PAN Europe, a group of NGOs that aims to stop the use of synthetic pesticides, is taking the European Commission to the European Court of Justice to challenge the renewal of glyphosate approval for plant protection purposes in the EU for 10 years. This decision was made last November when EU member states could not come to an agreement on whether to renew or reject the approval of glyphosate.

Glyphosate is a chemical found in many herbicide products and its use in Europe has now been approved until 2033. However, there have been concerns raised about the potential link between glyphosate and cancer, with some US courts ruling in favor of plaintiffs in cases against glyphosate producers.

After the European Commission rejected PAN Europe’s request to review the approval of glyphosate, the group announced that they would challenge this decision in court. They claim that there were “numerous flaws” in the work of EU agencies like the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

Angeliki Lyssimachou, head of science and policy at PAN Europe, criticized the commission’s decision, stating that glyphosate poses a risk to both people and the environment. She argued that independent research and data, including from the pesticide industry itself, show that glyphosate pesticides can be harmful and should be banned under EU law.

The process of challenging the approval of glyphosate in court, if successful, could take up to two years. PAN Europe and other associated NGOs are determined to push for a review of the approval process and ensure that the potential risks associated with glyphosate are properly addressed.