MEPs urge probe into Monsanto's sway over safety studies

October 11, 2017
MEPs want to know whether Monsanto meddled with research into its weedkiller
MEPs want to know whether Monsanto meddled with research into its weedkiller

Members of the European Parliament called Wednesday for the establishment of a panel to probe claims that US agro giant Monsanto unduly influenced research into its weedkiller's safety.

The call comes as the European Union intensifies debate over whether Brussels should renew in December the license for the weedkiller glyphosate for another 10 years.

EU states have been deadlocked for more than a year over whether to declare that the chemical—used in Monsanto's best-selling herbicide Roundup—is safe.

"We have arrived at the conclusion that the creation of a commission of enquiry is needed," socialist deputies Eric Andrieu of France and Marc Tarabella of Belgium said in a joint statement in Brussels.

They said there were too many questions about that needed to be answered. Michele Rivasi, a member of the Greens Party, made a similar proposal.

The parliament can investigate whether EU law has been breached or set up a committee on a specific problem such as the one probing emissions cheating by German-based auto giant Volkswagen.

The call for a probe came during a parliamentary hearing into allegations Monsanto influenced scientific research on glyphosate safety.

Monsanto had turned down the parliament's invitation to Wednesday's hearing, prompting the assembly to deny access to the firm's executives and lobbyists.

The European Commission has proposed that glyphosate's licence should be renewed for another 10 years in December, on the grounds of a report by the bloc's food safety agency saying it does not cause cancer.

Monsanto maintains glyphosate "meets or exceeds all requirements for full renewal under European law and regulation" and charged the renewal procedure has in "many respects been hijacked by populism."

Explore further: MEPs urged to probe Monsanto influence on research

Related Stories

MEPs urged to probe Monsanto influence on research

October 5, 2017

A US firm pursuing a lawsuit against Monsanto is urging the European Parliament to examine its claims that the agro giant has hidden the dangers of its weedkiller, according to a letter obtained by AFP on Thursday.

France to vote against EU renewal of weedkiller

August 30, 2017

France will vote against a proposal by the EU Commission to renew the licence for glyphosate, the active ingredient in one of the world's most widely used weedkillers, Monsanto's Roundup, a government source said Wednesday.

NGOs sue Monsanto, EU food safety watchdog over pesticide

March 2, 2016

A group of European NGOs on Wednesday sued agri-giant Monsanto and the EU's food safety watchdog for allegedly distorting scientific data on the carcinogenic effects of controversial weedkiller glyphosate, ahead of a key ...

Recommended for you

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

January 19, 2019

Over the years, scientists have identified dams, pollution and vessel noise as causes of the troubling decline of the Pacific Northwest's resident killer whales. Now, they may have found a new and more surprising culprit: ...

Researchers come face to face with huge great white shark

January 18, 2019

Two shark researchers who came face to face with what could be one of the largest great whites ever recorded are using their encounter as an opportunity to push for legislation that would protect sharks in Hawaii.

Why do Hydra end up with just a single head?

January 18, 2019

Often considered immortal, the freshwater Hydra can regenerate any part of its body, a trait discovered by the Geneva naturalist Abraham Trembley nearly 300 years ago. Any fragment of its body containing a few thousands cells ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.