous Pesticides and global political will to support agroecological systems of agriculture.“


Press Contacts:
Javier Souza Casadinho, PAN Latin America, javierrapal@yahoo.com.ar ,+11 15 3617 1782 Maiimouna Diene, PAN Africa, maimounadiene@pan-afrique.org, +223 64898163
Susan Haffmans, PAN Germany, susan.haffmans@pan-germany.org , +49(0)40-3991910-25
Sarojeni Rengam, PAN Asia Pacific, sarojeni.rengam@panap.net
Paul Towers, PAN North America, ptowers@panna.org , +10119165883100
Keith Tyrell, PAN United Kingdom, keithtyrell@pan-uk.org , +447588706224

About PAN International: Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is a network of over 600 participating nongovernmental organizations, institutions and individuals in over 90 countries working to replace the use of hazardous pesticides with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. PAN was founded in 1982 and has five independent, collaborating Regional Centers that implement its projects and campaigns.
For more information visit

Global Outrage at FAO Plans to Partner with Pesticide Industry

Hundreds of civil society and Indigenous Peoples organizations call on the UN agency to renounce planned alliance with CropLife International

Rome – Today 350 organizations in 63 countries representing hundreds of thousands of farmers, fisherfolk, agricultural workers and other communities, as well as human rights, faith-based, environmental and economic justice institutions, delivered a letter to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Qu Dongyu urging him to stop recently-announced plans to deepen collaboration with CropLife International by entering into a formal partnership.

CropLife is a global trade association representing the interests of companies that produce and promote pesticides, including highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs). According to the letter, HHPs “are responsible for a wide range of devastating health harms to farmers, agricultural workers and rural families around the world,” and these chemicals have “decimated pollinator populations and are wreaking havoc on biodiversity and fragile ecosystems” as well.

“This proposed alliance is deeply inappropriate and directly undermines FAO’s goals of supporting food systems that are healthy, resilient and productive while safeguarding the sustainability of the environment,” says Sarojeni Rengam, Director of Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Asia Pacific. “CropLife’s purpose, on the other hand, is to advocate for continued use of the pesticides that its members sell. These hazardous and antiquated chemical solutions pose deadly obstacles to the urgently needed transition to innovative, knowledge-intensive ecological approaches to farming.”

Ms. Rengam delivered the letter today on behalf of PAN International, ten other co-sponsoring organizations and networks, and hundreds of signatories.

The letter highlights a recent analysis of industry records that documents that CropLife member companies BASF, Bayer Crop Science, Corteva Agriscience, FMC and Syngenta make more than one-third of their sales income from highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) — the pesticides that are most harmful to human health and the environment. The proportion of HHP sales is even higher in developing countries, the letter says, where safety regulations are often less robust and harms to human health and the environment are greater.

“So many of our Yaqui children have died and suffered lifelong disabilities from exposure to toxic pesticides that were banned by the countries that exported them to be used in our territories,” said Mariano Ochoa Millan, former Board member for the International Indian Treaty Council from Rio Yaqui Sonora, Mexico. Millan, who passed away from COVID-19 on August 31, made this statement in response to the July 9, 2020 statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics calling on wealthy nations to halt the practice of exporting banned pesticides. Many of CropLife’s member companies are strong proponents of this practice.

Today’s letter was co-sponsored by a broad-based group of global networks and international organizations: Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), FIAN International, Friends of the Earth International, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), International Indian Treaty Council (IITC), International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers‘ Associations (IUF), Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International, Public Eye and Third World Network.

Marcia Ishii, senior scientist at PAN North America, explained the serious implications of the proposed collaboration: “FAO’s decision to initiate a formal partnership with CropLife is bad news for the millions of farmers whose health and livelihoods have been devastated by the highly hazardous pesticides manufactured by CropLife member companies. Unfortunately, since Mr. Qu’s arrival at FAO, the institution appears to be opening up to deeper collaboration with pesticide companies, which are likely to exploit such a relationship for bluewashing, influencing policy development, and enhancing access to global markets. It is no surprise that FAO’s recently appointed Deputy Director General, Beth Bechdol, comes to FAO with a history of close financial ties to Corteva (formerly Dow/DuPont), a Croplife member headquartered in Bechdol’s home state of Indiana, USA.”

An international group of 286 scientists and researchers have also expressed concern about the proposed alliance, delivering a letter to Director-General Qu Dongyu today, urging him not to pursue a formalization of FAO’s collaboration with CropLife.



Joint letter with full list of signatories (also available here as pdf)

PAN International list of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs)

Public Eye pesticide industry analysis

IAASTD report, 10 years later

FAO’s proposed formalization of partnership with CropLife 

Additional quotes from co-sponsoring partners:

Shiney Varghese, senior policy analyst with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, notes that while FAO says it wants to minimize the harms of pesticides worldwide, CropLife members made more than a third of their income from sales of highly hazardous pesticides in 2018. “In the context of this proposed FAO-CropLife partnership, what is even more important is that many of those sales were made to farmers in low- and middle-income countries like Brazil, India and Thailand, while only 27 percent were made in high income countries. It’s not surprising that CropLife International would want to have a partnership, but why would FAO want to put these low- and middle-income countries at risk?”

„We need a strong FAO, independent of the pesticide industry and free from the market interests of global corporations, committed to safe, healthy food and sustainable farming systems for the benefit of all people,” says Susan Haffmans from PAN Germany. “With its commitment to agroecology, FAO has embarked on this sustainable path. The FAO should not jeopardize its successes in agroecology nor its integrity by cooperating with precisely that branch of industry which is responsible for the production of highly hazardous pesticides and whose products contribute to poisoning people and their environment worldwide.“

“In Latin America, we need policies that support the phasing out Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) and scaling up of agroecology. The proposed partnership between FAO and CropLife would undermine this aim,“ said Fernando Bejarano,  Hub coordinator for the IPEN Latin America Office who supervised several HHPs country situation reports in the region.

EU Plan zum Schutz vor Hormongiften nicht konkret genug

Presseinformation. MĂŒnchen, Hamburg, 7. November 2018.

Heute veröffentlichte die EU Kommission ein lang erwartetes Papier[1] zum Umgang mit endokrinen Disruptoren (endocrine disrupting chemicals, EDCs). Diese sogenannte Communication bleibt leider weit hinter den Möglichkeiten zum effektiven Schutz vor EDCs von Umwelt und Gesundheit zurĂŒck. Dies kritisieren die deutschen Umwelt- und GesundheitsverbĂ€nde WECF, HejSupport und PAN Germany.

Im Wesentlichen fehlen in der Communication ganz konkrete Maßnahmen, die Exposition gegenĂŒber EDCs zu verringern. Dies wĂ€re aber dringend nötig, weil diese schĂ€dlichen Stoffe in vielen Alltagsprodukten vorhanden sind und im Zusammenhang stehen mit Krankheiten, wie Unfruchtbarkeit, Diabetes, Hoden- und Brustkrebs. EDCs finden sich in zahlreichen Alltagsprodukten wie Lebensmitteln, Kunststoffverpackungen, Kosmetikartikel oder Spielzeug. Gelangen sie in den Körper, können sie das Hormonsystem stören und Entwicklungen anstoßen, die zu Krankheiten fĂŒhren können. Die WHO spricht in diesem Zusammenhang von einer „globalen Bedrohung“ der Gesundheit.[2]

Anstatt eines konkreten Aktionsplans, plant die EU Kommission einen zusĂ€tzlichen Fitness Check[3] bestehender EU Gesetze, welcher zu einer weiteren Verzögerung von konkreten Maßnahmen fĂŒhren wird. Außerdem gibt es keine PlĂ€ne, den sogenannten Cocktail-Effekt in bestehende EU Regulierungen zu integrieren. So sind Mensch und Umwelt weiterhin einer Mixtur von einer Vielzahl verschiedener Schadstoffe ausgesetzt sind.

Die Communication ignoriert die Forderungen von UmweltverbĂ€nden, Gesundheitsexperten und einer Vielzahl von Wissenschaftlern, die seit Jahren und wiederholt eine strenge Regulierung fĂŒr EDCs fordern. Vor allem mĂŒssen Schwangere vor EDCs geschĂŒtzt werden, da bereits geringe Dosen dieser Stoffe entscheidenden Einfluss auf die fötale Entwicklung haben können.

Die EU Kommission fordert in ihrem Papier die Mitgliedsstaaten auf, nationale AufklĂ€rungskampagnen zu starten. Damit ist die Bundesregierung dringend aufgefordert, einen nationalen Aktionsplan zum Schutz vor EDCs zu entwickeln. Dies fordern seit Jahren auch deutsche Umweltorganisationen[4], unterstĂŒtzt von 150.000 BĂŒrgerinnen und BĂŒrgern in einer Petition[5] an die Umwelt-, Landwirtschafts- und Gesundheitsministerien. Bis heute gibt es jedoch keine Initiativen seitens der Bundesregierung.

Mehr als 70 Umwelt-, Gesundheit-, Frauen- und VerbraucherverbĂ€nde fordern das EuropĂ€ische Parlament, den EuropĂ€ischen Rat und die deutsche Bundesregierung auf, einen ambitionierten und konkreten Maßnahmenkatalog aufzustellen.



Susanne Smolka, PAN Germany, susanne.smolka@pan-germany.org, 040 399 19 10-24

Johanna Hausmann, WECF, johanna.hausmann@wecf.org, 0173 8010040

Alexandra Caterbow, HEJSupport, alexandra.caterbow@hej-support.org,  0179 5244994


Weitere Informationen zu den Organisationen





EDC-Free Europe ist eine Allianz von ĂŒber 70 europĂ€ischen Organisationen der Zivilgesellschaft aus den Politikfeldern Umwelt, Gesundheit, Frauen und Verbraucher, die sich gemeinsam fĂŒr einen besseren Schutz gegenĂŒber hormonschĂ€dlichen Chemikalien und ihren Belastungen von Mensch und Umwelt einsetzen. Kampagnenpartner sind außerdem Gewerkschaften, ExpertInnen fĂŒr Verbraucherschutz und Gesundheitswesen sowie Akteure fĂŒr Krebsvorsorge, Umweltschutz und Frauenrechte.


[1] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-6287_en.htm

Siehe auch Pressemitteilung der EDC-free Europe Campaign https://www.edc-free-europe.org/articles/press-release/edc-free-europe-reacts-to-new-communication-on-edcs

[2] WHO (2012): State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012 – Summary for Decision-Makers: https://www.unenvironment.org/resources/report/state-science-endocrine-disrupting-chemicals-2012-summary-decision-makers

[3] „Fitness check“ sind umfangreiche Evaluierungen, die analysieren ob Regulierungen fĂŒr einen bestimmten politischen Bereich ihren Zweck erfĂŒllen. http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/evaluation/docs/fitness_checks_2012_en.pdf

[4] Acht Forderungen der EDC-free Coalition an eine EU EDC Strategie: http://www.wecf.eu/german/pressemeldungen/2018/EDC-Forderungen.php

Gemeinsame Stellungnahme deutscher NGOs zum EU Entwurf zu EDC-Identifikation in Pestiziden: https://hej-support.org/kein-schutz-vor-umwelthormonen-nach-der-entscheidung-ist-vor-der-entscheidung/

[5] EU-weite Petition : https://actions.sumofus.org/a/eu-endocrine-disruptors
Gemeinsame Petition „Hormongifte stoppen!“ der deutschen NGO Koalition:
Umweltinstitut MĂŒnchen: https://www.umweltinstitut.org/mitmach-aktionen/hormongifte-stoppen.html
BUND: https://aktion.bund.net/hormongifte-stoppen
SumOfUs: https://actions.sumofus.org/a/hormongifte-stoppen

A victory for future generations – European governments ban brain-harming pesticides chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl

6 December 2019, Brussels. Common press release. Representatives from the European Member States in the EU Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF) today voted to ban the neurotoxic pesticides chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl from the EU market, a historic move that has been applauded by health and environment groups [1].

Genon K. Jensen, Executive Director of the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), said: “The ban of both forms of chlorpyrifos is a major win for the healthy development of today’s children and future generations. While we can’t take away the decades of exposure to these substances and the associated neurodevelopmental impacts, the new Commission can make sure this doesn’t continue to happen with other substances by committing to decreasing Europe’s dependency on pesticides and addressing remaining loopholes in evaluation processes.”

Angeliki Lyssimachou, Science Policy Officer at Pesticide Action Network Europe, said: “Today, we congratulate the Commission and Member States for putting human health, particularly that of our children, above industry interests and private profit. It took an overwhelming amount of evidence – showing that chlorpyrifos insecticides may cause brain toxicity in children – for the European Commission to propose a ban; Member States voting against it would had left European citizens in complete despair.”

Nabil Berbour, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs, said: “This is a major win for the health of European citizens who are more and more concerned by dangerous pesticides they find on their plates. We hope EU decision-makers take note of this huge concern and will go above and beyond to reduce the EU’s dependency on toxic pesticides. The EU is the largest single market in the world and the most powerful trading power, so we hope this ban will pave the way to other bans elsewhere in the world. SumOfUs members will continue to fight for this.”

In two recent statements, the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) concluded that chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl have no possible safety limit and do not meet the human health criteria for renewal on the European market [2]. The EFSA statements rightfully triggered the European Commission to propose a non-renewal for both substances in which they classify the pesticides as potentially damaging for unborn children [3].

Simultaneously over 220,548 citizens backed a campaign calling on EU governments to ban chlorpyrifos in all its forms, launched by SumOfUs, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, Générations Futures, Ecologistas en Acción, and PAN Germany [4].


Chlorpyrifos is among the most commonly used pesticides in Europe and its residues are often present in fruits, vegetables, cereals and dairy products, as well as drinking water. Exposure to chlorpyrifos, even in small doses, is dangerous and has been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders in children such as increased risk of autism, working memory loss, ADHD and decreased IQ. Children are especially at risk because their brains are still developing. Many studies point at chlorpyrifos as an endocrine disruptor chemical (EDC), while it has also been associated with metabolic disturbances, breast and lung cancers, and male infertility [5]. Exposure to chlorpyrifos has been shown to cause damage to DNA.

Although less documented, the chemical chlorpyrifos-methyl is very similar in structure to chlorpyrifos and like its sibling, it has potential to damage DNA. Furthermore, both forms of chlorpyrifos share the same epidemiological evidence for neurodevelopmental toxicity.


Natacha Cingotti, Senior Health and Chemicals Policy Officer at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), natacha@env-health.org, +32 (0) 492 94 88 98

Angeliki Lyssimachou, Science Policy Officer at Pesticide Action Network Europe, angeliki@pan-europe.org, +32 496 39 29 30

Nabil Berbour, Campaign Manager at SumOfUs, nabil@sumofus.org, +33 (0)7 56 82 06 55

Notes to editor:

[1] Today, at the meeting of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (PAFF Committee), Member States representatives voted on two draft Implementing Regulations proposing to not renew the approvals of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl. For both substances, a qualified majority was reached.

[2] EFSA, “Chlorpyrifos: assessment identifies human health effects”, 2nd August 2019 http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/chlorpyrifos-assessment-identifies-human-health-effects  and related civil society reaction https://www.env-health.org/efsa-ackonwledge-chlorpyrifos-harm-2/ ;

EFSA, Updated statement on the available outcomes of the human health assessment in the context of the pesticides peer review of the active substance chlorpyrifos-methyl”, 26th November 2019, https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5908

[3] Draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance chlorpyrifos and Draft Commission Implementing Regulation concerning the non-renewal of the approval of the active substance chlorpyrifos-methyl

[4] Over 220,548 citizens backed a campaign calling on EU governments to ban chlorpyrifos in all its forms, launched by SumOfUs, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, Générations Futures, Ecologistas en Acción, and PAN Germany [5]. The petition is available in English, German, Spanish and French.

[5] https://www.env-health.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/August-2018-HEAL-Generations-Futures-PAN-E-PAN-DE-Chlorpyrifos-Factsheet-web.pdf

Bienen und Artenvielfalt schĂŒtzen

EuropÀische Save the Bees Coalition fordert ein umfassendes Verbot von Neonikotinoiden


Hamburg, 5. Dezember 2017. Im Dezember 2013 hat die EU-Kommission entschieden, den Einsatz der drei hochgradig bienengiftigen Insektizide aus der Gruppe der Neonikotinoide Imidacloprid, Clothianidin und Thiamethoxam vorlĂ€ufig zu beschrĂ€nken. Zum 4. Jahrestag dieses Teilverbots belegt eine Vielzahl wissenschaftlicher Studien, dass das Teilverbot fĂŒr die Anwendung dieser Insektizide in „fĂŒr Bienen attraktiven Kulturen“ bei weitem nicht ausreicht, um BestĂ€uber ausreichend vor Vergiftungen zu schĂŒtzen. 80 europĂ€ische Nichtregierungsorganisationen, die sich zur europĂ€ischen Save the Bees Coalition zusammengeschlossen haben, fordern die Mitgliedsstaaten daher auf, die Neonikotinoide endlich zu verbieten – ohne weitere Verzögerung und ohne EinschrĂ€nkung.

Ein Regulierungsvorschlag der EU-Kommission, das Verbot auf alle Freilandkulturen auszuweiten, wird am 12 und 13. Dezember im zustĂ€ndigen EU-Fachausschuss diskutiert und voraussichtlich den Mitgliedstaaten zur Abstimmung vorgelegt. WĂ€hrend Großbritannien, Irland und Frankreich bereits angekĂŒndigt haben ein strikteres Verbot zu unterstĂŒtzen, haben andere Mitgliedsstaaten wie auch Deutschland ihre Position nicht veröffentlicht.

Der Vorschlag der EU-Kommission beruht auf den Schlussfolgerungen der EuropĂ€ischen Behörde fĂŒr Lebensmittelsicherheit EFSA, dass Bienen durch die Verwendung von Neonikotinoiden bei allen Freilandkulturen bedroht sind, und zwar nicht nur bei der Anwendungen in blĂŒhenden Nutzpflanzen, die sie direkt als Nahrungsquelle nutzen. Mehrere neue Studien belegen, dass Neonikotinoide die Umwelt kontaminieren und in Wasser und Wildblumen zu finden sind, wodurch auch Wildtiere gefĂ€hrdet werden.

RĂŒckbesinnung auf eine ökologisch vertrĂ€gliche Landwirtschaft

„Die Entscheidung ĂŒber das Verbot der hochbienengefĂ€hlichen Neonikotinoid-Wirkstoffe wird zeigen, ob die Vertreter der Mitgliedstaaten endlich Verantwortung ĂŒbernehmen und mit ihrer Zustimmung zum Neonikotinoid-Verbot zum Erhalt der biologischen Vielfalt und zur nachhaltigen Sicherung von Ernte-ErtrĂ€gen beitragen.“ so Susan Haffmans von PAN Germany. „Statt immer wieder auf hochgefĂ€hrliche Pestizide wie Clothianidin, Imidacloprid oder Glyphosat zu setzen, sollten die EU und ihre Mitgliedstaaten endlich ernsthaft die Weichen fĂŒr nicht-chemischen Pflanzenschutz stellen und agrarökologische Anbaumethoden fördern.“

Imidacloprid wurde erstmalig 1994 in Frankreich zugelassen, zur Anwendung auf Sonnenblumen. Sofort bemerkten französische Imker, dass diese Chemikalien die Gesundheit ihrer Bienenvölker stark beeintrĂ€chtigten. Sonnenblumen-Felder waren eine Hauptquelle französischer Honigproduktion, doch jetzt wurden sie zu einem Motor fĂŒr den Niedergang des französischen Imkerwesens. Die französischen Erfahrungen wiederholten sich in der EU und der ganzen Welt, als der Einsatz von Neonikotinoiden ausgeweitet wurde.

Nach 19 Jahren Mobilisierung durch Imker und UmweltschĂŒtzer entschied die EU-Kommission 2013, den Einsatz hochbienengefĂ€hrlicher Neonikotinoide in fĂŒr Bienen attraktiven Nutzpflanzen zu verbieten. Außerdem verlangten die EU-Beamten von den Herstellern, Bayer und Syngenta, sogenannte „confirmatory data“ bereitzustellen, um die ToxizitĂ€t der Stoffe besser einschĂ€tzen zu können. Die EuropĂ€ische Behörde fĂŒr Lebensmittelsicherheit (EFSA) wertete diese Daten aus und bestĂ€tigte im November 2016 (1), dass diese Substanzen hoch toxisch auf Bienen, Hummeln und SolitĂ€rbienen wirken. Die Behörde bestĂ€tigte auch, dass noch bestehende DatenlĂŒcken eine angemessene RisikoeinschĂ€tzung verhinderten, besonders fĂŒr Wildbienen.

75 Prozent weniger Insekten in 30 Jahren

Die EFSA warnte auch davor, dass Bienen Neonikotinoiden auch außerhalb von Nutzpflanzen ausgesetzt sein könnten, da sich diese Insektizide schnell in der Umwelt verbreiten und Wildblumen kontaminieren. UnabhĂ€ngige Studien haben darĂŒber hinaus gezeigt, dass die ToxizitĂ€t von Neonikotinoiden weit ĂŒber Bienen hinausgeht: Hummeln, Wildbienen und KĂ€fer sind im Verschwinden begriffen, wie gerade bestĂ€tigt wurde (75% weniger Insekten-Biomasse in Deutschlands Naturgebieten innerhalb von 27 Jahren (2)). Das „Worldwide Integrated Assessement on the Impact of Systemic Pesticides on Biodiversity and Ecosystems“ hat aktuell 500 wissenschaftliche Belege ausgewertet, die seit 2014 veröffentlicht wurden. Sie bestĂ€tigen: Neonikotinoide sind ein hohes Risiko nicht nur fĂŒr Insekten, sondern auch fĂŒr Wirbeltiere und Tier- und Pflanzenwelt ĂŒberhaupt(3).

Save the Bees Coalition – www.beecoalition.eu

Mehr als 80 Nichtregierungsorganisationen, die den grĂ¶ĂŸten Teil der EU Mitgliedstaaten abdecken und Imker, UmweltschĂŒtzer und Wissenschaftler umfassen, starten heute offiziell die Save The Bees Coalition (4), um zum Schutz unserer Umwelt das Neonikotinoid-Verbot zu erzielen. Die Koalition setzt sich dafĂŒr ein, dass alle EU-Mitgliedstaaten dem Vorschlag der EuropĂ€ischen Kommission zustimmen, die Neonikotinoide Imidacloprid, Clothianidin und Thiamethoxam zum Schutz unserer Bienen zu verbieten und das Verbot auf die Anwendung in GewĂ€chshĂ€usern auszuweiten, da GewĂ€chshĂ€user keine geschlossenen Systeme sind und Leckagen und Umweltverschmutzung nicht zu verhindern sind. Die Koalition wird auch fordern, dass alle anderen chemischen Pestizide ordnungsgemĂ€ĂŸ auf ihre Auswirkungen auf Bienen getestet werden, damit alle bienenschĂ€digenden Pestizide in der EU zukĂŒnftig verboten werden. Daher mĂŒssen die Mitgliedstaaten das Bee Guidance Document der EFSA 2013 ohne Verzögerung annehmen (5).

Die Webseite der Save the Bees Coalition finden Sie hier: https://www.beecoalition.eu/

Mitglieder der Save the Bees Coalition Abella Lupa, APIADS, Apicultura de huesca, Apiscam, Apiservices, Arieco, AsociaciĂłn Bee Garden, AsociaciĂłn de apicultores de la RegiĂłn de Murcia, AsociaciĂłn Española de Apicultores, AsociaciĂłn Galega de apicultura, AsociaciĂłn Medioambiental Jara, AsociaciĂłn RedMontañas, AsociaciĂłn Reforesta, Avaaz, Baltic Environmental Forum Latvia, Bamepe, Bee Life European Beekeeping Coordination, Bijenstichting, Buglife, BUND, Campact, ConfederaciĂłn en Defensa de la Abeja en la Cornisa CantĂĄbrica, Cooperativa El Brot, Division of Apiculture- Hellenic Agriculture Organisation DEMETER, Earth Thrive, Eco Hvar, ECOCITY, ecocolmena, Ecologistas en AcciĂłn, Estonian Green Party, European Professional Beekeepers Association, Federação Nacional dos Apicultores de Portugal, Federation of Greek Beekeepers‘ Associations, Foundation for the Environment and Agriculture, Friends of the Bees Foundation, Friends of the Earth Europe, GĂ©nĂ©rations Futures, German Professional Beekeepers Association, Gipuzkaoko Erlezain Elkartea, Glore Mill Sustainability Centre for Biodiversity and Energy, Greenpeace, Inter-Environnement Wallonie, INLUISAL SL, Lithuanian Fund for Nature, Melazahar, NABU, Natur&Ă«mwelt, Nature & ProgrĂšs Belgique, Pesticide Action Network Europe, Pesticide Action Network UK, Pestizid Aktions-Netzwerk, proBiene, Quercus, Romapis, Salvem la Platja Llarga, Slovenian Beekeepers` Association, Slow Food, SOS polinizadores, Spanish Society of Organic Farming, Statera NGO, SumOfUs, Territorios Vivos, Umweltinstitut MĂŒnchen, UniĂł de Llauradors I Ramaders, Union Nationale de l’Apiculture Française, Via Pontica Foundation, Vilde bier i Danmark, WECF France, WECF Germany, WWF España.


Susan Haffmans (PAN Germany): susan.haffmans[at]pan-germany.org, Tel: 040-3991910-25

(1) https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/4606
(2) Hallman et al. 2017
(3) https://www.iucn.org/news/secretariat/201709/severe-threats-biodiversity-neonicotinoid-pesticides-revealed-latest-scientific-review
(4) www.beecoalition.eu
(5) https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/3295