Release of EFSA glyphosate data important step for more regulatory transparency
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) yesterday announced it will release the majority of the raw study data used in its toxicity assessment of glyphosate. Instead of publishing the data on its website, the regulator will make it available to Corporate Europe Observatory, who in filed an access to documents request to obtain it.
Corporate Europe Observatory’s researcher and campaigner Martin Pigeon said:
“The EFSA decision to disclose the glyphosate study data is a very important and welcome step towards greater transparency of the scientific evidence used by regulators. Until now, this kind of data has been withheld because most studies are owned by industry, which threaten legal action.
“Now EFSA’s toxicity assessment will be available for scrutiny by the wider scientific community. That is especially important in the glyphosate case because the EU’s assessment of the substance as ‘unlikely’ to cause cancer in humans has been extremely controversial.
“It has taken almost a year to get to this point though, and there are issues with the way and extent to which the data will be released. The study data will not be machine-readable and sections like the authors’ original conclusions will not be made available.
“Complete, unrestricted and pro-active online publication of essential regulatory data can only be achieved through an ambitious overhaul of EFSA’s regulatory framework. This responsibility lies with the EU institutions and member states and we will continue to push for greater transparency.”
Notes to Editors:
Due to legal constraints the raw study data will not be made available publicly, but will instead be released to those who filed access to documents requests to obtain the information, both Corporate Europe Observatory and a group of Green MEPs. Corporate Europe Observatory will of course share the data with scientists interested in the case.
In June 2016, the European Commission controversially extended the current market authorisation of glyphosate on the basis of EFSA’s findings on the toxicity of the substance.
EU Food Safety Commissioner Andriukaitis’ in April 2016 seeked the publication of the glyphosate study data, but was unsuccessful at the time.
Theresa Crysmann | firstname.lastname@example.org | +32 2893 0930