The EU Agency for Food Safety (EFSA) has surprisingly sided with Monsanto and explains the pesticide glyphosate is “probable not a carcinogen”. Chances are good that Monsanto receives a new authorization for the, by the WHO condemned pesticide in Europe. The EFSA is notorious because many scientists are also funded by the biotech industry.
Originally appeared at Deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten, translated by Karin exclusively for SouthFront
Monsanto is always sitting in Brussels at the table when research is carried out and negotiated. (Photo: Noticias Masverde)
In July 2015, the World Health Organization created a stir because they classified the weed killer glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic”. This was the first time that a cancer risk was officially established. If one would had thought now that this should be enough for the EU to deny Monsanto the pending re-registration, was now surprised of the opinion of the European Food Safety Authority: The conclusion of the EU’s group of experts is that the substance is probably not a carcinogenic threat for the people, according to an article published in Parma on Thursday. EFSA scientists propose to set a new threshold for the acute intake of glyphosate, for example, during a single meal 0.5 milligram per kilogram of body weight. Thus “the future assessment of potential risks from glyphosate” will be exacerbating, said José Tarazona, Head of Unit for pesticides EFSA. So far there is only a limit of value for the daily regular intake of the substance – this is to be increased from 0.3 to 0.5 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, according to EFSA recommendation.
The approval of the agent in Europe had been extended until mid-2016. Experts from the EU member states are supposed to make, on the basis of the EFSA opinion and the proposal from the European Commission, a decision concerning the new registration. A spokesman for the European Commission said, his agency will now look into the report. EFSA has only assessed the active ingredient glyphosate. Admission of products in which it is included, the EU member states will have to decide later.
The problem of EFSA: It is massively infiltrated by people who are partially funded by the industry. The EFSA was again and again at the center of scandals because the supposedly independent researchers maintain close relations with the major genetic engineering companies such as Monsanto. Recently EFSA was noticed when they tried to defame the French authors of a critical study, the so called Séraldini study, on the effects of Roundup. However, a critical report from Testbiotech has shown that the French had worked with better scientific standards then the EFSA. Christoph Then from Testbiotech called attention at that time to the fundamental problem of the methodology of EFSA attention: “The way how the EFSA evaluates results of scientific studies seems guided by the unilateral intention to reject any doubts about the safety of products. The debate on scientific standards is being exploited to defend the current opinions of the authorities, according to which no health risks are to be feared. ”
EFSA had indeed released new guidelines about their “independence” in July 2014, but they are just a cover up assessed the watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO). Because the EFSA declared an “expert” only for prejudiced if he works at the exact same subject for the industry. Therefore gray areas and bending of the rules are easily possible, especially as the EFSA applies no sanctions if a researcher makes offenses to a theoretical rule.
Food Watch therefore is irritated of the positive assessment of glyphosate by the EU. In a press release they demanded the rejecting of the 2016 expiring approval for the Monsanto product: “If science does not provide categorical answers the decision must be political – and as long as the indications on potential cancer risks are not refuted, only one decision is feasible: The European Commission must take into account the precautionary principle and withdraw the approval for glyphosate. For a re-registration a safe foundation is missing. Other potentially or proven harmful agents must lose their approval as well to prevent agriculture relying on other risky means in the absence of glyphosate. The European Commission must now draw up a fundamentally new authorization procedure for pesticides. In the future not only isolated individual agents, but also the ready-mixed compounds must be toxicologically evaluated. The trial must be carried out transparently and independently. An approval may only be granted if no substantive evidence of health risks to consumers is present. “