Monsanto Papers: EU/UK – Tactics, Manipulated Data, Hundreds Cancer Lawsuits Mount
By Corporate Europe Observatory – Monsanto Papers hearing at EU Parliament to lift lid on flawed EU pesticide approval process
On Wednesday 11 October, an extraordinary hearing at the European Parliament will dissect the tactics which pesticide manufacturer Monsanto has used to manipulate science in order to keep its flagship product Roundup on the market.
Hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto are pending in the US, with plaintiffs alleging that exposure to Roundup herbicide has caused them or their loved ones to develop cancer of the lymphatic system and that Monsanto covered up the risks. As part of these lawsuits, a big volume of documents damning Monsanto have been released – against the company’s objection.
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The unsealed documents have not only exposed Monsanto’s manipulation in its US operations but also how it tried to influence EU regulatory authorities.
Organised by the Parliament’s agriculture and environment committees, the hearing has been convened to determine which meaning the Monsanto Papers hold for the EU assessment of Roundup, and to what extent the serious flaws in the wider EU system for pesticide regulation enabled Monsanto’s capture of EU regulatory authorities.
Corporate Europe Observatory’s agribusiness researcher Martin Pigeon, who will give evidence at the hearing, says:
“Monsanto claims to value and support science-based policy-making. But the Monsanto Papers and our research show that the company and industry in general view independently generated scientific data as a threat to their profits. They will do whatever it takes to discredit those whose research threatens their commercial interests.
“EFSA suffers from a severe lack of in-house capacity as well as financial and legal constraints, which means its safety assessments largely rely on unpublished studies that are funded and commissioned by industry.
“On top of that, there are many flaws in the EU’s pesticide approval system itself. It does not even, for example, assess the pesticides formulations used in the real world but only individual substances in isolation!
“These fundamental flaws are not new and the glyphosate debate has finally created public awareness. To prevent the corporate capture of EU safety assessments, the EU food safety agency must become independent from the companies whose products it evaluates and its assessments must be more transparent. Manufacturers should keep paying for the studies necessary to assess the safety of their products, but the research needs to take place at independent laboratories and findings must be published for scrutiny by the scientific community.”