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.

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 ČAVOŠKI, 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 Čavoški, 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.”



Global network responds to UN Symposium on Soil Pollution

PAN International calls for investment in agroecology

Press release.

April 30, 2018. On May 2, experts from around the world will gather in Rome for a global symposium on soil pollution. The event, organised jointly by several UN agencies, offers an important opportunity to highlight the urgent need to invest in soil health, according to the leaders of Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International.

PAN leaders from all of the network’s regional centers participated in the recent UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Symposium on Agroecology, and note the important connections between the two events. Specifically, PAN applauds the concept note for the Soil Pollution symposium, which highlights pesticide use as an important cause of soil pollution: “The three major pathways responsible for the introduction of diffuse pollutants into soil are (i) atmospheric deposition, (ii) agricultural inputs, and (iii) flood events. Causes of pollution tend to be dominated by the transport of pollutants by erosion processes (wind and water erosion and sedimentation), and excessive nutrient and pesticide applications, heavy metals, POPs and inorganic pollutants.” (FAO and ITPS, 2015a).

The Global Symposium on Soil Pollution is being organised by FAO’s Global Soil Partnership, along with the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), the Secretariats of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, the UN Environment Program and the World Health Organization.

It aims to provide scientific evidence to support action to prevent and reduce soil pollution for increased food safety, food security and nutrition and ecosystem services. It also calls for the restoration of polluted sites, with the first step being implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management.

PAN International welcomes the joint initiative, and urges participants to fully recognize the damaging effects of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs), and calls on those developing the voluntary soil guidelines to include an overall objective of phasing out HHPs and reducing dependency on agricultural pesticides.

“This month marks the 10-year anniversary of release of the UN and World Bank-sponsored International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge Science & Technology for Development report,” notes Henriette Christensen of PAN Europe. “This pathbreaking report was approved by all participating European, Asian, African and Latin American countries, and called for increased investment in agro-ecological approaches to pest management and action to reduce pesticide dependence.”

“Since the 2015 international year of soils, public awareness has grown about the fundamental importance of healthy soil,” says Dr. Margaret Reeves, senior scientist at PAN North America. “Vibrant, diverse soil biology is a critical driver of soil function — ensuring plant access to nutrients, air and water, and resistance to pests and diseases. There’s a growing body of scientific evidence showing the harmful impacts of petroleum-derived pesticides and fertilizers on this critical soil biology.” (1)

“FAO is working with countries to phase out HHPs, which are defined according to a set of criteria established by the Joint Meeting on Pesticide Management,” adds Sarojeni Rengam of PAN Asia and the Pacific. “In 2015, the 4th International Conference on Chemicals Management recommended that in taking action on HHPs, emphasis should be on promoting agroecologically based approaches. There should therefore be close collaboration between these two areas of work.”

“We must see coordination among international agreements to avoid the continuous contamination of soils with pesticides and other chemicals, and proceed rapidly with the soil remediation,” agrees Javier Souza, the Regional Coordinator for PAN Latin America. “The science of agroecology reminds us that healthy soils are integral to resilient and sustainable agroecosystems — which in turn enable the feeding and development of healthy people.”

Ndéye Maïmouna Diene, PAN Africa’s director, highlights the particular importance of effective decontamination of polluted sites. “Africa is a continent that faces pollution problems due mainly to ongoing use and abuse of extremely dangerous pesticides,” says Diene. “We call for the establishment of policies that preserve the health of our people, our soil and the environment. We are convinced that agroecology is the safest way to fight pollution in the continent.”

“Healthy soils underpin all agricultural production,” adds Keith Tyrell, director of PAN-UK. “Excessive use of agrochemicals is damaging soil quality and undermining our ability to feed ourselves in the long term. We need to switch to more sustainable, agroecological farming systems that conserve and improve soil quality, now.”

PAN leaders also note that actions under three existing global instruments focused on chemicals have significant potential to address soil pollution:

  • The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade;
  • The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs); and
  • The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal.

In addition, the Third Session of the United Nations Environmental Assembly adopted a resolution in 2017 calling for accelerated collaboration to address and manage soil pollution, The declaration aims to work towards a pollution- free world.

Note (1):  For instance does a recent EU wide study show that glyphosate persists

For more information:

PAN Africa, Ndéye Maïmouna DIENE, maimounadiene@pan-afrique.org, 221775449689

PAN Asia Pacific, Sarojeni Rengam, sarojeni.rengam@panap.net

PAN Latin America, Javier Souza Casadinho, javierrapal@yahoo.com.ar, 11 15 3617 1782

PAN North America, Kristin Schafer, kristins@panna.org, 10119165883100

PAN Germany, Susan Haffmans, susan.haffmans@pan-germany.org, 49(0)40-3991910-25

PAN United Kingdom, Keith Tyrell, keithtyrell@pan-uk.org, 447588706224

PAN Europe, Henriette Christensen, henriette@pan-europe.info, +3223186255

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International 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.

Carcinogenicity assessment was flawed for 4 out of 10 pesticides, new report shows

Brussels, Hamburg, 17.10.2019. Press release. A new review of carcinogenicity assessments of pesticide active ingredients shows 40 percent of them are not carried out in compliance with existing European guidelines, leading to possible continued exposure of farmers and consumers to cancer-causing pesticides [1]. In 30 percent of the cases significant details were missing from the dossiers, raising uncertainties about how European authorities came to a conclusion.

The report ‘Chronically underrated – A review of the EU carcinogenic hazard assessment of 10 pesticides’, released today by Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Germany and the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) analysed the carcinogenicity sections of the draft Renewal Assessments Reports (RARs) of ten pesticides [2]. The review, performed by senior toxicologist Peter Clausing, focused on how the sections describing carcinogenicity studies in rats and mice in the EU assessment documents complied with the applicable guidelines and guidance documents of the EU and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“After discovering a considerable number of flaws in the carcinogenicity assessment of glyphosate, it was the logical next step to investigate whether similar problems occurred with other pesticides. Analysing these ten RARs has made it clear that at least three of the pesticides should have been classified as ‘presumed’ human carcinogens, rather than just ‘suspected’ human carcinogens”, explained Susan Haffmans, Senior Advisor on Pesticides at PAN Germany.

The carcinogenicity classification triggers the regulatory fate of a pesticide active ingredient. Pesticides classified as ‘suspected’ human carcinogens can be marketed, while those classified as ‘presumed’ human carcinogens cannot or must be withdrawn [3].

Our report shows that:
– For three pesticides, the outcome of our review was similar to that of the European authorities: chlorothalonil, diuron, forchlorfenuron;
– For three pesticides, the outcome of our review differed from that of the European authorities and we found that the classification should be upgraded: folpet, pirimicarb and thiacloprid;
– For one pesticide, our review found that severe data gap should have been identified by the European authorities and a flawed decisive carcinogenicity should not have been accepted: phosmet;
– For three pesticides, our review found that reports were not sufficiently informed to allow any conclusive external review: captan, chlorpropham, dimoxystrobin.

“The current rise of non-communicable diseases including cancer means that Europe cannot afford the health price of flawed pesticides classifications”, commented Genon K. Jensen, Executive Director of the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). “Committing to a rigorous implementation of European laws should be a founding block of reaching Europe’s zero-pollution objective to prevent diseases and protect people, starting with farmers, from substances toxic to their health.”

PAN Germany and HEAL call on the European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen to pay particular attention to a more rigorous application of existing pesticide legislation and guidance documents. In her recent confirmation hearing at the European Parliament, the Commissioner-designate for Health Stella Kyriakides already agreed Europe needs to reduce dependency on pesticides and stimulate the take-up of low-risk and non-chemical alternatives [4].


Dr. Peter Clausing, Executive board member Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Germany, peter.clausing@pan-germany.org

Yannick Vicaire, Chemicals and Health Policy campaigner Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) , yannick@env-health.org

Notes to editor:

[1] Chronically Underrated, Peter Clausing, October 2019.
[2] The ten pesticides reviewed included Captan, Chlorotalonil, Chlorpropham, Dimoxystrobin, Diuron, Folpet, Forchlorfenuron, Phosmet, Pirimicarb and Thiacloprid.
[3] Article 3.6.3 of regulation 11/072009 states: “An active substance, safener or synergist shall only be approved, if, on the basis of assessment of carcinogenicity testing carried out in accordance with the data requirements for the active substances, safener or synergist and other available data and information, including a review of the scientific literature, reviewed by the Authority, it is not or has not to be classified, in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, as carcinogen category 1A or 1B…”
[4] Answers to the European Parliament questionnaire to the Commissioner-Designate Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner-designate for health

Other publications on this topic from Dr. Peter Clausing include:
– Clausing et al. (2018): Pesticides and public health: a review of the regulatory approach to assessing the carcinogenicity of glyphosate in the European Union. J. Epidemiol. Community Health 72, 668–672
Pesticide Action Network Europe (2018): Ensuring a higher level of protection from pesticides in Europe

The Pesticide Action Network Germany (PAN Germany) is a nongovernmental organisation informing about the negative consequences of pesticide use and promoting environment-friendly and socially fair alternatives. PAN Germany is part of the PAN International network. Our work comprises critical analyses of pesticides and their use, policy advice practical advice for farmers and consumers.

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is the leading not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects human health in the European Union (EU) and beyond. HEAL works to shape laws and policies that promote planetary and human health and protect those most affected by pollution, and raise awareness on the benefits of environmental action for health.

CHRONICALLY UNDERRATED? A review of the European carcinogenic hazard assessment of 10 pesticides

CHRONICALLY UNDERRATED? A review of the European carcinogenic hazard assessment of 10 pesticides

Datum: 21. Oktober 2019 289.03 KB

This report, commissioned by Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Germany and by the Health and Environment...

Summary: CHRONICALLY UNDERRATED? A review of the European carcinogenic hazard assessment of 10 pesticides

Summary: CHRONICALLY UNDERRATED? A review of the European carcinogenic hazard assessment of 10 pesticides

Datum: 21. Oktober 2019 80.39 KB

Glyphosate, one of the world’s most widely used pesticides that has been linked to multiple negative...

Zusammenfassung: CHRONISCH UNTERBEWERTET? Eine Überprüfung des EU-Bewertungsverfahrens zur Krebsgefahr von 10 Pestiziden

Zusammenfassung: CHRONISCH UNTERBEWERTET? Eine Überprüfung des EU-Bewertungsverfahrens zur Krebsgefahr von 10 Pestiziden

Datum: 21. Oktober 2019 88.71 KB

Glyphosat, eines der meistverwendeten Pestizide der Welt, das mit verschiedenen negativen Auswirkungen...

Resumen: ¿INFRAVALORACIÓN CRÓNICA? Una revisión de la evaluación de la Unión Europea sobre el riesgo carcinogénico de 10 pesticidas

Resumen: ¿INFRAVALORACIÓN CRÓNICA? Una revisión de la evaluación de la Unión Europea sobre el riesgo carcinogénico de 10 pesticidas

Datum: 21. Oktober 2019 273.16 KB

El glifosato, uno de los pesticidas más utilizados en el mundo y que ha sido relacionado con múltiples...

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 EnglishGermanSpanish 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

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.

Pesticide Action Network Calls for Legally Binding Treaty for Highly Hazardous Pesticides

Montevideo, 26.03.2019. Press release.

On the eve of the upcoming 3rd Open Ended Working Group  of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), PAN redoubles its call for a global legally binding mechanism for the lifecycle management of pesticides, either as a new standalone treaty or as a legally binding protocol within a new overarching chemicals framework to phase out Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs).

PAN expresses its deep concern that SAICM has failed to achieve sound management of pesticides and that pesticide poisoning continues in countries all around the world. PAN is releasing updated versions of two documents underlining the strong need for a legally binding treaty to ban HHPs. These are a PAN International List of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (1) and a PAN International Consolidated List of Banned Pesticides. These two documents together show the large numbers of hazardous pesticides used around the world and the very uneven nature of regulation of hazardous pesticides around the globe.

An example illustrating such uneven regulation of pesticides is the highly toxic pesticide monocrotophos. Of the 154 countries for which information was available for the Consolidated List of Banned Pesticides, at least 112 have banned the insecticide monocrotophos, but its use in other countries continues to harm many people. It was responsible for killing 23 school children in India in 2013, implicated in the deaths of cotton growers in India in 2018, and in numerous other poisonings – despite the WHO calling on India to ban it 10 years ago. This is just one example of a HHP that should have been banned long ago, but remains in use and continues to poison people in countries where it is still used. PAN asks that companies still manufacturing monocrotophos should stop its manufacture and all remaining countries should ban it.

This situation occurs in many countries around the world, and Ms. Maimouna Diene, Director of PAN Africa says, “In many African countries we see high rates of poisonings of farmers and communities by HHPs. It is not possible to adequately protect communities, as well as their air, soil and water unless a legally binding mechanism for regulating HHPs is developed.”

Ms. Sarojeni Rengam, Executive Director of PAN Asia Pacific (PANAP) echoes this frustration and says  “The continued use of HHPs in Asian countries causes widespread poisonings of children, farmers, women and agricultural workers.  Recently PANAP and partners interviewed 2025 respondents in 7 countries, and found that 7 out of 10 people interviewed were poisoned by pesticides (3).  Rural people are poisoned by pesticides such as paraquat, lambda-cyhalothrin, chlorpyrifos and glyphosate.” She expressed dismay at the lack of action to prevent occupational poisonings and said “Continuing the sad saga of occupational pesticide poisonings of agricultural workers, a record number of such cases were reported last year in the Yavatmal district in Maharashtra state of India.”

Mr. Javier Souza, Regional Coordinator of PAN Latin America says „The use of HHPs in agriculture has led to frequent exposure and accidental poisoning of children throughout Latin America, for example when pesticide applications are made near schools or homes. Empty pesticide containers are discarded in the fields and rivers, contaminating the drinking water and increasing the plastic pollution of the sea because the users do not return them to their manufacturers, often violating current regulations.”

The lack of accountability of transnational pesticide corporations for the HHPs they produce and sell, especially in the Global South, led Ms. Susan Haffmans of PAN Germany to say “It is absolutely unethical that European countries like Germany, Switzerland, France and U.K. continue to export pesticides banned for use in these countries due to their toxicity. The exports to countries in the Global South continue to put communities there in danger from the hazards of exposure to HHPs.”

Ms. Kristin Schafer, Executive Director of PAN North America added “The consolidation of the pesticide industry has created giant corporations that have no interest in voluntary control measures, and put profits above all else. Years of evidence show us that these corporate actors aggressively undermine policies that protect public health and the environment. It’s time for the global community to act.”

PAN International calls on the global community to step up to the challenge and protect people across the world from HHPs by putting in place a legally binding treaty against HHPs.

Available for interview:

Dr. Meriel Watts, PAN Asia Pacific +64-21-1807830; meriel@merielwatts.net

Ms. Susan Haffmans, PAN Germany susan.haffmans@pan-germany.org, +49(0)40-3991910-25

Ms. Sarojeni Rengam, PAN Asia Pacific, sarojeni.rengam@panap.net
Javier Souza Casadinho, PAN Latin America, javierrapal@yahoo.com.ar ,+11 15 3617 1782

Ms. Kristin Schafer, PAN North America kristins@panna.org

Ms. Maimouna Diene, PAN Africa maimounadiene@pan-afrique.org


(1) The PAN International List of Highly Hazardous Pesticides is available at: http://pan-international.org/wp-content/uploads/PAN_HHP_List.pdf

(2) The PAN International Consolidated List of Banned Pesticide is available at: http://pan-international.org/pan-international-consolidated-list-of-banned-pesticides/

(3) Rights and Poisons is available at: https://panap.net/2018/10/of-rights-and-poisons-accountability-of-the-agrochemical-industry/

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), Générations Futures, Ecologistas en Acción, and the European and German branches of the Pesticide Action Network – is pressuring European governments and the Commission to ban chlorpyrifos for good.


Génon 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, Générations 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


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.

Global Network Releases Updated List of Highly Hazardous Pesticides

PAN International Press Release

Stockholm, March 15, 2018
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International released an updated version of its List of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) to coincide with a key meeting in Stockholm of the Strategic Approach for International Chemicals Management (SAICM) process. The expanded list now includes 306 chemicals.

These hazardous pesticides (HHPs) threaten people and the environment around the world. The global community must act to stop the continuing exposure of people and the planet to these HHPs. PAN calls on the global community for an internationally binding treaty on pesticides.

Among the nine newly listed pesticides in the updated version of the HHP list are carbetamide for being classified as a presumed human reproductive toxicant according to the EU, cyanamide for its hormone disrupting properties and emamectin benzoate for its threat to the environment and bees.

Following the addition of a new criterion, the list now includes pesticides which are recognised by the UN Rotterdam Convention as meeting the Convention’s criteria for global trade restrictions. These pesticides have however not yet been officially listed in the Rotterdam Convention for political reasons.

Pesticides are the only toxic chemicals that are intentionally released into the environment. Today pesticides contaminate every environmental medium even in locations remote from their use. Susan Haffmans of PAN Germany says „These pesticides are having a devastating effect on biodiversity, including on beneficial insects. They are undermining the sustainability of food production systems and harm an unknown number of farmers, workers, children and animals every year.“

„We are deeply concerned about the negative impact of hazardous pesticides on the health of children around the world, especially from rural and farming communities. There is a critical need for global action to curtail the use of the worst pesticides to protect the wellbeing of children.“ says Kristin Schafer of PAN North America.

Keith Tyrell from PAN UK adds „Though pesticides have been recognized as a global threat to health, development and the environment, and despite a variety of pesticide Conventions and agreements, global governance of pesticides is weak, leaving large gaps in overall management.“

In the Global South there is daily proof of the devasting effects of pesticides on families and their livelihoods. Maimouna Diene of PAN Africa says „If SAICM wants to fulfill its goal of achieving sound management of chemicals throughout their whole lifecycle and to protect human health and ecosystems, it has to intensify its actions on HHPs and provide trainings to farmers, including women farmers, on agroecological practices. The past few years have shown that the global pesticides problem cannot be tackled adequately with voluntary agreements.“

PAN Asia Pacific’s Sarojeni Rengam says „The Sustainable Development Goals, in particular to end hunger, achieve food security and promote sustainable agriculture; to ensure healthy lives and to halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss cannot be achieved until the widespread use of HHPs is replaced by agroecological practices“.

From the experience of longstanding work in Latin America on agroecological practices, Javier Souza of PAN Latin America says „It is time for undertaking concerted efforts to phase out HHPs and replace their use with agroecology. In Argentina we have shown that by replacing HHPs with agroecology we can decrease costs of inputs, improve incomes and community health, bolster food security and climate resilience, improve gender equity, enhance biodiversity, and reduce pollution.“

The PAN HHP list includes pesticides with high levels of acute or chronic hazards to health or environment according to internationally accepted classification systems. With the HHP list, PAN provides authorities, cultivation organisations, advisers, farmers and other interested parties with a tool to identify highly dangerous pesticides and then to replace them with safer and more sustainable alternatives.

For the PAN HHP list, visit http://www.pan-germany.org/download/PAN_HHP_List.pdf

For more about PAN International and the 500+ organizations in more than 100 countries that have joined the global call to ban highly hazardous pesticides and replace them with agroecological alternatives, visit http://pan-international.org/.


Available for interview:

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