Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, strongly rejected a proposal for an almost decade-long renewal of glyphosate, the world’s most used herbicide, pending a proper review of all available science on the risks to human health.
Speaking from Strasbourg this afternoon, where European parliamentarians queried the European executive on its renewal plans, Ms. Childers said:
“Scientific uncertainty on the safety of glyphosate has been compounded with scandal after the revelation in the Monsanto Papers that the giant agri-chemical manufacturer paid supposedly independent scientists to let it ghost-right scientific research, among other improprieties.
“The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a specialised body of the World Health Organisation, has classified glyphosate as a ‘possible human carcinogen’.
“Other concerns exist with regard to this herbicide’s hormone-disrupting and genotoxic risks, not to mention that this substance is often used in combination with other chemicals, with unknown effects to human health.
“However, the EU agencies in charge have deemed glyphosate safe, in contrast with IARC, having relied both wittingly and unwittingly, on industry-sponsored research, some of it through fraudulent expedients.
“It is not enough for the European Chemicals Agency and the European Food Safety Agency to say that the discovery of Monsanto’s manipulation does not change their conclusions, in light of all the information available to them.
“The fact is, these revelations only add to the need for more transparency, rigour and accountability in the way these agencies conduct their work, so as to safeguard the credibility of scientific input to our policy decisions.
“It is clear by now that we need to conduct a proper enquiry into this matter and get more answers on the process and substance of decision making on glyphosate before we grant it seven more years of free reign on our environment.”
“I have the utmost respect for our Health Commissioner, Mr. Andriukaitis, and I hope we will persuade him to take a better look at a wider range of sources on this matter before rounding it up for seven years more, as if there were no tomorrow for agriculture without glyphosate.”
“There is one, and we have wasted enough time without a plan to wean ourselves of harsh herbicides.”