Decisions on the renewal of the controversial weedkiller glypho-ate should be based on publicly available and independent data, Labour MEP and Socialists and Democrats spokeswoman Miriam Dalli insists.

Her comments followed news that the College of Commissioners was set to propose a 10-year renewal of glyphosate’s licence.

S&D MEPs yesterday reiterated their rejection of the European Commission’s intention to reauthorise glyphosate, in light of the lack of transparency in the classification process of the European agencies. The group is insisting that the classification process of glypho-sate has been largely based on unpublished scientific evidence provided by industry, or scientific reviews sponsored by the same industry “under the pretence” of independence.

Two months ago, the weedkiller was deemed safe for public use by the European Chemical Agency, following conflicting reports from different scientific bodies.

Glyphosate is considered a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organisation cancer agency, however, it had been cleared for use by the European Food Safety Agency.

But the S&D is willing to call for an inquiry committee if necessary.

Vice-president for sustainability Kathleen Van Brempt said that in the absence of a satisfactory answer from the European Commission, the group would ask for the establishment of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry or a special committee on the subject.

Dr Dalli, meanwhile, insisted: “We want the decision on whether to renew the approval for glyphosate to be based on credible, publicly available and independent scientific data relating to carcinogenicity and endocrine disruptive properties.”

Dr Dalli, spokeswoman for the environment, insisted on the importance that the requirements for the disclosure of scientific evidence, used in the evaluation process, were in accordance with the Plant Protection products Regulation and case-law of the EU Court of Justice.

“Until we know the truth about the nature and weight of the scientific evidence used, until we know that glyphosate is safe for our citizens and environment, we cannot allow this substance to be freely sold on the EU market.”