Greens in the European Parliament have today exposed the involvement of the agri-chemical industry in renewing the authorisation of the suspected carcinogen glyphosate. A damning new report, commissioned by a cross-party group of MEPs including Greens, presents evidence of how parts of the risk assessment for the world’s most widely used herbicide was copied and pasted from documentation produced by a coalition of pesticide companies .
Greens say that this new evidence points to the need for greater transparency and independent scrutiny around the authorisation procedure for potentially harmful chemicals. MEPs will vote this Wednesday on a report by the Special Committee on Pesticides (PEST), authored by Green MEP Bart Staes, which will call for greater transparency and urge the European Commission and Member States to strengthen health and environmental assessment of pesticides. It also calls for a ban of the use of pesticides for pre-harvest applications and in public spaces.
Molly, who is a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture committee and long-time advocate of banning the use of glyphosate, said:
“It is extremely alarming to see that up to 50% of some chapters of the regulator’s assessment for glyphosate were actually a copy and paste job from papers Monsanto and other agri-chemical corporates had written. This helps explain why the WHO assessment on glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen was so at odds with EU assessors, who awarded this toxic pesticide a clean bill of health, brushing off warnings of its dangers.
“The chemical industry must not be able to interfere in this way when it comes to authorising its own potentially harmful products. These disturbing findings amplify the recommendations of the PEST report, supported by Greens, for far greater transparency and independent scrutiny around the authorisation procedure for chemicals being pushed by corporates. The European Commission and EU Member States must ensure that regulators are properly independent and scientific.”
Report conclusion: The study authors’ analyses, in particular their detailed analysis of the chapters on carcinogenicity, suggest that the [European assessors] practice of copy [and] paste and plagiarism is at odds with an independent, objective, and transparent assessment of the risks, and that this practice influenced the authority’s conclusions on glyphosate’s safety. In addition, the study authors found clear evidence of deliberate pretence of an independent assessment, whereas in reality the authority was only echoing the industry applicants’ assessment.