Talking about pesticides, or GMO products, is not an easy task. The debate is heavily polarized and it’s hard to earn public’s trust around these issues and have a dialogue on the subject. This is particularly troublesome given that the only solution to find a way forward is through extensive dialogue and exchange.
Today a farmer needs a robust product authorization process to have the confidence to use a pesticide or a GMO product. Transparency of safety data submitted to regulatory agencies can help give more confidence to the public and consumers.
This is what inspired our transparency initiative that we started 3 years ago. Our commitment was a response to a clear demand from society to make the safety data more easily accessible to the public. We wanted to provide greater transparency, and to increase trust in the approval process. Until now access to this safety data (for non-commercial purposes) was provided unilaterally by individual companies. On the 27th March, through the Transparency Regulation, all of this data will now be hosted on EFSA platforms.
We realized back then that transparency, including transparency around our data, is paramount in earning public trust in our technologies. This new EU regulation will help pull all of the data into the same place. This will help further this drive to earn public trust in the process and our products.
We see great potential with the Transparency Regulation:
- A better general understanding of risks in matters of food safety;
- Open access to data can dispel suspicions about ‘industry hiding information’;
- Efficiencies in streamlining submissions and evaluations;
- An overall increase in standards in dossier quality.
While the EFSA platform dedicated to host all of this data is currently experiencing certain shortcomings CropLife Europe would like to reiterate its commitment towards the objectives of the Transparency Regulation. We welcome the extensive work which has been done at Commission and EFSA level to try to get everything ready for the application date of the 27th March 2021.