Oct 132017
 


Monsanto lobbyists have been banned from entering the European parliament after the multinational refused to attend a parliamentary hearing into allegations of regulatory interference.

It is the first time MEPs have used new rules to withdraw parliamentary access for firms that ignore a summons to attend parliamentary inquiries or hearings.

Monsanto officials will now be unable to meet MEPs, attend committee meetings or use digital resources on parliament premises in Brussels or Strasbourg.

People protest against a planned $66bn takeover of Monsanto by Bayer and Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicides, in Brussels, July 2017. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

While a formal process still needs to be worked through, a spokesman for the parliament’s president Antonio Tajani said that the leaders of all major parliamentary blocks had backed the ban in a vote this morning.

“One has to assume it is effective immediately,” he said.

MEPs had been incensed at a Monsanto decision to shun a hearing organised by the environment and agriculture committees, with academics, regulators and campaigners, on 11 October.

The meeting is expected to hear allegations that Monsanto unduly influenced regulatory studies into the safety of glyphosate, a key ingredient in its best-selling RoundUp weedkiller.

“Those who ignore the rules of democracy also lose their rights as a lobbyist in the European parliament,” said the Green party president Philippe Lamberts. “US corporations must also accept the democratic control function of the parliament. Monsanto cannot escape this.”

The lobby ban will be a bitter blow to Monsanto’s advocacy campaign ahead of a decision later this year about the relicensing of glyphosate, which has been linked to cancer by one expert WHO panel.

Another deemed it safe for public use, but Monsanto’s outreach to regulatory agencies in the US and Europe sparked controversy and prompted the parliamentary hearing.

A Monsanto letter to MEPs seen by the Guardian said that the European parliament was not “an appropriate forum” for discussion on the issues involved.

“The joint hearing could be viewed as the latest attempt by those opposed to modern agricultural practices to influence and frustrate the EU scientific and regulatory process to suit their own agenda,” it says.

“We have observed with increasing alarm the politicisation of the EU procedure on the renewal of glyphosate,” wrote Monsanto’s vice president Philip Miller, “a procedure which should be scientific but which in many respects has been hijacked by populism.”

Martin Pigeon, a spokesman for the NGO Corporate Europe Observatory, said it was “extremely important that parliament has been prepared to meet Monsanto’s unbelievable arrogance with real retaliation and consequences.”

Monsanto spends between €300,000-€400,000 (£260,000 – £350,000) annually on lobbying in Brussels, according to its self-declaration form in the EU transparency register.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 28 Sep 2017.


We invite you to share your opinion whether there should be a worldwide ban on Monsanto’s glyphosate? Please vote and leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

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Editorial Comment: The purpose of this poll is to highlight important wildlife conservation issues and to encourage discussion on ways to stop wildlife crime. By leaving a comment and sharing this post you can help to raise awareness. Thank you for your support.

 

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Brenda Boutin

yes

M M
Well, YES, there should! You have not seen the vast thin cloud of monarch butterflies that I have seen, coursing over the September water on their way to warmth . I have not seen them in a long time. No lazy-way of killing hated plants is worth their loss. Imagine: You look north over the turquoise smooth still mirror of water. A thin black line is there. You wonder what could tat be. In a minute it reaches you, it was perhaps a mile wide, and it is hardly more than one or three butterflies thick. You can lay low… Read more »
Subramaniam Dharana

The modern world is going through a very rough patch of introduction of new chemicals and then banning of the same after irreparable damage . Let us not forget DDT, endosulfan and the list goes on.The nexus between the funding agencies , the manufacturer and the recommending authorties have caused tremendous damage to the society at large.We need to put a full stop to the same.

Isabelle Fernandès

SONDAGE AU BAS DE LA PAGE : Nous vous invitons à partager votre opinion sur l’interdiction mondiale du glyphosate de Monsanto? Votez et laissez vos commentaires au bas de cette page.

Oui (96%, 108 Votes)
Non (4%, 5 Votes)
Je ne sais pas (0%, 0 Votes)
Nombre total d’électeurs: 113

Isabel Silva

YES OF COURSE

Peter

Yes – #Monsanto should be prosecuted for false information

Barry Frederick Baudains

To dammed right there should be.

Judy Rees

Voted “YES”!

Leslie Vanlessen

YES

Sylvia Mortson

Do not wear furs of any kind.

Sylvia Mortson

Definitely! Ban fur farming and trapping and all cruelty to animals and birds, fish, whales, dogs etc.

Jane Bravin Rudner

Yes.

Lisa Marie Maley DeFreitas

Yes

wpDiscuz

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