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Who assesses pesticides in the EU?

Who assesses pesticides in the EU?

Before a pesticide can be authorised for use, the safety of its active substance must be assessed. An active substance is the key ingredient – usually a chemical – that enables a pesticide to do its job. EFSA oversees the safety assessment of active substances in the EU.

These are the key steps in the process:

  1. Application submitted

    Application for approval of active substance submitted to an EU Rapporteur Member State (RMS).

  2. Application verified

    RMS verifies that the application is admissible.

  3. Report prepared

    RMS prepares a Draft Assessment Report or Renewal Assessment Report that includes a risk assessment.

  4. Peer review

    RMS shares report with EFSA, Member States and the European Commission. EFSA begins review of RMS report.

  5. Member State consultation

    EFSA organises consultation with experts from Member States.

  6. Public consultation

    EFSA canvasses stakeholders and any other interested parties for views on the report.

  7. Additional information

    EFSA requests additional information from the RMS if needed.

  8. Report updated

    Assessment report is updated by the RMS.

  9. EFSA issues conclusions

    EFSA holds final consultation with experts from 28 Member States before issuing its conclusions.

  10. Draft decision

    Committee comprising representatives of Member States votes on draft decision proposed by European Commission.

  11. Substance approved/rejected

    Commission decides whether to allow the active substance to be used in pesticides in the EU. Member States can then decide whether pesticide products containing the substance should be authorised for use in their countries.

Case study: glyphosate

The Rapporteur Member State for the re-evaluation of glyphosate was Germany. The peer review of the German assessment was organised by EFSA in cooperation with all 28 EU Member States. A minority opinion was recorded for Sweden, which disagreed with the majority view that glyphosate should not be classified as carcinogenic.

Rapporteur Member State:


Member States that endorsed EU peer review of glyphosate:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom.

Member States for whom minority opinions were recorded:


EFSA is the keystone of EU risk assessment regarding food and feed safety. In close collaboration with national authorities and in open consultation with its stakeholders, EFSA provides independent scientific advice and clear communication on existing and emerging risks.