Interpellations

Do not vote for the re-authorisation of the herbicide Flumioxazin

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Appeals dates

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  • 51 Call upon
  • 67 Interpellations
  • SCoPPAF

Context

Flumioxazin is a herbicide approved since 2003 Directive 91/414/EEC, authorised in "plant protection" products in 14 Member States. Its authorisation expires in June 2022 after having benefited from 7 derogations (leading to an extension of its authorisation for 9 years!).
Yet this substance is not without danger, neither for human health nor for the environment!
In 2014, flumioxazin was first classified as toxic for reproduction category 1B by the RAC/ECHA (may damage the unborn child), i.e. as meeting the "cut-off criteria" of Regulation 1107/2009. However, the substance remained approved under this new regulatory framework on the basis of a derogation made possible by point. 4.7 and 3.6.4. of Annex II in case of "negligible" exposure. Since 2015, this substance was therefore in the category "Candidate for substitution" on this ground. But incredibly, EFSA decided to classify this substance as a category 2 reproductive toxicant (i.e. suspected of being toxic to reproduction). And this classification resulted in flumioxazin being removed from the candidate substances for substitution!
Furthermore, the substance was classified as very toxic to aquatic organisms, with long-term adverse effects.
Regarding the question of classification as an endocrine disruptor, EFSA, in September 2020, points out after peer review that this assessment of EP effects for humans, wild mammals and non-target organisms will not have been possible due to lack of data... In other words, EFSA admits itself that it is not in a position to conclude that the substance is safe for human health, animal health and the environment. If such uncertainty exists, then flumioxazin does not meet the criteria for approval under Regulation 1107/2009 and therefore cannot be proposed for renewal. However, this is exactly what the European Commission is proposing today in flagrant violation of the precautionary principle...

Goals

On 21 and 22 October, the EU Standing Committee on Pesticides (ScoPAFF) is invited to vote on the European Commission's proposal for the renewal of the approval of this substance. We call on the member states to oppose this re-approval!

first authorisation of flumioxazin (7 extensions granted until 2022)
flumioxazin was classified as toxic for reproduction Cat 1B.
new scientific criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors adopted and entered into force
declassification to toxic for reproduction Cat 2.
publication by EFSA of its updated conclusions with regard to the potential endocrine properties
first the European Commission's renewal proposal
Launch of the interpellation
SCoPAFF vote on the Flumioxazin renewal proposal.
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What the European Commission is proposing

DG Health is proposing a 15-year renewal of the authorisation of Flumioxazin!

When it was a candidate for substitution, the substance could (by derogation) only be re-authorised for a maximum of 7 years. Its reclassification as toxic for reproduction cat. 2 has now broken this regulatory safeguard!

Another safeguard: the criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors adopted in 2018, against which the substance was to be re-evaluated. Due to a lack of sufficient data (provided by the industry), this assessment could not be finalised, which leaves uncertainty as to its degree of danger. And it is through this door that DG Santé is pushing for the renewal of Flumioxazin, defying the central precautionary principle.

What we want

Approved since 2003, this substance has benefited from 7 extensions of its approval period, resulting in a 9-year extension on the European market. This has happened despite numerous data gaps, various concerns and several objections from the European Parliament in plenary.

Flumioxazin was classified in 2014 as toxic for reproduction category 1B (H360D; may damage the unborn child), before being reclassified as category 2 on the questionable grounds of “non relevance for humans”. It is also classified as highly toxic to aquatic organisms, with long-term adverse effects, and is also strongly suspected of endocrine disruption. Its authorisation had to be re-evaluated by EFSA in the light of this last point.

Indeed, according to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 and (EU) 2018/605, an active substance cannot be proposed for renewal if it cannot be clearly determined that it does not have endocrine disrupting properties. The updated EFSA conclusions revealed that in the case of flumioxazin there is no clarity. On the contrary, there is even worrying evidence of developmental toxicity in rodents. The Agency itself points out that the endocrine disruption assessment for humans, wild mammals and non-target organisms “remains an issue that could not be finalised due to a lack of data”. The European Commission’s renewal proposal is therefore incomprehensible. It violates EU law and contradicts its Green Deal commitments “to ensure that endocrine disruptors are recognised in a timely manner and that exposure of humans, and the environment, is minimised. ”

This decision also contradicts the Farm to Fork strategy’s aim to transform farming systems, including replacing synthetic inputs with solutions that work with nature. There is a wide range of alternatives and non-chemical methods to flumioxazin. EFSA itself acknowledges their existence (crop cover/mulching, tillage, mechanical weeding, crop rotation, etc.), their practical use in the field (practised on 10-50% of the area) for many uses in the EU (sunflower, winter wheat, maize, olives, citrus, bulbous onions, carrots, etc.) and yet it denies their economic feasibility in its general conclusions

A cross-party coalition of MEPs has sent a letter to the European Commission asking for the same thing we are asking for: to withdraw this renewal proposal in violation of the precautionary principle and Regulation 1107/2009 and ban the substance from the European market.

PAN Europe and its members therefore ask the MS to oppose the renewal of this dangerous substance!

  • Approved since 2003, this substance has benefited from 7 extensions of its approval period, resulting in a 9-year extension on the European market. This has happened despite numerous data gaps, various concerns and several objections from the European Parliament in plenary.

    Flumioxazin was classified in 2014 as toxic for reproduction category 1B (H360D; may damage the unborn child), before being reclassified as category 2 on the questionable grounds of “non relevance for humans”. It is also classified as highly toxic to aquatic organisms, with long-term adverse effects, and is also strongly suspected of endocrine disruption. Its authorisation had to be re-evaluated by EFSA in the light of this last point.

    Indeed, according to Regulation (EC) 1107/2009 and (EU) 2018/605, an active substance cannot be proposed for renewal if it cannot be clearly determined that it does not have endocrine disrupting properties. The updated EFSA conclusions revealed that in the case of flumioxazin there is no clarity. On the contrary, there is even worrying evidence of developmental toxicity in rodents. The Agency itself points out that the endocrine disruption assessment for humans, wild mammals and non-target organisms “remains an issue that could not be finalised due to a lack of data”. The European Commission’s renewal proposal is therefore incomprehensible. It violates EU law and contradicts its Green Deal commitments “to ensure that endocrine disruptors are recognised in a timely manner and that exposure of humans, and the environment, is minimised. ”

    This decision also contradicts the Farm to Fork strategy’s aim to transform farming systems, including replacing synthetic inputs with solutions that work with nature. There is a wide range of alternatives and non-chemical methods to flumioxazin. EFSA itself acknowledges their existence (crop cover/mulching, tillage, mechanical weeding, crop rotation, etc.), their practical use in the field (practised on 10-50% of the area) for many uses in the EU (sunflower, winter wheat, maize, olives, citrus, bulbous onions, carrots, etc.) and yet it denies their economic feasibility in its general conclusions

    A cross-party coalition of MEPs has sent a letter to the European Commission asking for the same thing we are asking for: to withdraw this renewal proposal in violation of the precautionary principle and Regulation 1107/2009 and ban the substance from the European market.

    PAN Europe and its members therefore ask the MS to oppose the renewal of this dangerous substance!

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