Bijdrage milieucommissie over een bezwaar op grond van artikel 112: de verlenging van de goedkeuringstermijn van de werkzame stof flumioxazine
Anja Hazekamp (PvdD): Thank you Chair.
I feel frustrated that we have to object again to the extension of the approval period of the harmful pesticide flumioxazine for the second time already. And even more frustrated because I know that it will most likely not even be the last time.
The enormous delay in the reassessment procedures of pesticides is absolutely unacceptable. We need adequate finances, adequate capacities and proper procedures for the assessment of chemicals, on Member State level as well as on the European level.
Flumioxazine was approved 17 years ago for the first time - in 2003 - and identified as toxic for the reproduction not long after. But because of tricks of the producing industry, asking for derogations, citing that it is essential for agriculture, we are today again discussing an extension of the original and completely outdated authorization for the 7th time in a row!
A large part of this enormous delay is due to the fact that the Commission did not have the relevant assessment methodologies in place, and has delayed giving a mandate to EFSA to assess the endocrine disrupting properties of flumioxazine, which it only did last December! So again we will have to wait for new assessments, and all the while the producer is happily collecting profits from its hazardous sales, while farmers, residents in rural areas and consumers are exposed to its toxic properties. This is truly outrageous!
With working methods as this, the Commission is practically inviting companies to misuse this broken system, by asking all derogations possible, sending incomplete datasets, and challenging all decisions, because they know it will keep their products on the market, even though it is very clear they do not meet the safety criteria.
We acknowledge that the Risk Assessment Committee of ECHA has said that this substance should no longer be classified as reprotoxic 1 but ‘only’ as reprotoxic 2 as it deems that this hazardous effect of this pesticide cannot be seen as proven for the human kind. I would argue that even the suspicion that it can damage unborn children, should be enough to ban a pesticide. But even then: flumioxazine is also suspected endocrine disrupting chemical and should therefore not be used.
I really urge the Commission to take note of the repeated calls of this Parliament to take this pesticide off the market, and to speed up its re-authorization procedures, together with the Member States.