If only I had known about this sooner! Last week on October 11th, the European Parliament’s Environment and Agriculture committee held a public hearing on The Monsanto Papers. (To see the full agenda of what was discussed, click here.)
“The Monsanto Papers” are the documents discovered from the many lawsuits in the U.S., brought against Monsanto, by over 250 people alleging that exposure to Roundup- Monsanto’s number one herbicide- is responsible for their cancers.
“The papers show a disturbing pattern of scientific misrepresentation, data manipulation, and collusion with government officials. Monsanto was invited to testify at the hearing and to explain itself, but chose to skip the event, on the grounds that it would be political and Monsanto argues that the issue is purely scientific. In response, the EU Parliament banned Monsanto lobbyists from entering the parliament. AgroNews noted that this will be a setback for the multinational corporation, which spent €300,000-€400,000 lobbying in Brussels in 2015-2016 (about $450,000 USD), presumably to exercise its influence over the political process.” 1
The European Commission (EC) will hold a vote in November or December on whether to approve continued use of glyphosate in the EU. But, given the IARC’s finding that glyphosate was “‘probably’ carcinogenic to people (Group 2A), based upon three lines of evidence: ‘sufficient’ evidence of cancer in mice and rats that were fed glyphosate over several years; ‘strong’ evidence from mechanistic or cellular studies that explain how glyphosate may cause cancer; ‘limited’ evidence from epidemiologic studies of people, particularly pesticide applicators and farmworkers,” it seems unlikely.2
For its part, Monsanto denies their product is poison and the EPA continues to defend the use of glyphosate, even going so far as to issue a report in September 2016 saying the herbicide was “not likely” to cause cancer in humans. But the cracks are forming.
If European legislators and the public get “sufficiently fed up with Monsanto”3 and take steps to totally eliminate or restrict its use, it could have a profound effect on glyphosate-related policies here in the U.S., where the EPA is owned by the highest bidder.
We are watching this with hope and will update you on the EU’s final decision.